Why You Must Include Zinc in Your Toddler's Diet

Here are Why You Must Include Zinc in Your Toddler's Diet

In the growing years, a toddlers’ diet must be a mix of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Zinc is one such important mineral that is crucial for a toddler’s growth and development.

In today’s article we are going to discuss how much amount of zinc is needed on a daily basis, what are the benefits of having zinc and what the food sources of zinc suitable for a toddler.


What are the benefits of zinc for a toddler?

Zinc is quite an underrated mineral when it comes to a child’s nutritional needs. No wonder that most kids have been tested with a zinc deficiency. It is a very serious paediatric problem of the developing countries. The daily amount of zinc required is actually very less but its complete absence from the diet can be unhealthy for your toddler.

A small amount of zinc is favourable to your toddler’s health:


  • Zinc is needed for normal physical growth and the development of reproductive organs in the body. It has been found that child with a zinc deficit often has stunted growth.


  • Zinc improves the immune system of the body protecting from infections and illnesses. It helps the body to fight common flu, cold and cough and also diseases like malaria


  • Zinc deficiency can lead to weak memory, slow cognitive development, impaired learning abilities and reduces focus.


  • Inadequate zinc leads to diarrhea in children


  • Zinc is a very important nutrient addition to treat ADHD, tinnitus, down syndrome and Alzheimer’s


  • Zinc also treats eye diseases, childhood asthma, and diabetes.


  • Children play and are prone to cuts and wounds. With enough zinc in their diet, it will help in the healing of wounds fast.


How much zinc does a child need per day?

As per health experts and scientists,

1-3 years: 3 mg of zinc daily

4-8 years: 5 mg of zinc daily

Aim for an average amount of zinc to be fed over the course of a week.


Best Food Sources of Zinc for toddlers:

  • Red meat
  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dry roasted almonds
  • Mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • Almond butter
  • Cooked peas
  • Legumes and pulses
  • Beans
  • Potato with skin on
  • Shellfish
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Wholegrain cereals

Children above 2 years of age are defined as toddlers and most parents must be in the dilemma of giving shellfish to toddlers. They might want to start it after a few years. Well, there is nothing to worry about because there are a number of other food sources that have zinc content in them. Also, make sure that your child is not allergic to nuts.


Can a child have zinc overdose?

Zinc is important for your child and most certainly your child might not get adequate zinc from food sources alone. So it is important that you also give multivitamin supplements to your child fortified with zinc. However, don’t overdo the supplements as excessive zinc can cause adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headaches, and diarrhea.

Consult with your pediatrician before giving zinc supplements to your toddlers.  


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