As a parent, it is very normal to worry whether your child is getting all the necessary nutrients, especially when the child is a picky eater. Now that there are plenty of chewable and gummy vitamins available in the market. When should you choose a multivitamin or dietary supplement? Experts are of the opinion that even if the child is fussy over eating, they must not be deficient in nutrients. A balanced, healthy diet is always the best source of nutrients for children. Thus, a child should ideally have plenty of vegetables and fruits along with whole grains and good proteins.
Doctors usually recommend a multivitamin or a mineral supplement if:
- Diet is not balanced or is mainly junk or processed foods
- The child is not eating enough
- They have medical conditions, like digestive diseases or asthma
- They engage in physically demanding activities or sports
- The child is on a restricted diet, like no-dairy products or vegan-diet
- They have lots carbonated drinks that take away precious nutrients from the body
What are the nutrients are very essential for the growth of a child?
- Vitamin A – This is essential for growth and development, repair of tissues, and also for healthy skin and vision. Milk, cheese, eggs, and vegetables like carrots and squash, are good sources of this vitamin.
- Vitamin B – They are key for good metabolism, energy and a good circulatory system. Include more of meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, cheese and soy for getting more vitamin B.
- Vitamin C – Good muscles and skin come with vitamin C. Having more citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes will provide the daily dose of vitamin C.
- Vitamin D – It is essential for healthy bones and teeth to absorb calcium from the diet. Milk, fortified dairy products, and fish oil are rich in vitamin D. The best source of all is the sunlight.
- Calcium – This is needed for strong bone formation. Ensure that the diet contains plenty of milk, cheese, yogurt and calcium-fortified juice to get the right amounts.
- Iron –This mineral is essential for healthy red blood cells. Having more of red meat, spinach, beans, and prunes will give adequate amounts of iron for growth.
Large doses of vitamins are generally not recommended for children. Overdose of vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K can be toxic. It is always better to get the required amount from variety foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best choice possible. The variety foods should be spaced out in the form of snacks throughout the day.
And if you are going for the supplement, be sure to:
- Put the supplements away from the reach of the children to avoid overuse
- Give chewable at the end of a meal so that they are easily absorbed
- Do discuss with the doctor before giving any of the supplement, particularly if the child is on any other medication to avoid drug interactions
- Try different formulation of the supplement, if the child does not prefer a particular kind
- Start the multivitamins or supplements after four years
- Companies created a more reasonable vitamin supplement for children, such as chewables.
- Children should take vitamin supplements to ensure that they get enough of their required nutrients.