Should kids be given vitamins? In a perfect world, all children would eat a balanced diet all the time, and they would not need to take any type of dietary supplement to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
The reality is that not everyone (children included) eats well all the time. Some youngsters are picky eaters and will only eat a few special foods. While no child is going to starve him or herself, eating a diet that is limited in scope may mean that the kid isn’t getting the benefits that a more balanced eating plan can provide.
Some commercially prepared foods have vitamins and minerals added to them, which will help children get the health benefits they can provide. Milk is usually fortified with Vitamin D. Cereals also contain added vitamins and minerals. Bread is another common food that has added vitamins (usually iron and B vitamins).
Before making the decision to give a child a vitamin supplement, parents should discuss the matter with the child’s doctor. He or she can provide some information about what kinds of supplements would best benefit the child.
Once the doctor has been consulted, a formulation specifically made for children should be chosen. Adult vitamins should not be given to youngsters. Instead, choose one of the formulations made especially for kids. They are available in a liquid form for very young children, and older ones can take chewable tablets.
When considering a vitamin for children, look for one that contains iron. Many children don’t get enough of this mineral, and they are at risk for developing anemia as a result.
Another important mineral for children is calcium. It is found in milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogurt. Eating ice cream is another way to get calcium in a child’s diet.
Eating a variety of foods is the best way for a person of any age to get the nutrients they need for good health. Children who are picky eaters should be presented with different items and encouraged to at least try them. Over time, they will likely grow out of their picky eating habit and taking vitamins can help to fill in the blanks they are not getting from their regular diet.
When considering what type of vitamin to buy for children, take the time to read the label before making a purchase. The product may contain other items other than the vitamins and minerals themselves, and it’s important for parents to understand exactly what they are buying.