The body of a growing child needs all the nutrition it can get. Apart from a balanced diet which has fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, proteins and whole grains; wholesome nutrition does require supplementation through a multivitamin for kids as well; especially if the child is picky eater. But because their needs are different than adults, and with so many different options available in the market, it becomes difficult to be sure that you are giving them the right vitamins and in the right amounts to support their growing and changing bodies. The other challenge also lies in the restricted diets of several children due to allergies, intolerance or plant-based/vegan diets.
So how do you choose the best multivitamin for your child? Here are a few quick tips:
- Get Generic: The main nutrients that a child needs for healthy development are iron, vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin C supplements. Therefore, you need to choose a general multivitamin with all these nutrients, but you also need to make sure that the recommended daily allowance of 100 per cent is not exceeded.
- Do not Give In to Fads: New trends and fads might sound attractive, but you need to be a cognizant consumer. Just because a supplement claims that it boosts your child’s brain health, does not mean that it would be the best. And you also have to be sure that you do not end up choosing the “more is better” way of thinking. Large doses of vitamins, or extra vitamins over a daily multivitamin can be toxic.
- Avoid Herbal Supplements: It is always advised against choosing herbal supplements for children, as there are no guarantees for the strength, purity and safety of those supplements.
- Choose as per Your Child’s Preference: Try to find a flavor and style which best suits your child. Usually children like fruity flavors and multivitamins in the form of gummy bears and chewable tablets. If you have a fussy eater on your hands, you can also opt for a drink mix, which you can add to your child’s favorite beverage.
- No Substitution: Never try to substitute an adult’s multivitamin for a multivitamin for children. This is because children’s multivitamins are especially formulated according to the nutritional needs of a growing child, and the appropriate daily allowance. The nutrient levels of an adult multivitamin are significantly different than those of a child’s.
- The Timing Needs to be Right: When you are trying to introduce a multivitamin into your child’s diet, you need to be sure to add this as a part of your child’s morning routine, like along with breakfast, or as a part of their morning snack routine. Taking a supplement later during the day or closer to bedtime should be avoided, as the multivitamin supplement can contribute to an increase in energy and can make the child restless and less sleepy.
While these are some tips to help you choose the right vitamin for your child, it is strongly recommended that you consult with your child’s pediatrician before adding any multivitamin supplements to your child’s diet.