Best Sources of Vitamin C for Kids
The immune system is comprised of cells, tissues, and organs that help the keep the body healthy.i,iv Our bodies require balance and harmony to function well, including doing things like eating a healthy and balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, getting a good amount of sleep each night, and getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C.i,iii Read on to learn about the ways in which vitamin C functions within your child’s body and the best sources of vitamin C for kids.
Functions of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in various foods.ii As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is a remarkably versatile nutrient, though its most well-known function is helping to support the immune system. In the body, vitamin C works as an antioxidant and helps to protect our cells from free radicals and the damage they cause.ii,iii The wonderful thing about vitamin C is that it can do more for the body than just support the immune system. In fact, vitamin C plays a role in:ii,iii
- Healthy skin and bones, collagen, cartilage, and blood vessels – which are important for your child’s growth and development.
- Neurotransmitters – these are super important as they help to signal important chemicals to the brain.
- Carnitine – this chemical helps to support the movement and breakdown of fatty acids that then generate energy for the body.
Sources of Vitamin C for Kids
One of the other great benefits of vitamin C is that it can be found in a wide variety of foods. Fruits and vegetables top the list of foods, including:
- Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and clementines.
- Other various fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and more.ii,iii
The fact that there are different fruits and vegetables that can provide vitamin C makes it easier to plan out meals for your kids. With breakfast, you can include a small bowl of sliced oranges to go alongside their cereal. For dinner, you can serve your kids broccoli or Brussels sprouts alongside their main meal to help ensure they get their vitamin C. In addition to a healthy diet, there are dietary supplements like Emergen-C Kidz Fruit Punch, which provide immune support with vitamin C and include great-tasting fruit flavors like orange, cherry, and pineapple*.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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i. Immune System. KidsHealth from Nemours. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/immune.html. Accessed 6/16/21.
ii. Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. NIH. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 6/16/21.
iii. Nutrition and the Immune System. Linus Pauling Institute. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/sites/lpi.oregonstate.edu/files/lpi-immunity-infographic.pdf. Accessed 6/16/21.