Healthy Kids, Happy Kids: The Importance of Vitamin C in Your Child's Diet

Healthy Kids, Happy Kids: The Importance of Vitamin C in Your Child's Diet

Ensuring kids receive the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and well-being is more important than ever. Vitamin C is crucial in iron absorption, promoting healthy skin and bones and supporting the immune system. Understanding the significance of vitamin C in your child's diet can help them thrive and stay happy and healthy.

Why Vitamin C is Crucial for Children

A myriad of factors influence children's health and well-being, including genetic predispositions and external elements like nutrition, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients kids require. It plays a critical role in physiological processes in the body, making it indispensable in supporting kids’ growth, development, and immune systems.

Forming and Repairing Red Blood Cells, Bones and Tissues

Vitamin C is crucial for absorbing non-heme iron from plant-based foods such as grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The iron absorbed is essential for red blood cell production and efficient oxygen transport throughout the body, ensuring proper growth and development. Additionally, Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis, a protein that provides structure and integrity to bones, soft tissues, skin, and blood vessels. This is important for maintaining healthy gums and robust blood vessels in children, improving oral health, reducing the likelihood of bruising, and aiding in wound healing.

Boosting immune system 

Vitamin C plays a key role in strengthening the body's immune system by supporting collagen synthesis and reinforcing epithelial barriers such as the skin and mucous membranes. These barriers are essential for protecting the body from pathogens and maintaining immune function. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C neutralises harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during immune responses, maintaining the balance between oxidants and antioxidants and supporting optimal immune function. Vitamin C enhances the movement and activity of white blood cells, including phagocytes and lymphocytes, which are critical for fighting infections and clearing pathogens from the body.

Recommended Vitamin C Intake for Kids and Toddlers

Ensuring adequate vitamin C intake is paramount for kids' growth, development, and overall health. However, it's crucial to recognise that the amount of vitamin C needed varies across different age groups:

Age group

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Vitamin C

Toddlers 1–3 years old

15 mg

Kids 4–8 years old

25 mg

In children, several factors can influence the absorption and utilisation of vitamin C:

  • Dietary intake: Since vitamin C isn't stored in the body, children must obtain it from their diet. Those who consume fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are more likely to meet their daily requirements.
  • Gastrointestinal health: The health of a child's gastrointestinal tract plays a crucial role in vitamin C absorption. Children with gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease may have impaired vitamin C absorption.
  • Cooking methods: Food preparation can affect the amount of vitamin C available for absorption. Eating vitamin C-rich foods raw preserves their vitamin content, as heat exposure during cooking can destroy vitamin C. However, steaming or microwaving foods can help minimise these losses.

Sources of Vitamin C

When considering foods rich in vitamin C, the first thing that comes to mind is probably oranges. However, many fruits and vegetables, particularly those in vibrant red and orange hues, are also excellent sources of vitamin C. While consuming these foods raw is optimal for maximising vitamin C intake, cooking methods like steaming or microwaving can also help retain their vitamin content. Here are some vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables to add to your kids' meals:

Fruits and Vegetables

Vitamin C content per serving 

Red peppers (raw, ½ cup)

95 mg

Orange juice (¾ cup)

93 mg

Orange (1 medium)

70 mg

Kiwifruit (1 medium)

64 mg

Broccoli (cooked, ½ cup)

51 mg

Strawberries (sliced, ½ cup)

49 mg

Grapefruit (½ medium)

39 mg

Cabbage (cooked, ½ cup)

28 mg 

Cauliflower (raw, ½ cup)

26 mg

Potato (baked, 1 medium)

17 mg

Tomato (raw, 1 medium)

17 mg

Spinach (cooked, ½ cup)

9 mg

Preventing Deficiency and Excess

Due to its crucial role in numerous physiological functions, inadequate intake of vitamin C results in various adverse symptoms such as:

  • Bleeding gums 
  • Easy bruising
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Joint and muscle aches

In extreme cases, severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, resulting in more serious symptoms like corkscrew hairs and bleeding around hair follicles.

Fortunately, vitamin C deficiency is rare as most children have access to a wide variety of foods rich in vitamin C. However, certain groups of children are still at higher risk of vitamin C deficiency:

  • Picky eaters: Kids who consistently avoid foods rich in vitamin C do not meet the daily recommended vitamin C intake.
  • Kids exposed to secondhand smoke: Secondhand smoke increases oxidative stress in children, which means that the amount of harmful molecules in their bodies exceeds what they can neutralise. This reduces the levels of vitamin C in their bodies. 
  • Kids with certain medical conditions: Certain medical conditions or diseases, such as gastrointestinal disorders or malabsorption syndromes, may impair the absorption and utilisation of vitamin C, increasing the risk of deficiency.
  • Kids who drink evaporated and boiled milk: Compared to kids fed breastmilk and infant formula enriched with vitamin C, kids fed evaporated or boiled cow’s milk are at a greater risk of developing vitamin C deficiency. Cow’s milk does not contain much vitamin C, and vitamin C is destroyed by heat.

To prevent vitamin C deficiency, parents should

  • Ensure that the children’s meals include a variety of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. Examples include citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli. The table above provides a comprehensive list of vitamin C-rich foods and their respective vitamin C content per serving. 
  • Offer creative and appealing presentations of fruits and vegetables: This can help encourage picky eaters to eat more vitamin C-rich foods. 
  • Minimise exposure to secondhand smoke: This is important for overall health and reduces the risk of vitamin C deficiency in susceptible children. 
  • Consult healthcare professionals: It is essential for kids with medical conditions to consult with healthcare professionals to determine appropriate strategies for managing their condition while ensuring adequate vitamin C intake.

By promoting a nutritious diet and minimising exposure to risk factors, parents can help safeguard their children's health and reduce the likelihood of vitamin C deficiency and its associated complications.

While vitamin C is essential for good health and is generally safe, excessive intake can also lead to adverse effects. Large amounts of unabsorbed vitamin C draw water into the gastrointestinal tract, increasing the pressure and amount of fluids in the intestines, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Other gastrointestinal discomforts

To avoid an excess of vitamin C, it is essential to follow recommended dosage guidelines for supplements and to be mindful of total vitamin C intake from both food and supplements.

By promoting a balanced diet and mindful supplementation, parents can help ensure their children receive adequate vitamin C to support their health and well-being while minimising the risk of deficiency or excess.

Addressing Concerns and Special Cases

Parents can refer to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which provides valuable guidelines regarding vitamin supplement usage for children. The AAP believes that children with a nutritious and balanced diet typically do not require additional vitamin supplements beyond the recommended dietary allowances.

Parents concerned about their children's vitamin C intake or suspect a deficiency should seek guidance from a paediatrician. Paediatricians can assess the children’s dietary habits, overall health, and potential risk factors to determine if additional supplementation is necessary.

Ensuring Access to Quality Vitamin C Products

At Glovida-RX, we understand the importance of ensuring your children’s health and well-being. That's why we offer a wide range of quality vitamin C supplements designed specifically for kids. With Glovida-RX, you can enjoy the convenience of shopping for quality vitamin C products from the comfort of your home. Experience peace of mind and convenience when you choose Glovida-Rx for your children's vitamin C needs. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) Vitamin C Products at Glovida-RX

Immunped Syrup 100ml - Patented Zinc + Vitamin C [Upsized Version]

Immunped - Patented Zinc + Vitamin C combines ZincPlus® and TasteRite® technologies, offering a unique blend of vitamin C and zinc components. This PediaTech® patented syrup boosts children’s immune systems, reduces the duration of colds, and decreases the incidence of pneumonia. Designed with kids in mind, this syrup features a delightful apple flavour, eliminating the typical astringency associated with Zinc.

Enervon-C Kidz Multivitamin Syrup 120ml

Enervon-C Kidz Syrup Multivitamin Syrup is formulated with vitamin C and vitamin B complexes, which are crucial for energy production in the mind and body and enhance children’s metabolism. This is particularly beneficial for growing kids as it boosts their resilience and helps to prevent common ailments such as colds and flu.

Sambucol Kids Black Elderberry Immune Defence Gummies 50's

Specially designed for children, Sambucol Kids Black Elderberry Immune Defence Gummies are a delightful way to ensure kids effortlessly receive their daily vitamin C intake. With black elderberry as its vital ingredient, each gummy is enriched with vitamin C and zinc, providing kids with excellent year-round immune system reinforcement. Consistent consumption has also been shown to reduce the frequency of colds and flu.

Ease-A-Cold Kids Cold & Flu Chewable Tablets 24's

Containing a blend of vitamin C, Black Elderberry, Echinacea, Zinc, and bioflavonoids, Ease a Cold Kids Cold & Flu chewable tablets not only reduce the duration of common colds and ease symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and congestion, they also bolster children’s overall immunity.


From supporting immune function to promoting overall growth and development, vitamin C plays a vital role in ensuring the well-being of our little ones. As parents, it is essential to prioritise children's nutritional needs, ensuring that they receive adequate vitamin C intake. While parents can incorporate vitamin C-rich foods into their diet and consider supplements when necessary, it is important to remember that every child is unique, and their nutritional requirements may vary. Therefore, parents should seek guidance from healthcare professionals for personalised advice tailored to their child's specific needs if required.

If you have further enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Pharmacists at Glovida-Rx for recommendations on suitable vitamin C products for your kids. You can reach us via WhatsApp at +65 8101 5555 for a free Pharmacist consultation!


American Academy of Pediatricians. (2022, August). Where We Stand: Vitamin Supplements for Children.

Gordon, B. L., Galati, J., Yang, S., Katz, P. O., & Scherl, E. (2020). Vitamin C deficiency: an Under-Recognized condition in Crohn’s Disease. ACG Case Reports Journal, 7(7), e00424.

Maggini, S., Wenzlaff, S., & Hornig, D. (2010). Essential role of vitamin C and zinc in child immunity and health. Journal of International Medical Research, 38(2), 386–414.

Maxfield, L., Daley, S. F., & Crane, J. S. (2023, November 12). Vitamin C deficiency. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf.

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (n.d.). Vitamin C fact sheet for health professionals.

SingHealth. (n.d.). Vitamin C: Best Food Sources, Why You Need It, and More - HealthXchange.
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