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HLT 111 - Health and the Young Child - Textbook

Chapter 11: Nutrients that Promote Growth and Regulate Body Functions (Vitamins, Minerals and Water)‚Äč

Chapter Objectives

     At the conclusion of this chapter, students will be able to

  1. Identify fat soluble and water soluble vitamins
  2. Describe the role of vitamins in regulations of growth and body functions
  3. Describe the role of minerals in regulation of various body functions
  4.  Describe water and mineral balance and the health consequences of excesses and deficiencies of some of the minerals, vitamins.



Vitamins are organic compounds obtained mostly from outside the body. Vitamins do not provide energy. There are two broad categories of vitamins:

  • Fat soluble: Dissolve in lipids, can be stored, not needed daily (e.g., vitamins A, D, E, K)
  • Water soluble: Dissolve in water, absorbed into bloodstream immediately, needed daily

Fruits, dark leafy vegetables and animal products are good sources of vitamins.  Deficiencies in vitamins may lead to specific diseases. For example rickets (vitamin D deficiency), scurvy ( vitamin C deficiency), anemia ( folic acid deficiency), night blindness ( vitamin A deficiency).

Minerals are inorganic compounds not synthesized by the body; They are needed in very small quantities but possibly essential. Minerals are important for biochemical processes and formation of cells and tissues. Both plant and animal products are good sources of minerals. Deficiencies in minerals are associated with specific diseases. For example,  anemia (Iron deficiency), goiter (iodine deficiency), and bone and teeth conditions ( calcium deficiency).


Water is  the main component of the body (60 percent of body mass) . Water is needed for digestion, absorption, and other body functions. Water is regularly lost through sweating, excretion, and breathing

  • Approximately 1,000 ml (4−8 cups) needed each day. Inadequate fluid intake or excessive fluid loss as in diarrhea leads to dehydration. Excess water or fluid intake, especially in the young child may cause over hydration or water intoxication.

Chapter Review and Discussion Questions

Chapter Review

  1. Identify fat soluble and water soluble vitamins.
  2. Describe the characteristics of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins
  3. Describe the role of vitamins in energy metabolism, bone growth, blood formation, and neuromuscular function
  4. Identify common minerals and trace elements required for health bodily functions
  5. Describe the importance of fluid balance for health bodily functions.