Lesson 2: Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient Deficiencies

The Problem with modern diets

The dietary habits of families have changed dramatically over the past few decades, and children now overconsume unhealthy fats and sugar, particularly saturated fats, and sweetened beverages, daily.

While our children consume more calories today, only 1/5th of children consume the suggested daily amount of fruits and vegetables, setting them up for nutritional deficiencies – despite caloric intake.

Signs of nutrient deficiency

  • Vitamin D:  Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include, poor immunity, bone pain or tenderness, dental deformities, impaired growth, increased bone fractures, muscle cramps, and skeletal deformities such as rickets. Vitamin D deficiency is very common, ask your doctor to check your child’s D levels.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E deficiency may cause impaired reflexes and coordination, difficulty walking, and weak muscles (Merck, 2019).
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays a role in collagen, carnitine, hormone, and amino acid formation. It is essential for bone and blood vessel health and wound healing and facilitates recovery from burns. (Merck, 2019)
  • Iodine:  Iodine deficiency may result in goiter, hypothyroidism, and impaired growth (Boston University School of Medicine, 2014).
  • Iron:  Overall lack of energy and fatigue. Pale appearance as hemoglobin levels drop. Nails that appear brittle, tongue that looks redder than normal and/or cracks on the side of the mouth (Cleveland Clinic, 2018)
  • Calcium:  Muscle aches, cramps, and spasms. Pain in the thighs, arms, and underarms, while moving. Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, legs, and around the mouth. (Medical News Today, 2018).
  • Zinc: Appetite loss, slower than expected growth, poor immune system function (Medical News Today).
  • Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency can cause behavioral issues, restlessness, teeth grinding, muscle tension, muscle cramps and sensitivity to noise.