Do kids need vitamins, or should I give my child vitamins? There is no doubt that it’s crucial for kids to get enough vitamins in their diet, but do we actually need to give them vitamin supplements to fill in the nutritional gaps?So, what is a nutritional gap? A nutritional gap is a deficiency of vitamins or minerals that can affect optimal health. A supplement is a way to “supplement” your child’s diet and fill any potential nutritional gaps. Everyone wants their children to be healthy, energetic and happy. But sometimes, that end goal can feel overwhelming!Most pediatricians agree that a parent’s first line of defence should be a healthy diet. Given the reality of time-crunched parents, those freshly home-cooked meals aren’t always achievable.
So, we need first to know: What Nutrients Do Kids Need?
Good nutrition starts by introducing a wide variety of fresh, whole foods as much as possible. You can spread the variety of foods into small meals and snacks throughout the day. Your kids should get their vitamins from a healthy, balanced diet that includes the following:
Plenty of green vegetables, fresh fruits, and leafy,
Dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and milk.
Protein like meat, chicken, eggs, and fish
Whole grains like brown rice and steel-cut oats and
For all what we mentioned of being hard to achieve those nutrients goal, it’s why some pediatricians may recommend a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement under certain circumstances like:
Children with celiac or inflammatory bowel diseases may have difficulty absorbing several vitamins and minerals, especially iron, zinc and vitamin D. This is because these diseases cause damage to the areas of the gut that absorb micronutrients.
Children on a dairy-free diet (they may need a calcium supplement), others on a vegetarian diet (they may need an iron supplement), or other restricted diets.
Kids eat a lot of convenience food, fast food, and processed food.
Children who drink a lot of sodas can wash away vitamins and minerals from their bodies.
Children who aren’t eating well-balanced, regular meals made from fresh, whole foods
Fussy eaters who simply aren’t eating enough.
If you decide to go with some vitamins supplement for your kids, below are some experts’ tips for a successful go!1- Always keep in mind to talk with your doctor about how much and what sources of supplements are right for your child.2- Pediatricians don’t recommend gummy vitamins as it is not good for kids’ teeth but if you decide to go with them to attract your kids, just be sure to have them brush and floss their teeth well.3- You’ll have to be cautious that your young kids mistake these for candy and ingest too much from them.4‑Be sure to talk with your kid’s doctor before starting a supplement if your child is on any kind of medication.So, now we all know that kids require an amount from pretty much any vitamin out there, but some really matter more than you might imagine.
- Which Vitamins Do My Kids Need?
1- Vitamin D
Getting enough vitamin D is essential so kids’ bones can grow strong and their immune systems can turn away illness.Vitamin D gets into our body through the absorption of sunlight and the ingestion of food. From April through the end of October, spending just 15 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day with hands and face exposed will stimulate the skin to make all the vitamin D your child needs. Foods such as salmon, sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, and egg yolks contain a lot of vitamin D. Not all dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, however, so make sure to read the labels.
- When Vitamin D Supplements Are Helpful?
During the fall and winter, it’s good to give your child a vitamin. Most over-the-counter children’s vitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D, the recommended daily allowance set by the FDA for infants and children under four years of age.Children who are obese, have dark skin, rarely go outside or wear clothing that covers most of their skin may need supplements to ensure adequate vitamin D levels all year round. Discuss your child’s medical history and lifestyle with your doctor, and he/she can then determine your child’s daily vitamin D requirement.
2- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for healthy skin and normal growth and helps vision and tissue repair. Vitamin A can be found in rich quantities in yellow and orange vegetables, dairy products, and the liver.
- When Vitamin A Supplements Are Helpful?
Vitamin A supplementsaren’t necessary for most healthy children who are growing normally. However, if you believe your kids might have vitamin A deficiency because of low nutrient intake for whatever reason, take the first step and talk to your doctor about your concerns and the appropriate dosage for your kid’s age.
3- Vitamin B
Vitamin B helps the body produce red blood cells and assists in metabolic activities. Vitamin B is found in meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, whole grains, and enriched bread and cereals.
- When Vitamin A Supplements Are Helpful?
While most kids will be able to obtain enough Vitamin B through their diet alone, some children with allergies or dietary restrictions or might not be able to get sufficient Vitamin B without supplements.It’s crucial to ensure that your child is getting enough Vitamin B to avoid Vitamin B deficiency. If you are worried that your kid isn’t getting enough Vitamin B for any reason, talk to your doctor about your concerns and move ahead with knowing the adequate dose.
4- Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps repair and form tissues, red blood cells, and bones. It helps your kid’s gums stay healthy and strengthens your child’s blood vessels, minimizing bruising from scrapes and falls.Also, vitamin C helps cuts and wounds heal, boosts the immune system, and keeps infections away. And it aids the body in absorbing iron from other food sources.
- When Vitamin C Supplements Are Helpful?
Children who are picky eaters and don’t eat many vegetables and fruits may not get enough vitamin C.If you’re concerned that your child doesn’t get enough vitamin C, ask your child’s doctor whether you need to boost your child’s intake.Your kid doesn’t have to get enough vitamin C every day. Instead, aim to get the recommended amount as an average over a few days or a week.
Iron is an essential mineral for the growth and development of kids and adults.Especially for rapidly growing kids, iron is a necessary nutrient. It permits the body to produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs in red blood cells throughout the body.Kids can get iron from beans, fish, turkey, beef and many others.If your kid’s diet lacks iron, he/she might develop an iron deficiency condition.Iron deficiency is a condition in which blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Untreated iron deficiency can affect a child’s growth and development.
- When Are Iron Supplements Helpful?
Kids who are picky eaters or eat a primarily vegan diet may not get enough iron. Teen girls with heavy menstrual flows may need more iron intake; some diseases, like Crohn’s disease, can cause low iron levels in kids.If you’re worried about your child’s iron levels, talk with your doctor. They will take a sample of your kid’s blood to test the amount of iron in the red blood cells.Your doctor may prescribe an iron supplementif your kid needs more iron. Make sure to use it exactly as your doctor prescribes. It can take up to three months for the treatment to work.
Children need enough calcium to support their growing bones and teeth during their childhood and teenage years.Calcium is one of the body’s most essential minerals. Also, it has other crucial roles to play, including supporting healthy muscle function and the nervous system.Children who do not take in enough calcium are more susceptible to developing weak bones later in life.
- When Are Calcium Supplements Helpful?
Ideally, kids should obtain an appropriate amount of calcium from their diet. However, in cases where this is just not possible for a particular reason we have discussed before or others to consider, a calcium supplement specially formulated for kids may be beneficial.A calcium-containingsupplement will help top up your child’s calcium intake, helping them develop strong, healthy teeth and bones that will lay the foundation for optimal health in years to come.
7- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that help nourish the brain and keep it healthy. Omega-3s are part of the process of building new cells — the key to flourishing the central nervous and cardiovascular systems and assisting the body in absorbing nutrients. Omega‑3 fats also are essential for eye function.To meet the recommended daily needs of omega‑3 fats for kids, look for these food sources: Salmon, Sardines, Pacific Chub, Mackerel, Canned light tuna, Freshwater Trout, Herring, Oysters, Shrimp, Beef, Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Chia seeds and Soybeans.
- When Omega 3 Fatty Acids supplements Are Helpful?
Omega 3fatty acids are crucial for kids. They play a critical role in growth and development and are associated with various health benefits.However, many parents are unsure whether omega‑3 supplements are necessary or safe for their children.The evidence on having benefits for kids is mixed. Studies showed that in healthy school-age children, taking an omega‑3 supplement seems to have little effect on school performance and cognitive ability. There appear to be more benefits in kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ).If you’re interested in having your kid take an omega‑3 fatty acid dietary supplement, make an appointment to talk to your doctor first. He/she can review your kid’s current medications, medical history, and overall health. Based on those aspects, she/he will discuss with you in more detail the potential risks and benefits associated with using this supplement.
As you can see, there are various vitamins that your child needs to grow and stay healthy. This can take quite a lot of time to identify on your own, and even so, it can be hard to access all of those naturally.That’s why having the right vitamins and supplements can be great for your child. Yes, this is not going to be easy, but if you manage it correctly, nothing will be able to stand in the way of a better and healthy lifestyle for your precious ones!