I am excited to share today’s post, because I daily give gummy multi-vitamins to my kids and often wonder if it is enough, or if it is needed. Find out what my guest poster has to say about it all, and answer me: Do you give your children vitamins or supplements? And which kind?
Vitamins Your Kids Should Be Taking
Many parents wonder if their children should be taking vitamins regularly – both multi-vitamins and supplements; however, the answer isn’t always so cut-and-dry.
It can also be difficult for parents to determine what type of vitamins to give their children, as there are more than a handful of brands and types on the market aimed specifically at kids.
If you’re not sure whether your child needs to be taking vitamins, you’re not alone. The best way to find out what’s right for your child is to learn why they might need to be taking vitamins.
One of the most common reasons children are given vitamins is to supplement foods that they either will not or can’t eat. For example, if your child has specific allergies, making sure they get the nutrients they need without eating certain foods is a task that is commonly left to supplements.
Dietary restrictions, like veganism or vegetarianism, can also be a concern for many parents. While it is possible for children to get all of the vitamins and minerals they need through a diet that doesn’t include any animal products, it often requires diligence on the parent’s part. In many cases, parents turn to supplements to simply make sure their child is getting enough of the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and stay healthy.
The Multi-Vitamin Debate
The American Academy of Pediatrics claims that children who eat a healthy, well-balanced diet likely don’t need multivitamins to get their full nutritional needs; however, many doctors will tell you that giving a child a multivitamin can’t hurt, even if they routinely eat well and don’t seem to have any deficiencies in their diet.
Whether or not to give your child a regular multivitamin can be difficult to decide. Children that are picky eaters or refuse to eat certain foods – often ones kids just don’t like – should be taking a multivitamin to ensure that they get everything they need.
If you have a child that isn’t a picky eater and you still want to give them that extra boost that multivitamins offer, look for ones designed for general kid’s health. While many vitamins and minerals are water-soluble, taking too much of certain vitamins can be damaging to your child’s health, therefore, be sure to speak with your doctor to find out which vitamins he or she recommends for your child.
Growing children can develop health issues if they don’t get all of the proper vitamins that they need. While all vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health, some vitamins are particularly important for kids.
Vitamin D is commonly found in milk and dairy products – and it’s something most children get enough of through their diet; however, if your child doesn’t eat dairy because of a particular dietary restriction, vitamin D supplementation could be necessary.
Typically, children who don’t get enough vitamin D in their diet can take up to 400 IU daily of vitamin D.
Most children get enough vitamin A to meet their nutritional needs, but if they don’t eat their leafy greens or carrots, they may have a deficiency. Without proper vitamin A intake, children can develop eye problems later in life and may be more susceptible to illness and skin problems.
If you think your child isn’t getting their daily dose of vitamin A, a supplement may be necessary; however, vitamin A is not water-soluble, therefore, you’ll need to talk with your child’s pediatrician before giving them vitamin A supplements.
What Type of Vitamins are Right For Children?
If you’ve ever been shopping for multivitamins for kids, you know there are a million choices. Typically, any multivitamin that doesn’t contain unnecessary filler ingredients and is recommended for your child’s age group should be adequate.
Younger children often prefer gummy vitamins, but those often do not contain iron or calcium. If your child specifically requires more of these vitamins, you may need to pick a chewable vitamin instead of a gummy vitamin.
Generally, older children and teens are able to take vitamins that they swallow, just like adults.
Whether or not your child should take vitamins really depends on their diet and general health. A basic multivitamin should not pose any threats to your child’s health, but you should always check with your child’s doctor first, especially if your child is taking any prescription medications.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer and mother of three in the Los Angeles area. In addition to giving her children a well-balanced nutrition, she also encourages them to exercise by having them join her in her daily yoga sessions.