The ABCs Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is critical for health and growth in infancy. This essential vitamin promotes a strong immune system, the growth and maintenance of healthy skin and red blood cells, plus is necessary to build collagen, which helps to form connective tissue that binds muscles, bones, and tissue together. Vitamin C is also known to increase wound healing, while preventing infections and, as an anti-oxidant, helps protect against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis in the future.
While you may have heard all of these important vitamin C facts from your pediatrician, you may not know that there are many surprising ways to ensure your child is receiving adequate amounts of the vitamin. During baby’s first year, vitamin C requirements are typically met by milk. Once she begins eating solids as a main source of nutrition, she should have foods with vitamin C daily. Note that most pediatricians suggest infants seven to 12 months should consume 50 mg. of vitamin C a day, while children one to three years should have at least 15 mg. a day. Let’s take a closer look at some common – and uncommon – foods for providing your child with the advantages she needs for healthy growth.
Citrus fruits. You probably already knew about this vitamin C option. Introducing your child to oranges, grape fruits, mandarins, tangerines, and other citrus fruits can easily help you meet your little one’s daily vitamin C requirements. Read on for more surprising vitamin C resources.
Tomatoes. Believe it or not, getting your child to eat spaghetti sauces, tomato soup and other tomato-based foods can help your child reach her daily vitamin C requirements. For instance, a 10-ounce serving of tomato soup offers 6.4 mg. of vitamin C.
Sweet potatoes. Our little daughter has always loved sweet potatoes. Little did I know that one half-cup of mashed sweet potatoes has 20 mg. of vitamin C. Score!
Cantaloupe. This child-popular melon is also a great source of vitamin C. Just one-quarter of a medium cantaloupe features an eye-opening 47 mg. of vitamin C!
Watermelon. Our daughter considers this a refreshing treat, especially in the summer. Little does she know she is also enjoying the benefits of 8 mg. of vitamin C in just a 3.5-ounce serving.
Zucchini. This source of a vitamin C is often included as an ingredient in various toddler dishes. Just one cup on zucchini contains 11 mg. of vitamin C and helps add even more healthy variety to your child’s daily diet.
While it’s a good idea to offer your little one a piece of fruit with every meal, try introducing other lesser-known sources of vitamin C, such as those listed above, to help to provide your toddler with a well-balanced diet that offers multi-vitamin and nutritional benefits.
Open up sandwich round or pita and spread pizza sauce onto both halves.
Put each of the cooked vegetables into small bowls. Have your child choose toppings from the bowls to build their favorite pizza.
Top each pizza with grated cheese.
Bake both pizzas on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let cool and serve.
Recipe Yields: 2 Servings
1 cup water
1 parsnip sliced 1/8 in thick
1 Zucchini sliced
2 cups Cauliflower
2 Bay leaves
1 cup Organic vegetable juice
Wash and cut Parsnip, Zucchini and Cauliflower. In a medium saucepan, bring to boil water, parsnip, zucchini, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add cauliflower and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Add vegetable juice and blend with the immersion blender until smooth.
Stage 1 + 2
A yummy source of potassium and magnesium, zucchini is easy to prepare and keeps well.
The ratio of raw to steamed vegetables is 1:1. One cup of raw veggies will make approximately one cup of puree.
Thoroughly wash the zucchini and cut it into slices or chunks. Boil or steam until soft. Cool slightly and then using your immersion blender, blend to puree, adding breast milk or water to thin to the desired consistency.
For Stages 3 and 4, cut the raw zucchini into pieces sized for little fingers to pick up easily before steaming. Steam just until tender, and then cool slightly before serving.
After introducing zucchini, try summer squash. It can be prepared and served the same way.