Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Infant & Toddler Nutrition/Nutrition/Part 2 – Essential Vitamins: What Do They Do?

Part 2 – Essential Vitamins: What Do They Do?

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This is the second part of our two-part look at essential nutrients. Last week’s blog looked at essential minerals; this week we take a look at vitamins and what they do.

Vitamins are organic compounds we require in tiny amounts. Not to be confused with organic food and produce, chemists use the phrase organic compounds to indicate that the molecule contains carbon. So the study of organic chemistry is essentially the study of carbon chemistry.

What is a vitamin?

An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin when we cannot synthesise it in sufficient quantities in our bodies and we therefore have to obtain through our diets. So whether or not something is a “vitamin” depends on the circumstances and on the particular organism. For example, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a vitamin for humans, but not for most other animals, and biotin (vitamin H) and vitamin D are required in the human diet only in certain circumstances. Vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity and not their structure.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins are classified as water-soluble (they can dissolve in water) or fat-soluble (they can dissolve in fat). For humans there are 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C) vitamins – a total of 13. 
Water soluble vitamins need to be consumed more regularly because they are eliminated faster and are not readily stored. Urinary output is a good predictor of water-soluble vitamin consumption. Bacteria manufacture several water-soluble vitamins. 
Fat soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestines with the help of fats (lipids). They are more likely to accumulate in the body because they are harder to eliminate quickly. Excess levels of fat-soluble vitamins are more likely than with water-soluble vitamins – this condition is called hypervitaminosis. 
We know that most vitamins are involved in many different reactions, which means they have several different functions. Below is a list of vitamins, and some details we know about them:

Vitamin A

  • Chemical name – Retinol, Retinoids and Carotenoids.
  • Solubility – fat.
  • What does it do? Vitamin A has multiple functions, it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision. Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of retinal, which combines with protein opsin to form rhodopsin the light – absorbing molecule, [3] that is necessary for both low-light (scotopic vision) and color vision.
  • Deficiency disease – Night-blindness.
  • Overdose disease – Keratomalacia (degeneration of the cornea).

Vitamin B1

  • Chemical name – Thiamine.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? Thiamine is used in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine
  • Deficiency disease – detrimental neurological effects if not present in the diet. Beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Overdose disease – rare hypersensitive reactions resembling anaphylactic shock when overdose is due to injection. Drowsiness.

Vitamin B2

  • Chemical name – Riboflavin.
  • Solubility – water
  • What does it do? Vitamin B2 is required for a wide variety of cellular processes. It plays a key role in energy metabolism, and for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
  • Deficiency disease – ariboflanisosis (mouth lesions, seborrhea, and vascularization of the cornea).
  • Overdose disease – no known complications. Excess is excreted in urine.

Vitamin B3

  • Chemical name – Niacin.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? Used to increase levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) in the blood and has been found to decrease the risk of cardiovascular events modestly in a number of controlled human trials
  • Deficiency disease – pellagra.
  • Overdose disease – liver damage, skin problems, and gastrointestinal complaints, plus other problems.

Vitamin B5

  • Chemical name – Pantothenic Acid.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? Animals require pantothenic acid to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • Deficiency disease – paresthesia (tingling, pricking, or numbness of the skin with no apparent long-term physical effect).
  • Overdose disease – none reported.

Vitamin B6

  • Chemical name – Pyridoxal Phosphate (PLP).
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? PLP is a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism, including transamination, deamination, and decarboxylation. PLP also is necessary for the enzymatic reaction governing the release of glucose from glycogen.
  • Deficiency disease – anemia, peripheral neuropathy.
  • Overdose disease – nerve damage, proprioception is impaired (ability to sense stimuli within your own body is undermined).

Vitamin B7

  • Chemical name – Biotin.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. Biotin assists in various metabolic reactions involving the transfer of carbon dioxide. It may also be helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level.
  • Deficiency disease – dermatitis, enteritis.
  • Overdose disease – none reported.

Vitamin B9

  • Chemical name – Folic Acid.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? The human body needs folate to synthesize DNA and repair DNA as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological reactions. It is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as in infancy and pregnancy. Children and adults both require folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia.
  • Deficiency disease – birth defects during pregnancy, such as neural tube.
  • Overdose disease – seizure threshold possibly diminished.

Vitamin B12

  • Chemical name – Cobalamin.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? A key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Neither fungi, plants, nor animals are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea (a group of single-celled organisms) have the enzymes required for its synthesis, although many foods are a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis. B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin.
  • Deficiency disease – megaloblastic anemia (red blood cells without nucleus).
  • Overdose disease – none reported.

Vitamin C

  • Chemical name – Ascorbic Acid.
  • Solubility – water.
  • What does it do? Vitamin C is a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions, including several collagen synthesis reactions that, when dysfunctional, cause the most severe symptoms of scurvy. In animals, these reactions are especially important in wound-healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries
  • Deficiency disease – scurvy that can lead to a large number of complications.
  • Overdose disease – vitamin C megadosage – diarrhea, nausea, skin irritation, burning upon urination, depletion of the mineral copper, and higher risk of kidney stones.

Vitamin D Group

  • Chemical name – Ergocalciferol D2, Cholecalciferol D3.
  • Solubility – fat.
  • What does it do? Synthesis from exposure to sunlight, as well as intake from the diet, generally contribute to the maintenance of adequate serum concentrations
  • Deficiency disease – rickets, osteomalacia (softening of bone), recent studies indicate higher risk of some cancers.
  • Overdose disease – hypervitaminosis D (headache, weakness, disturbed digestion, increased blood pressure, and tissue calcification).

Vitamin E

  • Chemical name – Tocopherols and Tocotrienols.
  • Solubility – fat.
  • What does it do? Vitamin E has many functions: As an antioxidant; as an enzyme activity regulator; it plays a role in neurological functions and it is also involved in gene expression.
  • Deficiency disease – very rare, may include hemolytic anemia in newborn babies.
  • Overdose disease – one study reported higher risk of congestive heart failure.

Vitamin K Group

  • Chemical name – Phylloquinone K1, Menaquinones K2.
  • Solubility – fat.
  • What does it do? Needed for modification of certain proteins required for blood coagulation, and in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissue.
  • Deficiency disease – greater tendency to bleed.
  • Overdose disease – may undermine effects of warfarin (a blood thinning agent).

So, there’s quick run-through on the vitamins. The most important thing to note is that they are all provided nicely by a healthy, balanced diet of fresh foods. If you employ a little Mindful Eating from each of the five food groups, you’ll generally get all you need.

Mindful Eating

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If you are able, breastfeeding is best, as it provides the ideal nutrition for babies and has other important health benefits too. Health Professionals are well placed to provide appropriate feeding advice and support. A healthy diet during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding is important.

Introducing infant formula either partially or exclusively, may reduce the supply of breast milk. Once reduced, it is difficult to re-establish. Social and financial implications, such as preparation requirements and cost of formula until 12 months, should be considered. When using infant formula, always follow the instructions for use carefully, unnecessary or improper use may make your baby unwell.

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