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Family Nutrition

Get an A+ Better

Vitamin A helps maintain healthy eyes, skin, teeth, and bones. It’s also essential for renewing and dividing cells, making it a key player in keeping our immune systems strong. Be sure you and your family are getting the right amount of this essential vitamin – but not too much!

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found naturally in two sources: preformed retinoids (found in animal sources like liver, kidney, eggs and dairy) and carotenoids or provitamin A (found in dark/yellow vegetables and carrots). Your body doesn’t need much vitamin A, and too much, especially from supplements, can be toxic. The best way to get an A is the natural way: eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Natural Sources of Vitamin A
Try to include at least one serving of the following foods in your family’s daily routine to be sure everyone’s getting their A.
•    Eggs
•    Milk
•    Fortified whole-grain cereals
•    Carrots
•    Sweet potatoes
•    Pumpkin/winter squash
•    Red bell pepper
•    Spinach
•    Cantaloupe
•    Mango
•    Broccoli

Multivitamin MustsBe sure daily multivitamins for kids and adults contain no more than 2,500–3,000 IUs of vitamin A – and that it’s in the form of beta carotene (from plants). Your body regulates its supply of plant-based A (provitamin A) by absorbing it slowly and flushing out any excess before it becomes harmful. But other types of A (from animal sources and some supplements) can build up in your system and become toxic. It’s best to limit these types of A (also called preformed or retinol A).

Like so many other nutritional musts – your family is best served by whole, fresh fruits and vegetables and a smart daily multivitamin. Make the simple Glazed Mini Carrots recipe for dinner tonight, and your family will be A-OK!

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