Vitamin Guide: Multivitamins for Kids (and Toddlers)

September 17, 2018

Multivitamins for Kids

Children can be picky eaters. One might not want to eat anything green, or soft, or chewy, and sometimes it "just looks weird." They are not short on excuses.

As parents, we understand the anguish. But how do we make sure our kids are getting all the essential vitamins they need without having to beg, bribe, or force them?

Well, until the day comes when they say yes to broccoli, vitamin supplements are the next best thing to give to your kids to make sure they're getting all the vitamins they need. And with so many brands nowadays to choose from, you're bound to find one they like.

How to Choose Kids Vitamins

If you look at the vitamin section of your local supermarket or health store, you will probably find yourself overwhelmed by all the options. This is not the best way to choose vitamins for kids.

Before you even step into the store, think about what it is that your child needs the most. Do they not like certain vegetables or fruits? Are they lactose intolerant? Do they always complain they're tired or do they get sick easily? Every child has different needs.

The best way to find out is to speak to your child's pediatrician before you buy any vitamins but here are some suggestions to consider.

Multivitamins for Kids

If your child is eating right for the most part, but you want something to boost their overall health, a good option is multivitamins.

With or Without Iron

Multivitamins usually come in two categories: with or without iron. Iron is an essential mineral that helps us produce healthy red blood cells and muscles. Most children are not at risk of being iron-deficient unless they have a specific condition or they avoid foods that contain iron.

Foods that are high in iron are meat, leafy greens, or legumes. Vegetarian or vegan children are more likely to have iron problems but always check with your child's pediatrician to be sure.

As a side note, adolescent girls who start menstruating early are also more likely to be iron-deficient.

Daily Value Percentage

On the back of the vitamin bottle, you'll see a long list of vitamins with daily value percentages. Pay special attention to vitamins A, E, and K, and make sure the daily value percentage of these vitamins do not exceed 100 because too much of it can be dangerous to your child.

Vitamin C and D

Vitamin C and D are both water-soluble vitamins, meaning they dissolve in water. Once the body has enough, they'll be flushed out in our urine, so you don't have to worry about your kids getting too much of it. You might, however, want to warn them about their pee coming out extra yellow, so they don't get scared.

Things to Avoid in Kids Vitamin

Unfortunately, the list of things to avoid in kids vitamins can sometimes be just as long, if not longer than the things we want.

Why?

The answer is easy – because some companies are willing to put anything, even if it's harmful, into the vitamins to make them taste better and seem more appealing than their competitors.

Unnecessary Additives

Here are some of the most offensive ingredients commonly found in popular kids vitamins:

  • Aspartame - tricks body to think it's eating sugar and causes insulin spikes
  • Sorbitol - can cause digestive issues
  • Artificial colors - linked to hyperactivity, allergies, and learning disorders
  • Artificial flavors - sources are unknown and not required to be disclosed by the FDA
  • Carrageenan - linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer
  • Sucralose - affects the immune system

Allergens

Many young children also have food allergies that you may not be aware of yet. To prevent any allergic reactions at all, try to choose vitamins that are free of dairy, eggs, soy, and gluten. Many brands make them.

Things You Want in Kids Multivitamins

A wholesome multivitamin should contain essential vitamins and minerals to help children grow and build strong immunity. Here are some suggestions of what to look for in your kid's multivitamin.

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A - helps repair tissue, bone and skin damages
  • Vitamin Bs - supports muscle growth, metabolism, energy production, circulatory and nervous systems; helps the body absorb calcium;
  • Vitamin C – helps protect cells from damages caused by free radicals
  • Vitamin E - promotes strong immunity, healthy skin and eyes
  • Vitamin K - helps the body create blood clots to stop bleeding

Minerals

  • Calcium - helps build healthy bones and teeth
  • Magnesium – helps regulate muscle and nerve functions, blood sugar levels, blood pressure; making of protein, bone, and DNA
  • Zinc – helps keep the immune system strong to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses; makes proteins and DNA to repair wounds
  • Manganese - helps connect tissues, bones; metabolizes fat and carbohydrate; regulates blood sugar levels

Sweeteners and Flavoring

Let's face it, if you pick vitamins that taste horrible, your kids will not eat them, but it does not mean you should choose vitamins laden with added sugar and artificial flavoring.

Instead, try to find vitamins sweetened with natural sweeteners such as stevia, agave, or pectin (a fiber found in fruits) and flavored with real fruits.

Gummies, Capsules, or Liquids

This is up to you and your child. Most children tend to like gummies since they are fun to look at and eat. However, we've found some children do not like the chewy texture of gummies and prefer capsules. Some capsules can also be opened and mixed with food or drinks.

For babies and toddlers, we recommend liquid vitamins that you can add to their food or drinks.

Give Your Kids the Best

As parents, we always want to give our kids the best and vitamins should be no exception. Their growth and development depend on what they put in their bodies, and it's our job to make sure they're getting everything they need.

If you've already tried everything you can to get your children to eat all their food groups, but they refuse, there is no shame in getting some help from vitamins as long as you don't treat them as food replacements.

For more tips on the best kids vitamins and supplements, head over to our website or blog to learn more!

Have questions? Want to share your experience with a particular vitamin, mineral, or other supplements? Feel free to leave a comment below!

* This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice or medical care of qualified healthcare professionals. The material provided herein is for educational purposes only. Results may vary by individual. You may not experience the potential benefits described in this blog.


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