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/The Importance of Vitamin A in a Child’s Diet

The Importance of Vitamin A in a Child’s Diet

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We all know that vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in the health and development of our children. They’re essential organic compounds that our bodies use for a variety of metabolic purposes, and the best ways to get them are through a healthy and varied diet.

Vitamin A is one of these all-important vitamins, as it plays a critical role in vision and bone growth, as well as protecting the body from infections. Vitamin A promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body, particularly those in the hair, nails and skin, and plays a role in gene transcription, embryonic development and reproduction, antioxidant activity, and the formation of blood cellular components.

How much vitamin A does your child need?

The two most common sources of vitamin A are retinol and beta-carotene.

Retinol is sometimes called “true” vitamin A, because it is nearly ready for the body to use. It’s found in animal foods such as liver, eggs, and fatty fish, as well as fortified foods such as cereals.

Beta-carotene is a precursor for vitamin A. The body needs to convert it to retinol or vitamin A for use. It is found naturally in most orange and dark green food plants, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes and kale.

The body stores both retinol and beta-carotene in the liver, drawing on this store whenever more vitamin A is needed.

These figures from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne outline how much Vitamin A is required by your child.

InfantsGenderAdequate Intake
0-6 monthsAll250 mcg/day of retinol
7-12 monthsAll430 mcg/day of retinol equivalents
Children + adolescentsGenderEAR as RERDI as RE
1-3 yearsAll210 mcg/day300 mcg/day
4-8 yearsAll275 mcg/day400 mcg/day
9-13 yearsGirls420 mcg/day600 mcg/day
9-13 yearsBoys445 mcg/day600 mcg/day
14-18 yearsGirls485 mcg/day700 mcg/day
14-18 yearsBoys630 mcg/day900 mcg/day

Note: The Adequate Intake (AI) is used when no EAR or RDI is available and is based on observed/experimental intakes.

The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) reflects the estimated median requirements.

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) meets or exceeds the requirements for 97.5% of the population.

RE = retinol equivalents.

Vitamin A for vision

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Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. It’s involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication, with a particular focus being on the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and vision.

As an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that absorbs light in the retinal receptors, vitamin A is crucial to vision because it supports the normal differentiation and functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea. Without it, children can develop xerophthalmia, a medical condition in which the eye fails to produce tears.

When a vitamin A deficiency causes xerophthalmia, it begins with night blindness and conjunctival xerosis (dryness of the eye membranes), progresses to corneal xerosis (dryness of the cornea), and in its late stages develops into keratomalacia (softening of the cornea). Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and ranges from artificial tears and ointments to plugging of the tear ducts.

Without treatment, children run the risk of blindness. It is estimated that 250,000 to 500,000 malnourished children worldwide become blind each year due to vitamin A deficiency.

The good news is that vitamin A deficiency is rare in Australia, with most cases being restricted to developing countries and areas of extreme poverty. This is due to limited access to foods containing preformed vitamin A from animal-based sources.

Learn how to support children with vitamin A deficiencies in developing countries.

Vitamin A for immunity

Vitamin A has received strong attention in recent years due to its effect on the immune response. Exposure to vitamin A in the womb influences immune system development and promotes a lifelong ability to fight infections.

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage caused by oxidation. This protection helps prevent degenerative diseases, fight off illness and help maintain skin, soft tissue and mucous membranes. It works by increasing the concentrations of certain proteins that are vital for T-cell production, the white blood cells that leap onto foreign bodies and destroy them.

A vitamin A deficiency can result in increased risk of illness and childhood infections such as measles and diarrhoea. Combining the administration of vitamin A supplements with immunisation services has become an important part of saving lives in developing countries and the eradication of poliomyelitis, according to the World Health Organisation.

What are the best sources of vitamin A?

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Foods rich in retinol include:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Liver
  • Fermented cod liver oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Whole milk.

Foods rich in beta-carotene include:

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Butternut squash
  • Kale
  • Green peas
  • Seaweed
  • Tomatoes
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Fortified oatmeal
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya.

This information has been provided as general advice only. If you are at all concerned about your child’s dietary intake, please speak with your paediatrician, GP, or registered medical health professional.

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Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.