By Miriam Martínez
It is very important to make sure that our children receive this supplement since vitamin B12 deficiency in children, and especially in babies, is very serious and causes irreversible damage to the brain. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should make sure to take a supplement regularly.
Children who regularly eat dairy and eggs, or soy milk and nutritional yeast enriched with B12, only need a weekly dose of B12, according to their age:
- From 6 months to 2 years: 250 micrograms
- 2-5 years: 500 micrograms
- 5-10 years: 750 micrograms
- Over 10 years: 1000 micrograms
Vegans who do not eat fortified foods should take these same amounts, but twice a week. Pregnant and nursing mothers should take 1000 micrograms three times a week.
Vitamin D is also not found in plant foods, but it is produced in the skin from exposure to sunlight. Children who play outdoors every day produce enough vitamin D, unless they live in very cold areas with little sunlight. In these cases, it might be advisable for them to receive a vitamin D supplement at least during the winter. It is recommended that babies receive a daily dose of this vitamin during the first year of life.
Starting in the year, it is important that we encourage our children to spend time outdoors every day. Sun exposure also has other positive effects on your general and emotional health.
It is convenient that the salt we use at home is iodized. In Spain the soil is poor in iodine. Using iodized salt ensures that our children receive the supply of iodine they need for their brain growth and development.
A well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet does not require other vitamin or mineral supplements.
Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts and seeds provide more than sufficient amounts of all the rest of vitamins and minerals, in addition to providing antioxidants and other substances beneficial to health.