I think you will agree with me when I say, we all know how difficult it is to get children to eat properly. Guaranteed it will always be the vegetables left on the plate.
As kids’ taste buds start to become accustomed to what they do and don’t like, meal times turn into a culinary guessing game.
What your little one will decide to eat today?
It is every parent’s worst nightmare making sure they get the correct nutrition in their child’s diet for the best possible start in life.
And then along came the multivitamin, the population’s most common dietary supplement. Of course it comes in a junior version.
That’s right, supplement companies are now making multivitamins designed for kids.
But should you give multivitamins to your kids?
In an ideal world you would have all the time and money needed to prepare wholesome meals everyday and your little one would eat everything you put in front of them
We all know this doesn’t happen very often. Our busy modern lives just don’t allow us the time we really would like.
Multivitamins offer a convenient way to fill in the nutritional gaps by covering a wide spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals making sure your child’s body can function and grow properly.
Here is a quick rundown of what some can do for your child:
If your child isn’t growing quite as quickly or developing as fast as your doctor would like, he may advise a multivitamin supplement to boost those levels.
Some children that have been diagnosed with a chronic illness or certain food allergies may need some help with additional nutrients to give their health a helping hand
One study proved that a vitamin/mineral supplement is a reasonable adjunct therapy to provide children with autism. (source)
If your dietary preferences have a limited source of food groups, like for example if you are vegetarian or vegan, a supplement should be
advisory for your child to fill in the gaps.
Maybe your child is a picky eater and you just can’t get them to eat all the different food groups, or they will only eat the “wrong” things.
Therefore until you can coax them out of this phase, a multivitamin shouldn’t do any harm.
Supplements don’t encourage a well-balanced healthy eating plan. For example, just because you give your child a multivitamin, don’t for one moment think it’s ok to feed your child peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day.
It may be the only thing you can get your child to eat at mealtimes, but it isn’t going to teach them how to eat properly and you will only make it harder for yourself in the long run.
Not all multivitamin supplements are the same, and the FDA doesn’t regulate them in the same way as other kinds of drugs.
Studies suggest that most children and infants can achieve the recommended levels through their diet alone and therefore a supplement is not necessary in healthy children (source)
Many foods like cereal, milk and orange juice now include fortified vitamins and minerals in them to help children get their nutrients without taking a supplement.
Certain vitamins can be bad for you if you exceed the recommended daily intakes.
Vitamins A, D, E, K and iron could all have quite serious side effects for a child such as nausea, vomiting and headaches. Too much iron could be quite dangerous if taken in too larger doses and iron overdose is one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of 6.
As kids multivitamins are designed to look and taste like candy, extra care should be taken to make sure they are kept away from the reach of little hands.
I think if your doctor advises you to get some multivitamins for your child then there is obviously a medical reason your child will benefit from a supplement.
But to be honest, other than this reason, I believe your child should be able to get all the recommended nutrients through a well balanced diet.
It may mean a little more perseverance from mom and dad, but nutrients are absorbed more effectively through real whole foods which should prove there is nothing quite like the real thing.