If you have a child who is a fussy eater, they may be low in zinc. Low zinc levels, in turn, affect the sense of taste and smell, which can then create further problems with appetite.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is involved in the function of every cell in the body. It is important for the health of the immune system, healing of damaged tissues (in particular, hair & skin – think eczema, acne, hair loss conditions like alopecia etc). It is also involved in healthy mental function, growth and development, and hormonal balance.
Good food sources of zinc include animal protein (especially oysters and shellfish), nuts, seeds, mushrooms and green beans.
If you think your child may have a zinc deficiency that is affecting their health, please don’t simply self-prescribe a zinc supplement. Have your child assessed by a qualified naturopath or nutritional medicine practitioner. Zinc taken in large quantities/over a long period of time can be dangerous, and can lead to deficiencies of other minerals. Also, some forms of zinc supplements have poor bio-availability (ie. they are not absorbed or utilised by the body very easily) so getting an effective zinc supplement is crucial.