DISCUSSION WITH JULIE PARMAR, OWNER AND FOUNDER OF VEGETARIAN NATURALS®
Every parent wants the best for their child’s health, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is so important for growth and development. But let’s be honest…how many of our kids do that every day, if ever?
Regardless of your child’s eating habits, a multivitamin is a tried and true way to make sure they’re getting enough of the essential vitamins and minerals they need every day.
Breakfast cereals advertise that they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. Sports drinks claim they can rev up your flagging energy with a jolt of vitamins or minerals (sorry, but even powerful vitamins and minerals can’t act that fast!). You know vitamins and minerals are good for you. But which ones does your body really need? And is it possible to get too much of a good thing?
Recently had the pleasure of speaking with Julie Ann Parmar, the Owner and founder of Vegetarian Naturals. Julie takes all of her jobs serious. And like many of us Women Owned Business leaders her first job, takes 24 hours a day 365 days a year to do. Being a great Mom! Being a great mom doesn’t mean spoiling your children all the time, but it does mean you want to achieve health & wellness through nutrition for your children, right! Being a vegetarian family, a daily supplement was important to achieve a balance nutritional program for her children.
Julie, can you tell me what are vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins and minerals make people’s bodies work properly. Although you get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat every day, some foods have more vitamins and minerals than others.
Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins — A, D, E, and K — dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. The water-soluble vitamins — C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate) — need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. Because of this, your body can’t store these vitamins. Any vitamin C or B that your body doesn’t use as it passes through your system is lost (mostly when you pee). So, you need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.
Whereas vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals), minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Your body needs larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you only need very small amounts of them each day.
Julie can you tell us what do Vitamins and Minerals do?
Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs. For example, you’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes. It’s true! Carrots are full of substances called carotenoids that your body converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent eye problems.
Another vitamin, vitamin K, helps blood to clot (so cuts and scrapes stop bleeding quickly). You’ll find vitamin K in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soybeans. And to have strong bones, you need to eat foods such as milk, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables, which are rich in the mineral calcium.
Why is it important for children to take Vitamins?
Children go through a lot of physical changes and growth spurts. Eating right during this time is especially important because the body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to grow, develop, and stay healthy.
Eating a variety of foods is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need each day, as well as the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and calories. Whole or unprocessed foods — like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, and poultry — are the best choices for providing the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and grow properly.
It’s OK to eat foods like potato chips and cookies once in a while, but you don’t want to overdo high-calorie foods like these that offer little nutritionally.
To choose healthy foods, check food labels and pick items that are high in vitamins and minerals. For example, if you’re choosing beverages, you’ll find that a glass of milk is a good source of vitamin D and the minerals calcium, phosphorous, and potassium. A glass of soda, on the other hand, doesn’t have any vitamins or minerals.
You can also satisfy your taste buds without sacrificing nutrition while eating out: Vegetable pizzas or fajitas, sandwiches with lean cuts of meat, fresh salads, and baked potatoes are just a few delicious, nutritious choices.
If you’re a vegetarian, like our family, you’ll need to plan carefully for a diet that offers the vitamins and minerals found primarily in meats. The best sources for the minerals zinc and iron are meats, fish, and poultry. However, you can get zinc and iron in dried beans, seeds, nuts, and leafy green vegetables like kale.
Vitamin B12, which is important for manufacturing red blood cells, is not found in plant foods. If you don’t eat meat, you can find vitamin B12 in eggs, milk and other dairy foods, and fortified breakfast cereals. Vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products at all, including dairy products) may need to take vitamin supplements.
Here are 5 simple reasons you should give your child a multivitamin:
- Gaps be gone! A multivitamin supplement is just that – a way to “supplement” your child’s diet and fill any potential nutritional gaps. A nutritional gap is a shortage of any one vitamin or mineral and can affect optimal health. All types of eaters, from the pickiest of the picky to the bottomless pits may have some nutritional gaps and can benefit from the daily nutrition provided by a multivitamin.