I advise many patients about which vitamins, minerals, and supplements may improve their specific issues and their overall health. Getting the right nutritional balance is just as important for children, if not more so. However, providing supplements for children requires an understanding of the child’s needs and the dosage.
Eating a variety of healthy, whole food sources is generally the best way to consume critical nutrients. But for people with specific issues or those who fall short in dietary intake, supplements provide an essential stop gap. And if you have children, you know it can be a challenge to get them to eat everything you would like them to.
Who Might Benefit from a Supplement?
Virtually anyone can benefit, in some way, from supplements. The NIH reported on a national survey of infants and children younger than four years, which found that usual nutrient intakes from food alone were adequate for most of them.
When it comes to children, the most in need are picky eaters, those on a restricted diet, or those who drink a lot of carbonated beverages. Youths with chronic diseases, food allergies, or failure to thrive especially stand to benefit. The American Academy of Pediatrics adds to that list: those with anorexia or an inadequate appetite, who follow fad diets, have a chronic disease, participate in dietary programs for managing obesity, or eat vegetarian or vegan.
If your child doesn’t fit into those categories, discuss their nutrition with an integrative physician before you start giving supplements.
Which Supplements and How Much?
In a WebMD interview, Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that calcium is essential for bone growth and healthy teeth. When it comes to teenagers, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reported in October 2017 that iron may be the nutrient most lacking in a teen’s diet.
Kids don’t need the same amounts of every vitamin or mineral. And they generally require less than adults. For example, when it comes to B vitamins (like B12) the dosage ranges from .5 micrograms to 2.4. Suggested intake for vitamin E, measured in IUs, ranges from 9 for young children to 22 IUs for teens. Personally, I feel the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals for both children and adults is too low and needs to be updated.
A multivitamin formulated especially for children, like Diamond Nutritionals’ Children’s Foundation Vitamins, will provide the right balance of vitamins and minerals in an ultra-pure, professional grade form.
The Mayo Clinic reminds parents that many foods are now fortified with nutrients, like Vitamin D, calcium, B vitamins, and others, so there’s a possibility that your child gets more nutrients than you think they do. So, again, it’s best to discuss it with your integrative physician.
Vitamins aren’t the only supplement that can benefit your child’s health. Also consider omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to children’s brain and vision development. A probiotic formula can help ensure a healthy digestive tract.
The majority of my pediatric patients benefit from taking these three Diamond Nuturitionals Supplements.
Remember to store your supplements out of the reach of children, like any other medication.