For the majority of healthy children, taking multivitamins isn’t usually necessary if they’re growing in a normal, thriving manner. Ideally, their primary source of nutrients should come from a diverse selection of foods. Good nutritious meals and healthy snacks should give them all the essential nourishment they need to grow up healthy and strong.
While younger children tend to be picky about what they eat, it doesn’t automatically mean they have a deficiency in nutrition. Many everyday foods, such as cereal, orange juice, fruit, and milk are all fortified with key nutrients including iron, calcium, and vitamins C, D, and B. In fact, it’s likely that your child is getting enough essential vitamins and minerals just by continuing with their current diet.
What Supplements Kids Really Need
The Downside of Multivitamins
What’s more, multivitamins don’t come without some degree of risk. Giving children huge doses of vitamins and minerals can actually be toxic in some cases. Something else for parents to consider is the fact that certain vitamins can negatively interact with their child’s medications.
When to Talk to a Pediatrician
If you’re worried about whether or not your child is getting all the recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamins and minerals, talk it over with their pediatrician. In some instances, a multivitamin may be a good idea if your child has certain food allergies or chronic disorders, or if your child is on a restrictive kind of diet, such as a vegan diet. Also if they are having trouble progressing at a normal level it may be a sign of nutrition deficiency.
If your child’s pediatrician suggests you supplement their diet with a multivitamin, pick one that’s specifically created for their age group, and doesn’t give them more than 100% of the RDA of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, keep all multivitamins out of reach from your child and let them know the difference between candy and vitamins.
What They Need
No matter what, your children should be getting at least some of these vitamins and minerals every day:
• Essential fatty acids
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
Make a record if it helps you, and check labels to see how much of each is actually present in their food.
It’s important to note that even though some children take supplements, they still need a well-balanced, healthy diet along with daily exercise to ensure their health is optimized overall. Dr. Gilbert Webb MD often warns parents that there is some degree of risk relying on multivitamins and supplements during pregnancy as well, since vitamins do not actually provide real energy in the form of digestible carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and good fats. Vitamins are not a substitute for physical activity that ensures weight control and cardiovascular strength. In general, most parents feel comfortable giving their children the best nutritious diet possible, along with a quality multivitamin to ensure they remain healthy and happy.
Do your kids take any supplements?
Information Credit: St. Lukes
Guest Post written by Brooke Chaplan. Brooke is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She enjoys hiking, biking, running and blogging about many different subjects including family, home and fitness. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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