Vitamin C in Infant Formula
You know that the vitamin that is important for boosting your immunity is also important to your baby. Does your infant formula give them enough?
As cold and flu season approaches, you want to make sure that you are doing enough to protect your baby from germs and viruses. You may find vitamin C in your morning orange juice or the fresh fruits you may eat throughout the day like kiwifruit. Even red and green peppers are high in vitamin C. If your baby has not been introduced to solids yet, should you consider a vitamin C supplement?
What are the Benefits of Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It can remove oxidizing agents like free radicals that can potentially damage in our cells and bloodstream. Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants can reap positive health benefits no matter what your age. As part of the building blocks in your body, vitamin C can:
- contributes to the growth, development, and repair of body tissue
- aid in the formation of collagen that strengthens skin and its elasticity
- help the absorption of iron and calcium
- help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease
- assist in wound healing
- keep your cartilage, bones, and teeth healthy and strong
How Much Vitamin C Does Your Baby Need?
From birth to about six months, babies need about 40 mg of vitamin C a day. Both breast milk and infant formula contain the right amount of vitamin C for your baby's growth and development. Mothers who are nursing can ensure that their little ones will not be deficient when they eat a balanced diet that includes foods that are high in vitamin C. Vitamin supplements are also an option.
Infant formula provides 8 mg of vitamin C for every 100 calories. Hipp Combiotik UK Stage 1 shows that there are 10 mg per 100 ml feed, which is about 3.4 ounces. With simple math, you can be sure that your baby is getting plenty of vitamin C each day with formula.
When your baby gets older and starts solid foods, it is important to encourage a balanced diet. They will still get plenty of calories and vitamins from breast milk or formula, but they can still take in immunity-boosting vitamins from the new foods and purees that you introduce.
In general, doctors will not recommend a vitamin C supplement for babies because they will get enough through their diet and they demonstrate that they are healthy and meeting all of their milestones. However, mothers who have a malabsorption disorder such as celiac, cystic fibrosis, or Crohn's and are nursing should consult with a pediatrician to make sure that your baby is getting all of the vitamins they need.
What are Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency?
Scurvy is a disease that is caused by vitamin C deficiency. It can be caused by the lack of vitamin C in a diet or, in rare cases, the inability to absorb the vitamin. Symptoms include:
- bleeding gums
- muscle cramps
- tiredness, fatigue, or weakness
- sores and wounds that are slow to heal
- slow physical growth
Treatment is often a diet of citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, or other foods that are high in vitamin C. Supplements are also an option. Any type of vitamin C deficiency in the United States is rare.
Can You Have Too Much Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluable vitamin. This means that your body can remove any excess in your urine and it typically does not get stored up in your body. Babies can start eating oranges around six months, but the acidity can irritate their skin and cause a rash. For that reason, some parents wait until their baby is a little older. However, if your baby or toddler loves oranges, broccoli, strawberries, or even juice that is high in vitamin C, then they are not at risk of having too much vitamin C.
Edited and reposted from November 2019