Our children must get enough nutrients that their bodies need. Are they getting sufficient nutrients from their daily diet? You may want to check again because children would need to take supplementary vitamins or minerals more often to ensure that they are in their best health. Today, we’ll cover the essentials in vitamins and the best vitamins for kids in the market.
If you are one of the parents who are worried about your kids having insufficient nutrients in their daily diet, check this article out. Once again, supplementing vitamins for kids is not necessary but if they are not thriving and you are having problem getting healthy foods, you may consider vitamins for kids.
How Much Nutrients Do Kids Need?
The nutrients that children need will depend on their age, sex, growth, size and activity level. As per the health experts, children require the following calories each day:
|Children between the age of 2 – 8||*1,000 – 2,000 calories|
|Children between the age of 9 – 13||*1,400 – 2,600 calories|
Aside from the calories, their diet must also meet the following Dietary Reference Intakes (minimum requirement of nutrient intake for kids to avoid nutrient deficiency):
|Nutrient||Dietary Reference Intakes (1 – 3 years old)||Dietary Reference Intakes (4 – 8 years old)|
|Calcium||700 mg||1,000 mg|
|Iron||7 mg||10 mg|
|Vitamin A||300 mcg||400 mcg|
|Vitamin B12||0.9 mcg||1.2 mcg|
|Vitamin C||15 mg||25 mg|
|Vitamin D||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)|
This is just a standard scientific value. Well, we are not sure how much our babies get from their daily meal intake that are considered enough nutrient. As long as our babies are eating and drinking well & gain weight according to the growth’s chart. You do not have to worry too much about your child is not getting enough nutrient. Always get advice from your doctor if your child is not gaining weight and fall sick easily. Do not buy vitamins for your child (unless is advised by Health professional) if they are still too young.
How Necessary are Vitamin Supplements for Kids?
Generally, if your child eats a healthy and balanced diet, then vitamin supplements are not necessary. For instance, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans don’t suggest supplements beyond the recommended dietary allowances for healthy children who are 1 year old who eat a balanced diet.
Instead, it is better to stick with various fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein for sufficient nutrition. There are some cases when a child needs supplemental nutrients, especially those at risk of deficiencies. Example,
- These children may have a condition that affects the absorption of nutrients. They may be diagnosed with celiac disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, or IBD. Children who suffer from celiac or inflammatory bowel disease may struggle to absorb several vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, zinc, and vitamin D. The same thing goes for children who suffer from cystic fibrosis.
- They may have undergone surgery that impacts the stomach.
- They follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. It can be dangerous for children to have followed a strict vegan diet because they can lack vitamin B12, usually found in animal foods.
- They are picky eaters. This has been linked to low intakes of micronutrients. Some studies proved that children who are 3 – 7 years old and are picky eaters lack iron and zinc.
How to Choose the Right Vitamins and Dosage for Kids?
For older children who are about 4 years of age, they should get more adequate amounts of nutrients to build a strong body. For strong bones, they will need calcium and vitamin D. For brain development, they will need iron, zinc, iodine, choline, and vitamins A, B6, and B12.
If your child is a picky eater or in any of the above conditions, they will benefit from taking vitamins. We still recommend checking with your healthcare provider as you choose the right vitamins for your child. Here are other factors you may consider:
Unfortunately, there are plenty of multivitamins for kids in the market filled with additives, chemicals, and fillers. There are also brands loaded with sugar and coloring.
Aside from the quality of the vitamins, consider the age of your child when buying vitamins. How much do they really need? You may refer to the table above.
- Absorbability of Nutrients
As you make the comparison, remember that some vitamins for kids are harder to absorb. For example, for calcium, it is hard to absorb carbonate, so instead, look for citrate. For magnesium, sulfate is harder to absorb, so instead, look for glycinate.
The Best Vitamins for Kids
There are many choices out there in the market. Here are some good brands which are highly recommended:
An excellent option for kids four years old and above. Ritual Essentials for Kids is designed with picky eaters in mind. It contains 50 mg of high-quality omega-3 DHA, which is essential for optimal brain health.
SmartyPants Kids is the best overall and ticks everything on our checklist. It has a wide variety of nutrients from omega-3s for brain health, Vitamin B12 for energy, to Vitamin D3 & Vitamin K for bones and immunity. It is free from allergens, no artificial flavoring and colors. It also comes in three different flavors: lemon, strawberry- banana, and orange. This is designed for four years old and above, and the recommended dose is four gummies a day.
This multivitamin for kids is packed with probiotic that works great for digestive health, aside from vitamin A, C, and B12. It is free from artificial colors, flavors, and gluten too!
Vitamin D is crucial for children’s bone and immune health. Although they can get it from exposure to sunshine, milk, fatty fish, and eggs, pediatricians recommend infants under 12 months to have 400 IU of vitamin D a day, while those older must have 600 IU. Llama Naturals provides 800 IU. Llama Naturals provide sufficient vitamin D. Also, there is no added sugar, sweeteners, or synthetic vitamins.
In conclusion, you don’t have to feed your vitamins and supplements for kids to ensure that their balanced diet can cover all the important nutrients. If they are picky eaters, you may want to choose from any of the above.
Let us know your view about supplementing your kids with vitamins. Do you give your child any vitamin and why? We love to hear from you.