Now, there’s a sanctimonious anti-vitamin movement saying vitamin supplements for toddlers is bad. These folks who helicopter over their kids are the same ones using iPhone apps with ankle bracelets on their children.
Well-meaning parents and coaches, who advise youth athletes to take dietary supplements in an effort to promote early athletic development, improve performance, or to provide nutrition “insurance” are, unfortunately, misinformed. – Suzanne Nelson, Sc.D., RD
Vitamin supplements for toddlers keep a good thing going for our kids. For more than twenty years all hospitals have given vitamin K at birth – by injection.
With my family it all started as soon as my daughter was born. Heck, you can say that it started while she was still in her mom’s tummy. My wife took prenatal vitamins for better fetus development. Some say vitamins are just a waste of money and that I should just spend the money on buying fruits and vegetables.
Here’s the kicker – my daughter’s pediatrician, while not advising against vitamins, is saying vitamin supplements for toddlers are not needed because these vitamins can be had with the right diet.
Well, my daughter is still taking her vitamins anyway – and I’ll tell you why.
1. Some days are hotdog days
First of all, it’s pretty hard to ensure that kids are getting the nutrients that they need with food alone. We all know how picky they are with food. Sure, you can reason with them when they’re older, like threaten to lock the wi-fi with a password. But it’s pretty hard to reason out with a toddler. You can’t really discuss with them the benefits of eating broccoli. All they know is that stuff doesn’t taste good.
Now, I’m lucky enough that my daughter eats her veggies – when she’s in a good mood. So what about those days when she’s not in a good mood? This is where these vitamins can help.
2. Vitamins are a bad substitute
I don’t treat them as the primary source of nutrients. I still make sure that she gets as much nutrients as she can from real food. The vitamins are just there as supplements. But here are vitamin supplements for toddlers most recommended by pediatricians:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
3. Vitamins are safe
The American Academy of Pediatrics says yes. According to these doctors, they’re generally safe as long as your child doesn’t exceed the recommended daily allowance for that specific nutrient.
4. Vitamins work
One never knows with a healthy child. But we rest easy knowing we’re doing everything we can to help. Fortunately, my daughter has been blessed with good health, and we’d like to believe that it’s partly because she’s getting all the nutrients that she needs from real food and the vitamins. There were times when everyone in the household has a cold, and she’s right there running around with not even a sniffle.
5. What supplements should you give your child?
Talk to your child’s pediatrician about it. Generally speaking, any type of children’s multivitamin will do. However, you should also consider the specific case of your child. If you live in a place where it’s impossible to get a healthy dose of morning sun, then you may want to consider giving your little one with a Vitamin D supplement. Again, talk to a pediatrician. Vitamin supplements for toddlers are best when coordinated with an overall strategy for good health.
Sure, being medications, there are risks involved. However, it’s not as if real food doesn’t come with risks. First of all, we have to worry about the pesticides in our food. If you’re not careful, you’ll be feeding your child with pesticides together with the nutrients found in real food.
My point is there are risks in everything that we feed or supplement our child. It’s just a matter of taking out these risks in the best way that we can. We can choose to go organic to take out these pesticides. For the vitamins, talk to a pediatrician to take out the risks. Also, make sure that your kids are not overdosing on the vitamins and minerals.
Again, talk to your child’s pediatrician about these vitamins and follow his or her advice.