Do your kids hate green vegetables and only feed them organic bread? Chances are they might be folate deficient.
Folate (natural form of B9 found in foods) or folic acid (synthetic form of vitamins B9), is best known for being essential when planning for a baby and during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. The vitamin, in my opinion, does get enough credit beyond baby making.
Folate is essential for growth and in childhood. Folate helps to make DNA, form red blood cells and for the growth and repair of tissues. Folate deficiency in children can cause haemological changes such as megaloblastic anaemia and have consequences for their growth, as well as cognition (WHO). Some studies have reported lower scores in schoolchildren with low folate status.
Folate deficiency in the past was such a significant public health issue, that in Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) implemented mandatory folic acid fortification to floured use to make commercial breads, organic flour being exempt. Three slices of fortified bread contain approximately 120 micrograms of folic acid.
Clinically, I see many families who opt to eat organic produce and for good reason (read more about organic and ADHD here), and some family’s choosing to go gluten or grain free. All which can be justifiable decisions, based on your individual family’s needs and health concerns.
Often what isn’t thought of though is the folate requirements of the family, particularly women of childbearing age and young children. Aside from fortified grain products, beef liver, spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus and brussels sprouts are among some of the richest naturally source of folate. What’s that? Slim chance your fussy child will eat any of those. I get it!
That’s why I added follinic acid, an activated form of folic acid into I’M CALM + FOCUSED. The recommend daily intake of folate in children is; 150 mcg for children aged 1-3 years, 200 mcg for 4-9-year old’s and 300 mcg for 9-13-year old’s. One delicious chewable of I’M CALM + FOCUSED contains 50 mcg of follinic acid. The suggested dose for 3-9-year old’s is 2 chewable’s daily and 9+, 3 daily. This can give you peace of mind that your child’s folate requirements are being met each day.