It’s never easy to get kids to eat everything they should. A balanced diet goes out of the door when it comes to mac and cheese and fruit snacks. That’s why parents are so thankful for vitamins. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t take an official position on giving vitamins to children. Their statement is that a well-balanced diet should provide everything that your child needs to grow up healthy. However, how can you know whether your child has a healthy diet, and when you should start giving them vitamins?
If your child has suddenly decided that their life’s mission is to avoid anything green or vaguely nutritious, you may choose a multivitamin to make sure that they are getting balanced nutrition despite their less than balanced food choices.
It’s essential to remember that no vitamin regimen can replace healthy eating habits. The last thing that you want your child to learn is that all they have to do is take a pill to be healthy. Introduce a multivitamin into your child’s life as a healthy addition to their diet, NOT a replacement for good dietary choices. Choosing a children’s vitamin that is naturally sweetened with fruits and vegetables is a great way to encourage your child to learn to like these flavors.
If your child isn’t hitting milestones as quickly as you’d like them to, your pediatrician may recommend a vitamin. It’s possible that your child isn’t getting enough nutrition from their food to fuel their development for some reason that isn’t yet diagnosed.
Vitamins are a safe way to help your child get all of the nutrients they need while you work on determining why they are experiencing developmental delays.
Your entire family may have a restricted diet for religious or lifestyle reasons. Perhaps your child is on a restricted diet because they have allergies or food sensitivities.
Whatever the reason, if your child is limited in the types of food they can eat, they may have a harder time getting all of the nutrients that they need.
When To Start Giving Your Child Vitamins
Ask your pediatrician for their recommendations before starting a vitamin regimen. You won’t need a vitamin for your child until you are no longer breastfeeding, provided you have well-balanced nutrition. Once breastfeeding is done, you can consider a great vitamin for toddlers.
If your child is on any kind of medication, interactions may occur between vitamins and medication. Some children may have different vitamin deficiencies and needs than others.
How To Pick A Quality Vitamin
- All essential vitamins and minerals. The best multivitamin for your child will have all 15 essential vitamins and minerals at the percentages recommended for each. Individual vitamins won’t exceed the daily values recommended per age group.
- No added sugar or fillers. You want pure, nutritious vitamins and minerals, not another source of preservatives and fillers. Furthermore, you don’t want your child to associate vitamins with sugary candy.
- Secure container. Cheap plastic containers are much easier for children to break into, which may be disastrous as children can overdose on vitamins. Be sure to choose heavy-duty, secure housing for your child’s vitamins.
- Natural, organic ingredients. Your vitamins should be derived from only the most natural and organic ingredients, in order to be sure that your child will have a pure source of nutrients.
Keep Teaching Your Child Good Nutrition
A multivitamin doesn’t take the place of great nutrition. It’s a great idea to start giving your child a multivitamin, especially if they are finicky eaters or otherwise not getting the nutrition that they need, but make good nutrition a priority. Be sure to choose only the best vitamins for your child.