Vitamin is an organic compound that is essential for growth and function. However we can only obtain essential vitamins from the food we eat because it cannot be synthesized by our body. Children aged between 4-13 years old will experience rapid growth and cognitive development (1); it is therefore very important for them to have enough vitamins that are considered to play a critical role in children’s growth. Because vitamin must be obtained by meals, a healthy and balanced diet with sufficient amount of vitamin is something we need to pay attention to.
In general, there are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are normally found in fatty food and animal product such as meat and milk. Although they are essential for daily metabolism, we do not need to take them from every-day meal as they can be stored in fat tissue. Water-soluble vitamin, on the other hand, cannot not be stored by our bodies (2). Hence, unlike fat-soluble vitamin that could be harmful when consumed or stored in excess, overconsumption of water-soluble vitamins will not be detrimental to our health because they can be secreted out easily.
Fat-soluble vitamins are: Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the B vitamins. Based on that, consistent and appropriate intake of water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins respectively, is important.
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- Wooldridge NH. Child and preadolescent nutrition. In: Brown JE, Issacs JS, Krinke UB, Murtaugh MA, Stang J, Wooldridge NH, eds. Nutrition through the life cycle. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; 2002:283-306.
- Fukuwatari T; Shibata K (2008). “Urinary water-soluble vitamins and their metabolite contents as nutritional markers for evaluating vitamin intakes in young Japanese women”. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 54 (3): 223–9. doi:10.3177/jnsv.54.223.PMID 18635909