Signs That Your Child Is Deficient in Micronutrients: Expert Explains Causes and Treatment

Micronutrient Deficiencies in Children: Recognizing Symptoms, Causes, and Remedies

Signs That Your Child Is Deficient Of Micronutrients: Expert Explains Causes And Treatment
Signs That Your Child Is Deficient Of Micronutrients: Expert Explains Causes And Treatment

Ensuring children receive adequate nutrition is vital for their growth and development. Unfortunately, improper diet and unhealthy eating habits can lead to micronutrient deficiencies in many youngsters. To gain a deeper understanding of this issue, let’s delve into the topic with Dr. Vaidehi Dande, a Pediatrician at Care For You Clinic in Mumbai.

Indicators of Micronutrient Deficiency in Children

Dr. Dande, in discussing the signs of micronutrient deficiency in children, stated, “These signs can range from subtle symptoms such as fatigue, reduced appetite, and frequent infections, to more severe manifestations like poor growth and deficiency-related diseases such as rickets, scurvy, and anemia. These diseases can present with symptoms like fractures, bone deformities, night blindness, and gum bleeding, among others.”

What are micronutrients

What are micronutrients? 


According to Dr. Dande, our bodies require certain nutrients in very small quantities to support normal bodily functions. These essential nutrients are referred to as micronutrients and are commonly known as minerals and vitamins. Examples of micronutrients include iron, iodine, magnesium, fluorine, as well as vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and B complex vitamins.

Micronutrient Deficiency

Insufficient intake of micronutrients can result in inadequate physical and mental growth and development.

Dr. Dande elucidated the impact of micronutrient deficiency on children, stating, “Initially, the body depletes its stores of essential nutrients to maintain normal functioning, known as subclinical deficiency, during which the child may not exhibit any symptoms. However, if the deficiency persists over time, signs of deficiency will begin to appear. The symptoms vary depending on the specific micronutrient deficiency.”

Types of Micronutrient Deficiency: Common Deficiencies in Children

Types of Micronutrient Deficiency: Common Deficiencies in Children

Types of Micronutrient Deficiencies in Children, as listed by Dr. Dande:

1. Vitamin D Deficiency: Early symptoms may include aches and pains in older children, delayed motor development, and delayed eruption of teeth in infants. Severe deficiency can lead to symptoms such as seizures in infancy and bony deformities later on. It also increases the risk of wheezing and asthma requiring hospitalization.

2. Iron Deficiency: Dr. Dande notes that iron deficiency is highly prevalent in India. This deficiency results in a lack of red blood cells, leading to symptoms such as poor appetite, decreased concentration, weakness, fatigue, pica (craving to eat non-food items like mud), delayed development, and tremors. Severe deficiency can cause low oxygen levels and heart failure.

3. Vitamin A Deficiency: Insufficient vitamin A can result in night blindness, corneal injury, and increased susceptibility to lung and respiratory infections.

Preventing Micronutrient Deficiency in Children

Prevention During Pregnancy:

Preventing micronutrient deficiency begins with ensuring a nutrient-rich diet from an early age, even before conception. It’s crucial to ensure that expectant mothers or those planning pregnancy are nutritionally adequate to prevent early micronutrient deficiency in their future child.

Iron and folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy for at least three months is essential for protecting the unborn baby for the initial 4-6 months. Home-cooked meals should be balanced and include a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.

What Should a Food Plate Consist of

What Should a Food Plate Consist of?

As per guidelines, 25% of a food plate should consist of fruits and vegetables. It’s recommended to avoid excessive reliance on multivitamin supplements. Some foods and oils are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, such as iodized salt, which helps prevent iodine deficiency.

What to Avoid:

Another crucial point is not to associate specific foods with illnesses. It’s a common misconception to avoid fruits like bananas and sour fruits, as well as coconut water, during colds or to prevent colds and coughs. Similarly, some foods are considered too “hot” to consume during summer, such as eggs.


Dr. Dande concluded, “In my practice, I have witnessed extreme cases of nutritional deprivation due to the misconception that certain foods cause illness. Paradoxically, this misconception leads to micronutrient deficiency, increasing susceptibility to infections.”