Choline for Children
Choline, a member of the B-vitamin family, is considered important for brain health and development, as well as nervous system health. Humans need choline at all stages of life, from newborn to adult, and it is necessary for normal cell function.
In children, and especially in infants, choline is essential for brain and memory development. Choline is also linked to heart health, breast cancer prevention and lowering rates of dementia. Choline is important during fetal brain development, where it can influence lifelong memory and learning.
Children can receive choline through the foods they eat. Eggs, spinach, soybeans and beef are good sources. It is important for breastfeeding mothers to consume enough choline as infants receive it in breastmilk. Many types of infant formula and some children’s vitamins also contain choline.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, infants from newborn to 5 months old require 125 milligrams of choline every day, while infants ages 6 to 12 months need 150 milligrams. Children ages 1 to 3 years need 200 milligrams daily, and ages 4 to 8 years need 250 milligrams daily.