Supplements represent a billion-dollar industry.
But do they work? How effective are they? Who can and should take them?
When it comes to your child, they must get the proper nutrition to grow. Truthfully, if your child eats well, then they do not need supplements. Eating the proper foods will provide exactly what your child needs.
Supplements should never replace real food; they provide less than what’s being marketed.
Many pills may not dissolve correctly in the stomach or at the right time. This means that supplements are not 100% effective. The company adds certain fillers that make it harder for vitamins to break down and get absorbed.
The idea of supplements are to supplement and not to replace. You should use supplements to help fill in the gaps and cover any deficiencies for the recommended daily allowance (RDA) and good health requirements.
Do kids need vitamin supplements?
By eating a healthy, nutritious diet, you need not worry about supplements for your child. Make sure your child is eating balanced meals that include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose a variety of colors because colors are one thing that really distinguishes nutrients in vegetables.
- Eggs and Milk are great because they are complete proteins, the same as meat, chicken, and fish.
- Whole grains are not processed and have good nutrient content like brown rice, barley, and steel-cut oats.
Which Kids Need Vitamin Supplements?
Kids who aren’t eating regularly, eating well-balanced meals, or not eating enough probably may need a supplement to help boost the RDA.
If your child has a specific condition, they may require more supplemental needs. Kids with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or digestive problems.
Kids eating a lot of fast and processed food and drinking lots of soda may need a supplement. These foods deplete many essential minerals from your body because of the high sodium and artificial ingredients that destroy or expel them.
Kids on a vegetarian or a vegan diet may need B’s, B-12, calcium, and iron supplements. Vegan diets can be harmful for children if certain nutrients are not replaced through supplements or fortified foods.
Kids with celiac or inflammatory bowel diseases may have difficulty absorbing several vitamins and minerals.
Kids with cystic fibrosis have difficulty absorbing fats and proteins properly. They cannot produce the enzymes needed to digest and absorb fats and proteins.
Kids with cancer may require certain supplements because of the difficulty of eating and taking harsh medications.
Not having the proper nutrients leads to body, muscle, e and organ maturity and growth issues.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Kids
- Ages 4-8: 1,000 mg daily.
- Ages 9-18: 1,300 mg daily.
- Ages 4-8: 400 mcg daily.
- Ages 9-13: 600 mcg daily.
- Teens: 900 mcg daily.
- Ages 4-8: 1.2 micrograms daily.
- Ages 9-13: 1.8 micrograms daily.
- Teens: 2.4 micrograms daily.
- Ages 4-8: 10.4 IU daily.
- Ages 9-13: 16.4 IU daily.
- Teens: 22 IU daily.
- Ages 4-8: 55mcg daily.
- Ages 9-13: 60mcg daily.
- Teens: 74mcg daily.
- Ages 4-8: 130mg daily.
- Ages 9-13: 240mg daily.
- Females over ages 14: 310mg daily. Males 410mg daily.
- Ages 4-8: 10 mg a day.
- Ages 9-13: 8mg a day.
Too much of a good thing can turn bad. Overconsumption of any vitamin or mineral can have an adverse effect if kids consume too much of them. Overconsumption can lead to toxicity. Understand what your child is eating and learn to supplement accordingly as and if needed.
Don’t rely on fictional character vitamins as a means of convenience. Prepare healthy foods. Those cartoon vitamins have artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors, as well as many, contain lead.
Always discuss supplements with your doctor before giving them to your child, Choose vitamins made for kids and make sure they don’t contain more than the RDA. Always turn to fresh fruits and vegetables for the highest and best minerals and vitamins.