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Know The Nutrients Your Kids Need With This Helpful Guide

by | November 27, 2018

We all wonder if our toddler is getting everything they need to grow up strong, healthy and vegan. We’ve decided to put together a little list to help you get a better understanding the nutrients that your kids need. 

Some of the important vitamins and minerals that you should be paying attention to with your little 1-3 year old’s vegan diet include the following:

The Nutrients Your Kids Need

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Calcium

the nutrients your kids need
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Your toddler needs to get about 500 mg per day of calcium. No, that doesn’t mean they need to be drinking cow’s milk. If this isn’t met everyday, it’s fine. As long as they average out during the week 500 mg/day. This means that if they only get 450 mg today, tomorrow they can get 550 mg and it will average out.

Tofu made with calcium sulfate and fortified plant-based milks are a great source of calcium and is generally well-absorbed.  We absorb the calcium from turnips, broccoli, kale and mustard greens very well because they are low in oxalates. Collard greens are also considered to be a good source of calcium. Legumes, nuts and seeds have moderate amounts of calcium that become more easily absorbable after soaking in water.

Vitamin D

the nutrients your kids need
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Vitamin D is made by the body and activated by the sun (UV B rays). However, daily sun exposure is not practicable, possible, or recommended for every one.

Vegan toddlers that get little to no sun exposure should probably be getting 600 IU of vitamin D2 or vegan D3 per day. There are presentations of them that make their administration very easy, even for the most stubborn two year olds.

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Iron

the nutrients your kids need
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From ages 1-3, the nutrients your kids need as toddlers need to be about 7 mg/day. Great sources of non-heme iron include beans and green vegetables. To help your little one absorb more of what they eat, incorporate these iron-rich foods into their diet together with vitamin C.

Vitamin C

the nutrients your kids need
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Toddlers need to get about 15 mg of vitamin C. This is very easy to do because fruits and vegetables are so rich in this nutrient. Deficiencies are very rare and scurvy has not been a common ailment since the 1800’s. So while this is one of the the nutrients your kids need, it’s easy to stay on top of it. 

Iodine

the nutrients your kids need
By Nina Firsova/shutterstock

Until the age of 8, little ones need to be getting about 90 mcg of iodine daily for proper thyroid function. You can achieve this by incorporating sea vegetables into their diet such as nori sheets or kelp. Although the amount of kelp required would be a very tiny amount each day.

A diet without any salt at all is recommended for children. If your family does use salt, it’s recommend to use iodized salt instead of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt which do not have iodine. They also do not have any scientifically proven advantages over iodized salt.

B12

the nutrients your kids need
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All vegans need to supplement their diet with vitamin B12. Toddlers need a minuscule amount of 0.9 mcg per day. You can get this with nutritional yeast, fortified plant-based milk, mock meats, or through vitamin drops or tablets.

Some vegans seem to think they or their children do not need vitamin B12 in their diet. We recommend you not make this mistake. Please make sure your child gets enough B12 to prevent a deficiency.


Have more to add to the nutrients your kids need? Let us know in the comments. 


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Raise Vegan

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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Comments

One Response to “Know The Nutrients Your Kids Need With This Helpful Guide”

  1. Marc
    November 28th, 2018 @ 11:45 am

    I have followed the vegan diet for about three decades now, and I write and speak on the power of sunlight. Your article was good, but you need to understand that the only natural way to receive vitamin D is by regular sun exposure, or when the season is wrong, to use a sun lamp of tanning bed. Here are some facts about sun exposure that you are probably not familiar with:
    •Seventy-five percent of melanoma occurs on areas of the body that are seldom or never exposed to sun.
    •Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
    •Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight, and virtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight like certain areas of the tropics.
    •A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
    •Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
    • An Iranian study showed that Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
    •Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart disease risk.
    •Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
    •Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to a properly functioning nervous system.
    •Sun exposure can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of full-body sun exposure. There has also been an 8,300% increase in vitamin D deficiency in children since 2000, which is likely due to insufficient time playing outdoors and/or sunscreen use.
    More information and references: sunlightinstitute.org. Or, read Dr. Marc Sorenson’s new book, Embrace the Sun, available at Amazon

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