Another form of micronutrient that is essential for growth and development during this period is the vitamin group, a family of compounds which as their name suggests, has essential roles in maintaining the health of growing tissues. In a similar way to minerals, vitamins are found in trace amounts in most foods, but despite this, are no less important than macronutrients. In fact, like minerals, vitamins help macronutrients to be metabolised properly and regulate a host of tissue functions.
The growing infant requires a daily supply of vitamins, which during weaning, can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and cereals. The more diverse the complementary foods that are chosen during these stages, the more varied will be the range of vitamins that can be provided. Breastmilk provides most vitamins, including both the water-soluble and fat-soluble varieties in an easily digested form.