Promoting Good Nutrition for Children

Good nutrition is only one aspect of the positive life style that promotes sustainable physical, mental, and social well-being. But the diets and life styles learnt in childhood are likely to influence adult life and

Table 4 Vitamin deficiency problems that may occur in childhood Vitamin Condition

Vitamin A - retinol, carotene Xerophthalmia

Vitamin B-i - thiamine Beriberi

Vitamin B2 - riboflavin Anemia

Vitamin B3 - niacin Pellagra

Vitamin B6 - pyridoxine Convulsions

Vitamin B12 - cyanocobalamin Pernicious megaloblastic anemia

Subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord

Folic acid Anemia

Growth faltering

Vitamin C - ascorbic acid Scurvy

Vitamin D - calciferol Rickets

Vitamin E - tocopherol Hemolytic anemia

Neurological degeneration


Minor: night blindness

Major: total destruction of eye and blindness

Nutritional stunting

Increased infection; severe infection

Mental changes: apathy, irritability, depression

Cardiac failure

Peripheral neuritis

Hypochromic, microcytic anemia

Dry skin; seborrhoeic dermatitis in skinfolds; angular stomatitis;

raw red tongue Cracked, dry, peeling, or blistering light-sensitive dermatitis Apathy, depression, confusion Diarrhea

Unusual except in inborn errors of metabolism involving pyridoxine

Peripheral neuritis



Megaloblastic macrocytic anemia

Anesthesia and loss of position sense and motor weakness in limbs Encephalopathy Megaloblastic anemia

Folic acid deficiency may develop whenever there is rapid growth. It may also cause impaired catch up growth or growth faltering

Bleeding, bruising with painful bleeding subperiosteally



Painful deformity of weight-bearing bones with bowed legs; swollen ends to shafts of long bones and ribs giving Harrison's sulcus at attachment of diaphragm to lower ribs and 'rickety rosary' effect; bossed skull Poor growth and increased infection Rarely, hypocalcemic tetany

Unusual except in fat malabsorption conditions such as cystic fibrosis and abetalipoproteinemia Loss of sensation and motor power in limbs similar to that with vitamin B12 deficiency

Table 5 Mineral deficiencies that can occur in childhood






Hypochromic, microcytic anemia

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