Zinc is crucial for great health and development. Keep reading to learn how much zinc your child requires, the best sources, and how to avoid getting too little or too much.
Why Is Zinc Important in a Child’s Diet?
More than 70 enzymes depend upon zinc to perform their roles in food digestion and metabolic process. And children who don’t get enough zinc risk having actually stunted growth. Luckily, zinc shortages are unusual in the United States.
How Much Zinc Does Your Child Need?
- Ages 1 to 3 years: 3 milligrams (mg) daily
- Ages 4 to 8 years: 5 mg daily
Your child does not have to get the suggested day-to-day quantity of zinc every day. Instead, go for that quantity as an average over the course of a few days or a week, according to iytmed.org.
Great Sources of Zinc
Now you know the importance of Zinc for you baby. But what about best sources of the mineral for proper Zinc-included diet? Zinc can be discovered in a wide variety of foods. Here are some of the best sources of zinc:
- 1/4 cup baked beans with pork and tomato sauce: 3.3 mg
- 1 ounce cooked beef shank: 3 mg
- 1/2 medium broiled hamburger (1.5 ounces), 95% lean: 2.7 mg
- 1 ounce broiled steak: 2.6 mg
- 1/2 cup ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, fortified with 25% of DV for zinc: 2.5 mg
- 1 ounce dry roasted almonds: 1 mg
- 1/2 cup low-fat fruit yogurt: 0.8 mg
- 1 tablespoon cashew butter, no salt included: 0.8 mg
- 1 package instant oatmeal: 0.8 mg
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese: 0.8 mg
- 1/4 cup canned baked beans: 0.8 mg
- 1/4 roasted chicken leg: 0.6 mg
- 1/4 cup garbanzo beans: 0.6 mg
- 1/4 cup lentils: 0.6 mg
- 1/2 ounce Swiss cheese: 0.5 mg
- 1 tablespoon almond butter: 0.5 mg
- 1/4 cup raw tofu, prepared with calcium sulfate: 0.5 mg ( Note: Tofu varies in nutrients, depending on how it’s processed. Check the nutrient label.)
- 1/4 cup prepared peas: 0.4 mg.
- 1/4 cup lima beans: 0.4 mg.
- 1/4 skinless chicken breast: 0.4 mg.
- 1/2 ounce mozzarella or cheddar cheese: 0.4 mg.
- 1/2 cup milk: 0.4 mg.
- 1 teaspoon wheat bacterium: 0.3 mg.
The amount of zinc a food contains will differ rather, depending upon the brand name or the cut of meat, for example. Note that for extremely young children, nut butters should be very finely spread out and other foods (like beans and meats) should be mashed or cut into small pieces to avoid choking.
Kids might eat more or less than the quantities of food shown, depending upon their age and hunger. You can approximate the nutrition content accordingly.
Can Your Child Get Too Much Zinc?
It’s not most likely your child will get too much zinc from diet alone, however excessive quantities (from vitamin supplements, for example) can cause unfavorable effects, like nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. Too much zinc over the long term can cause long-term harmful effects, too.
The maximum amount considered safe by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine for children 1 to 3 years old is 7 mg. For children 4 to 8 years, it’s 12 mg. (This is called the tolerable upper consumption level or UL.)
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