Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a wonderful vitamin to keep in the medicine chest. Not only is this vitamin renown for helping treat and prevent scurvy, it is helps boost the immune system. It is also water soluble, which means that whatever your body doesn’t absorb will pass through your urine. Although, too much can cause diarrhea; just think of this as your bodies way of telling you it has had enough.

Vitamin C can be found in a lot of things, including herbal teas such as Tazo’s Passion Tea, as a supplement, and in food. Strawberries, citrus fruit, broccoli, bell peppers, mangos, papayas, apricots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, and squashes all contain ample amounts of vitamin C.  This makes it easy to add it this vitamin to any soup or smoothie!

So how much should you take when your sick? According to U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine children under the age of 12 months should only obtain vitamin C through milk. If your child is already on solid food, consider adding one of the foods mentioned above, in small amounts, into the diet. The food would naturally increase the vitamin C levels within the body without causing ill effect.

If your child is 1-3 years of age, do not exceed 400 mg. Children 4-8 year olds may have up to 650 mg, 9-13 year olds may take up to 1,200 mg, and 14+ may take up to 1,800 mg a day. Vitamin C is safe for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Please note that these doses are at the higher end of the spectrum and should only be used for short periods of time (3-4 days) and during an illness. Start small, 30 mg for 1-3 yr olds, and work up as the body needs it.

Solar Ray and Natures Way are great brands. For children under the age of 8 check out Child’s Life Essentials. These brands can be found at your local health food store or online at Amazon. Be careful giving young children adult vitamin C tablets as they are 500mg each. 

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