Should Children Take Supplements?
Supplements are an essential component of holistic medicine. Alternative, naturopathic, and integrative doctors use them to help treat, maintain, and prevent symptoms and illnesses. Our bodies require a wide range of nutrients to function correctly, and many of us are deficient in one or more. Supplements are an excellent way to fill in the gaps. But although they are common for adults, many wonder if supplements are appropriate for children.
Supplements & A Balanced Diet
In general, children don’t need to take vitamin supplements because most of them get the nutrients they need from a balanced diet. If your child is eating their fruits and veggies — we know it’s easier said than done — you probably have nothing to worry about. But each kid is different, and some may need extra support because of deficiencies, size, the rate of growth, or even activity levels.
Vitamin supplements for kids are very popular. We see gummy multivitamins at the stores for a reason. Giving your child a multivitamin just as you would take one isn’t going to hurt them, and could even boost their overall nutrition. However, children must consume supplements meant for their age because kids have lower daily requirements. It’s always best to check with your child’s doctor before using any supplements.
The Best Diet for Kids
Children are growing machines, both physically and mentally. Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are imperative for growth and development. The best way to make sure that your child is healthy is with a varied diet. Each day, they should consume different fruits and vegetables, whole grains, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Kids also need calcium and protein sources for proper growth and development, which can be plant-based or from animal products.
If you have picky eater, talk with your child’s doctor about whether supplements will help. Remember, kids have a lower daily requirement, so even if they refuse to eat any leafy green, they might get the nutrients they need from other sources. However, Vitamin D is a widespread deficiency among children, especially those who breastfeed. Other common deficiencies in kids include:
- Vitamin E
Just because these are common among kids doesn’t mean that your child is certainly deficient. Again, it’s best to speak with your doctor before using any vitamin supplements for kids. The bottom line is that kids tend to get the nutrients they need from food. But if that’s not enough, vitamin supplements for kids are safe and can help.