Although parents recognize the importance of proper nutrition for their children, it can be a challenge to ensure a proper diet. Some children are finicky eaters and do not always receive the proper nutrients their growing bodies need.
This is why providing your child with dietary supplements is important. With the plethora of children’s vitamins on the shelves, how do you choose the right one? Should you choose sugar-free vitamins, organic supplements or perhaps natural vitamins for children?
The Pediatrician’s Advise
Before you choose a daily supplement for your child, you might want to consult with the pediatrician. Every child is unique, and some have different dietary needs or requirements. Your child’s doctor can lead you in the right direction.
A vitamin and mineral should be formulated to support good health and proper growth and development.
A Few Guidelines
That said, there are a few things to consider when choosing your child’s vitamin supplement. For one thing, you need to choose a vitamin based on your child’s age and weight. Also, never give a child larger doses than recommended.
If your child is prone to catching frequent colds and upper respiratory infections during the cold and flu season, you will want to be sure the supplement supports immune health.
Vitamin C is a good immune booster, so be sure the supplement you choose has at least 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance of this vitamin. Young children may have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules.
For this reason, you should choose a children’s chewable supplement. Chewable vitamins come in gumball flavors that many kids seem to enjoy. After all, if the vitamin supplement does not taste good, your child will not be eager to take it.
You might also look for fun shapes and textures, such as gummy bears.
Supporting the Immune System
Some children’s vitamins are specially formulated to support the immune system. Other supplements include probiotics. If your child experiences digestive issues, consider a supplement with nature probiotics.
Speaking of natural, natural supplements are a good choice as well, as these do not contain artificial colors and flavorings. Omega-3 enriched vitamins are also good for kids as well.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding the children’s vitamin supplements you see at the store, ask a pharmacist. Try to determine how your child should take the supplement.
Some children’s vitamins should be taken with meals, while others are fine on an empty stomach.
The Importance of DHA
Look for the ingredient of DHA in your child’s vitamin supplement. This is known to help in the aid of brain development and vision in growing children. Toddlers and infants will especially benefit from DHA.
Also, vitamins B-6 and B-12 are essential for maintaining proper brain development in growing children.
Vitamins and Minerals
For the best nutritional support, look for a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement. You’ll find these are supplemented with calcium for strong teeth and bones, magnesium for heart and muscle function, and antioxidants for healthy cell growth and regeneration.
When choosing a vitamin supplement for your child, consider his or her general health. If he or she is particularly active and participates in sports, you might want to consider a supplement with added vitamin B.
When in doubt, look for a children’s vitamin with the word “complete” on the label.
A Few Precautions
You may be tempted to give your child a supplement with fluoride. While fluoride is essential for strong teeth, ordinary tap water should provide this. If you have any concerns, ask your child’s dentist.
Be cautious about choosing a children’s supplement with added iron. You should do so under the suggestion of your child’s pediatrician. Excessive doses of iron in children may lead to toxicity or liver damage.