Why Is Vitamin C Important For Kids?

Learn why vitamin C is important for children's health and development, its benefits, rich food sources, symptoms of deficiency, and how to prevent it. Also, know about the risks of excessive supplement intake and consult with our medical experts for any queries.

Did you know Vitamin C has long been praised for its potential health benefits in fighting the common cold?

Did you know that vitamin C is very important for your child's health and development?

As a parent, you want to provide your child with the best nutrition possible. One essential nutrient for your baby's growth and development is vitamin C. In this blog, we will discuss why vitamin C is important and how you can ensure your child is getting enough of it through their diet.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin for your child's health to prevent vitamin C deficiency such as delayed tissue development, scurvy, respiratory problems, and skin diseases.

Since vitamin C cannot be produced in the body itself, the only option is to include vitamin C-rich food sources in your child's diet.

RDA of Vitamin C for your Child

According to ICMR, recommended daily allowance (RDI) of vitamin C for children is

  • Lactating women (0-12 months) – 80 mg/day
  • Infant (0-12 months) - 25 mg/day
  • Child (1-17 years) - 40 mg/day

Benefits of Vitamin C for Children

The benefits of vitamin C are:

  • Booster for Immunity System: Vitamin C is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system and can help reduce the severity and duration of colds.
  • Increase Iron absorption: Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron from food, which is especially important for children who need high levels of iron for growth.
  • Support Antioxidant Effects: Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Support Collagen and Wound Healing: Vitamin C is essential for creating and strengthening collagen, which is important for healthy bones, muscles, and blood vessels. It also aids in wound healing and maintains healthy teeth and gums.

Vitamin C Rich Foods

Vitamin C-Rich Foods for Children's Diet:

  1. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit contain up to 70 mg of vitamin C. Oranges and limes can be used in refreshing beverages that appeal to children.
  2. Papaya is a tasty and easy addition to snacks with 100% vitamin C. Mix it with flavored yogurt or blend it into a smoothie.
  3. Cherries are a pleasing and vitamin C-rich fruit for children.
  4. Amla is a concentrated source of vitamin C. Chewing one piece or 1 tsp of amla juice a day can boost immune system protection.
  5. Strawberries are vitamin C-rich and also high in fiber and antioxidants. Mix them with yogurt or blend into a smoothie for a delicious snack.
  6. Blackcurrants are a popular deep purple fruit rich in vitamin C, potassium, phytochemicals, iron, and vitamin B5. Sprinkle them on breakfast cereals for a daily dose of vitamin C.
  7. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and can be added to salads or veggie dishes.
  8. Kiwi helps keep the skin healthy and provides vitamin E.
  9. Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that can be added to sandwiches or hidden in fried rice. It's also a great source of detoxifying enzymes.
  10. Many herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, basil, onion, and thyme, are rich in vitamin C and can be added to cooking for an extra boost.

Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency in Kids

  • Vitamin C deficiency is rare in children unless they have poor eating habits or intestinal malabsorption.
  • Scurvy is the main disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, which is characterized by brown spots on the skin, rough skin, bleeding gums, and poor wound healing.
  • Other symptoms of vitamin C deficiency in children may include weakness, bone pain, nerve damage, and seizures.

Can vitamin C deficiency be prevented in children?

  • A healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can prevent vitamin C deficiency.
  • For example, one orange per day provides enough vitamins C.

Too Much intake of Vitamin C Supplements

  • Most infants do not need vitamin C supplements, as formula, breast milk, and food are sufficient sources.
  • Excessive intake of supplements can increase the risk of side effects such as kidney stones, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Consult with your child's doctor before giving supplements.
  • Severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy.


Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for babies, and a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure adequate intake. Excessive intake of supplements can be harmful, and consultation with a pediatrician is recommended before adding any supplements to a baby's diet.

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