Vitamin E in your child's diet

Vitamin E in your child's diet

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Vitamin E is crucial for children's good health and development. Read on to find out how much vitamin E your child needs, which sources are the best, and how to avoid getting too little or too much.

Find out more: Ten important nutrients for children

Why vitamin E is important

Vitamin E boosts the immune system and helps the body fight germs. Vitamin E also keeps blood vessels open wide enough for blood to flow freely, and it helps the cells of the body work together to perform many important functions.

How much vitamin E does my child need?

Ages 1 to 3 years: 6 milligrams (mg), or 9 international units (IU) of vitamin E, daily

Ages 4 to 8 years: 7 mg, or 10.5 IU, daily

Many children don't get enough vitamin E from diet alone, but it's rare to have a vitamin E deficiency severe enough to cause health issues. Getting slightly less than the recommended amount of vitamin E is common among both adults and kids in the United States.

Your child doesn't have to get enough vitamin E every day. Instead, aim to get the recommended amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.

The best sources of vitamin E

Vitamin E can be found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Here are some of the best food sources of vitamin E:

  • 1 ounce dry roasted almonds: 7 mg
  • 1 teaspoon wheat germ oil: 6 mg
  • 1 ounce dry roasted sunflower seeds: 6 mg
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter: 4 mg
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter: 4 mg
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter: 2 mg
  • 1 ounce dry roasted peanuts: 2 mg
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower oil: 1.8 mg
  • 1 teaspoon safflower oil: 1.5 mg
  • 1/2 medium kiwi (peeled): 1 mg
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil: 0.6 mg
  • 1/4 cup cooked frozen spinach: 0.8 mg
  • 1/4 cup cooked frozen broccoli: 0.6 mg
  • 1 teaspoon soybean oil: 0.4 mg
  • 1/4 cup raw mango: 0.9 mg

The amount of vitamin E in a food varies somewhat, depending on the size of the item or the brand of the product. Note that nuts and seeds are choking hazards for very young children, and nut butters should be spread thinly for the same reason.

Kids may eat more or less than the amounts shown, depending on their age and appetite. Estimate the nutrient content accordingly.

Can my child get too much vitamin E?

It's far more likely that your child won't get enough of this vital nutrient. But because vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant, which increases the risk of bleeding problems, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has set upper intake levels for vitamin E. (This is the maximum amount that's considered safe.)

A 2- or 3-year-old child should not get more than 200 mg (300 IU) of vitamin E daily. A 4- to 8-year-old child should not get more than 300 mg (450 IU) of vitamin E daily.

Watch the video: Kids Nutrition (June 2022).