Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Children

You might be supplementing your diet with apple cider vinegar to improve your health and well-being and may wonder if it would benefit your children as well. While the sour condiment does offer health benefits, you may not want to use it as a supplement for your children, but instead make it a part of their diet.

Use apple cider vinegar to sweeten up a salad. Credit: Dave & Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images

Calorie-Free Condiment

Like adults, children are also struggling with their weight. More than 30 percent of children in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finding ways to save calories here and there without making your child feel deprived is a win-win, which is why apple cider vinegar makes a good choice for children. It adds flavor to your child's food but doesn't add any calories.

Rich in Antioxidants

Apple cider vinegar is rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidants. Antioxidants in food offer some protection against cell damage by free radicals, and people who get more food sources of antioxidants in their diet have lower rates of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. By adding antioxidant-rich apple cider vinegar to your child's diet, you may be protecting him from future illnesses.

Some Health Concerns

There's a connection between the use of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and food poisoning. Food poisoning in children is especially dangerous since their immune system is just developing. To limit risk, purchase only pasteurized apple cider vinegar.

A 2012 article published in the Dutch Journal of Dentistry reports on a case of tooth erosion after chronic use of apple cider vinegar as a supplement. It's important to protect your child's teeth to prevent tooth decay and dental problems as they get older. Using the vinegar as food instead of as a supplement may help prevent some of the effects on your child's teeth.

Tips for Use

Apple cider vinegar makes a good base for any homemade salad dressing, or you can use it by itself to add flavor to your child's salad at meals. You can also make a sweet and sour fruit salad with the vinegar, tossing it with sliced strawberries, watermelon and whatever other fruit you might have in the house. The vinegar also makes a good marinade for meats, such as chicken and beef, which you can then use to make a fun meat and veggie kebab.

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