Study says children can get key vitamins, nutrients from cereals

MINNEAPOLIS The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition has released a report that said a significant number of American children and adolescents do not receive adequate amounts of calcium and another report cited that 42 percent of adolescents received a lower amount of vitamin D levels than recommended.

Some dieticians and General Mills cereal maker have said that including vitamin D- and calcium-fortified cereals in a child’s diet helps promote a healthy lifestyle.

“Maintaining adequate calcium and vitamin D intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life,” Kathleen Zelman, master of public health, registered and licensed dietician, said.

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that children ages 2 to 8 should have two cups of dairy each day. The dairy can come from cheese, fat-free milk, low-fat milk, or yogurt. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for children aged1 to 3 years is 500 milligrams of per day and they should receive 200 IUs of vitamin D, sources said. Children 4 to 8 years of age should have 800 milligrams per day and the same amount of vitamin D as younger children.

General Mills said that all of its Big G Kid cereals include 12 vitamins and minerals—including calcium and vitamin D—and each has 8 grams of whole grain in each serving. In addition, by the end of the year General Mills has committed to reducing the amount of sugar per serving in its Big G Kids products to12 grams.

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