With your busy schedule, you may be rushing from one place to the next with no time for a proper, nutritious meal. Overtime work or binge-watching shows on your favorite streaming service might also be depriving you of adequate rest. Hence, you might be taking multivitamins to fill in the nutritional gaps.
You might be stricter when it comes to your kids: Meals and bed times are more consistent. But busy parents don’t always have the time or energy to make sure kids are eating everything they should be eating; battling with a picky eater is especially draining. Thus, your kids might likewise be in need of a nutrient boost—in fact, it’s even more important for them to meet their nutritional requirements as they’re still growing and developing. That’s why it’s important to work with your child’s pediatrician to find the best multivitamins for kids.
Poor nutrition can affect a child’s growth and development, contributing to poor brain development, low energy, a lack of mental alertness, and even serious health conditions when they grow up—childhood obesity can easily develop into obesity in adults. But don’t rely solely on a children’s nutritional supplement; the word “supplement” itself tells you that it should only be added to a healthy diet.
To help ensure optimum health, make the following a part of your child’s diet:
Protein. One of three macronutrients (the other two are carbohydrates and fats), protein is essential for tissue growth and repair, and aids in the production of enzymes and hormones. Kids can get protein from either animal or plant sources.
Animal protein has all essential amino acids but may come with unhealthy saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Plant protein doesn’t have these unhealthy components but the don’t have all essential amino acids, so you have to get the right mix of plants to get all the amino acids.
Your best bet? Choose the healthiest kinds of animal proteins, like omega-3-rich fish, lean cuts of meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. Hotdogs don’t count! Processed meat has been shown to have detrimental effects on health.
Bringing up a vegetarian child? Work with your nutritionist to make sure your child gets the right combination of proteins from tofu, beans, and other sources to hit their targets.
Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a host of health benefits. They’re a great source of vitamins and minerals (different colors mean different nutrients, so let them eat a rainbow of food!) as well as fiber for a healthy digestive system.
The saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds a lot of truth: Fruits and veggies help keep sickness at bay by boosting their immune systems.
Dealing with picky eaters who turn their noses up at fruits and veg? You can sneakily add vegetables into their food by grating carrots into spaghetti sauce, for example. Or blend them into fun drinks—kids love juice! Also don’t get tired of coaxing kids to try new foods. Studies have shown that it may take as many as 10 or more times to get them to taste something new, so don’t give up!
A note about feeding children fruits and vegetables: It’s best to go organic as their systems are still developing and may be more sensitive to harmful things like pesticide residue on the skins of fruits and vegetables. You can rest assured that organic produce are safer for your kids.
Grains. Kids need lots of energy to get through the day and grains are a great source of fuel. Rice is the go-to for every Filipino family but you can try introducing your kid to other grains like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, farro, kamut, teff, and amaranth, which all have unique flavor profiles and textures.
Dairy. Milk, yogurt, and cheese contain plenty of calcium, which is essential for developing strong bones and teeth. Dairy products also contain protein, iodine, and Vitamin B12.
You can give kids a nutrition boost with multivitamins made just for them. If it’s a struggle trying to get your kids to take their vitamins, choose something that comes in different flavors and fun shapes. Animal Parade multivitamins for kids come in animal-shaped gummies, liquids, and drops with kid-friendly flavors like bubble gum, cherry, and grape—available at Healthy Options.