According to the USDA, half of youngsters don’t get enough calcium, two-thirds are low on vitamin E and zinc, and one-third don’t have enough iron. Kids low on calcium and Vitamin D may have weak bones that are more prone to break. Children with even mild anemia from low iron levels can have learning and behavior problems. And, since children are often picky eaters and exposed to extra germs, all while growing, they greatly benefit from vitamins and minerals.
What to look for in children’s vitamins
The next best thing to getting your nutrients from good food, is to get a whole food-based vitamin. Are the ingredients coming from food or synthetic forms of the nutrients? Food-based vitamins are recognizable to the human body on a molecular level, unlike synthetic (manmade) vitamins. Ideally, ingredients should be non- GMO and organic.
What to avoid in a vitamin
Read the ingredient list. Can you decipher amongst the jargon? You’ll be surprised how many vitamins have some form of sugar as one of the first ingredients. Avoid synthetic ingredients – they are difficult to digest and not as safe as supplements made from whole foods. Stay away from anything that contains parabens, polysorbate, or any form of artificial additives such as colorings or flavorings.
- When getting supplements for your child, a good rule of thumb for kids (and even adults) is choosing one that contains: multivitamin/multi-minerals, essential fatty acids (EFAs), calcium / magnesium / vitamin D, probiotics and antioxidants.
- What is the labeling saying about the product? Is it safe? Does it contain what it says? Is it tainted in any way? Is there research on the product itself?
- How healthy is your family’s diet? For example, if your family eats fish three times a week, you don’t need an EFA supplement.
- Do you allow your child to drink carbonated beverages? If so, they most likely need all of the supplements listed above, daily.
- Consider your child’s specific needs. If he has a poor health condition, or if he plays sports, he will use more nutrients that then have to be replaced.
- When your children are ill, give them vitamins. When taking medications, follow antibiotics with probiotics. When they have a growth spurt, give them a cal/mag/D supplement.
It is important to remember that giving your child supplements does not make up for a poor diet. Focus on offering healthy food choices, and use vitamins supplementally, when they are ill or under stress, or on a day they didn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Vitamins are just one more tool for building a healthy life.
Source: naturalnews.com, superhealthykids.com