Vitamin B12

By Dr. Anukriti Singh|2 - 3 mins read| May 13, 2024

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin essential for various physiological processes within the body. From red blood cell formation to neurological function, It plays a crucial role in supporting the growth, development, and overall well-being of children. Vitamin B12 is a complex micronutrient that plays a fundamental role in several biochemical pathways.

It is essential for the synthesis of DNA, the formation of red blood cells, and the maintenance of neurological function. Vitamin B12 also participates in the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, contributing to energy production and overall metabolic health.

Why does your child need Vitamin B12?

There are several critical reasons for a child needing Vitamin B12 including the fact that it is essential for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body and support overall energy levels and vitality. Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in neurological development and it supports the growth and repair of tissues, promoting overall health and well-being in children.

What are the sources of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal-derived foods, making it a challenge for vegetarian and vegan children to obtain adequate amounts.For children following a vegetarian or vegan diet, fortified foods or Vitamin B12 supplements may be necessary to ensure sufficient intake of this essential nutrient. Rich sources of Vitamin B12 include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals
  • Plant-based milk alternatives
  • Nutritional yeast

How much Vitamin B12 does your child need in a day?

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 for children varies based on age and developmental stage. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these are the recommended quantities per day:

0-6 months0.4 micrograms (mcg)
7-12 months0.5 mcg per day
7-12 months0.9 mcg per day
4-8 years1.2 mcg per day

What to know as parents regarding Vitamin B12 consumption?

  • As a parent, it’s crucial to ensure that your child receives an adequate intake of Vitamin B12, particularly if they follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
  • Incorporating animal-derived foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products into their meals can help meet their Vitamin B12 requirements.
  • For vegetarian or vegan children, fortified foods or Vitamin B12 supplements may be necessary to prevent deficiency.
  • Consulting with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian can provide guidance on meeting your child’s nutritional needs and ensuring their overall health and well-being.

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About The Author:

Dr. Anukriti Singh

Last Updated: Mon May 13 2024

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