As a parent, you want only the best for your children. You always want them to be happy, healthy, and safe. While some things in life are out of your control, you can take some steps to help your children have a high quality of life. When it comes to being healthy and strong, multivitamins are an excellent supplement to your children’s diet. The right multivitamin for children can help meet their dietary and nutritional needs during their growing years.
Many types of multivitamins are available, so you’ll have no shortage of options when choosing the right one to address your child’s overall health. It’s also helpful to understand what multivitamins do, how they can benefit a person’s health, and when your child should take them.
What Are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins contain a combination of various minerals and vitamins the body needs for growth, development, proper health, and function. Many multivitamins have other ingredients as well. However, parents and other caregivers should recognize that multivitamins are supplements. They should not replace a healthy, well-balanced diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods rich in protein and fiber.
Common Types of Multivitamins
Some multivitamins are packed with minerals that certain age groups or types of people need most. A multivitamin for a child, for example, will have vitamins and minerals that support bone growth and a strong immune system. They typically have Vitamin A, which helps the heart, lungs, and other vital organs perform correctly. Multivitamins for children will also have Vitamin B6, which is essential for brain development.
Aside from a multivitamin for children, there are also multivitamins for seniors and multivitamins for people with specific health challenges. Doctors encourage pregnant women to take a prenatal multivitamin to support the developing baby. Nutrients such as folate, iron, protein, iodine, as well as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D are typically in these multivitamins. Some multivitamins are specifically for men or women.
Multivitamins for kids can come in the form of tablets, drops, or gummies. You can find multivitamins for younger children, including those for toddlers or infants. Some are vegan-based or organic, while others have probiotics.
When Should Parents Give Their Kids Multivitamins?
Many children get all the nutrition they need from the foods they eat every day. Parents who provide regular, healthy meals for their children typically won’t have to worry about supplementing their diet with a multivitamin. However, there are situations when it might make sense to introduce multivitamins.
Parents should closely monitor their children’s health and be aware of whether they are getting enough essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from their diet. Even children who go through stages of having a decreased appetite, skipping meals, or being picky with food may not necessarily need a multivitamin. Children who may benefit from multivitamins include those who have a limited or restrictive diet or have a chronic disease. Parents should also discuss multivitamins with their doctor if the children aren’t eating enough foods with Vitamin D or have delayed physical growth or development. Kids who don’t get enough sleep can also benefit from taking a multivitamin.
The Benefits of Multivitamins for Kids
Kids who do need multivitamins and take them correctly can experience health benefits. In addition to Vitamin A and Vitamin B6, multivitamins for kids have several other vitamins that can support growth, development, and proper function in the body. Multivitamins often have Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, muscles, and skin. Kids can get this vitamin by eating fruits and vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, and citrus.
A multivitamin for kids will normally have Vitamin D as well. This vitamin is critical for the building of strong bones and teeth. Dairy products, especially milk, have vitamin D. Calcium is another mineral in multivitamins. It is found in dairy and strengthens teeth and bones. Calcium is also in green leafy vegetables. Kids who don’t get adequate Vitamin D or calcium in their diet can benefit from taking a multivitamin.
Another advantage of taking multivitamins is that the child will get plenty of iron. Naturally found in fish, beans, beef, and turkey, iron is essential for growth and blood cell production.
How to Choose the Right Multivitamin
Parents should consider several factors before choosing a multivitamin for their children. First, parents must carefully read the ingredient list. Some multivitamins come with preservatives, food dyes, or artificial flavors. You should avoid buying multivitamins with these ingredients, as they don’t provide any health benefits. Also, make sure the multivitamin is made in a safe facility that follows approved regulations and good practices.
It’s important to purchase and give your child a multivitamin that you trust, preferably from a reputable company. Ensure that the company complies with industry standards and is medically credible. You also need to read and follow the dosage instructions, verifying that they are suitable and specifically formulated for young children.
Parents should also examine the Daily Value portion of the multivitamin label. The ingredients should be as close as possible to 100% of the daily value. Some multivitamins can exceed 100% of the daily value. This can sometimes be harmful to the child, so be wary of such high daily values.
Other Important Guidelines
Before you give your child a multivitamin, you should consult your child’s doctor. Your physician can recommend whether your child should take a multivitamin based on the current health, health history, or any medications of your child.
It can be helpful to speak with a nutritionist or dietician. Doing your own research will also give you the information you need to make an informed decision. If you have multivitamins in your home, make sure you keep them out of your child’s reach.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for your child’s development. For optimal health, ensure your child eats well and gets the appropriate amount of nutrients each day. However, a multivitamin can be a good way to supplement your child’s diet. As you consider these factors, you can decide whether a multivitamin will benefit your child’s growth and physical well-being.