Published : Oct 24, 2018
A Nutrition Supplement For Kids: The Foundation Of Lifelong Wellness
Although picky eating is not a serious health concern for all kids, it is still an issue that can give parents many sleepless nights. Parents may worry about whether their little ones are getting the essential nutrients they need daily. Making PediaSure powder for toddlers a staple in children’s diets is one way to ensure that the little ones get essential nutrients on top of those derived from the food they eat. However, parents still tend to wonder if the kids can be nourished even more to ensure their proper growth and development.
To get an assurance that their kids are getting the nutrition they need, many parents choose to give their children a multivitamin or mineral supplement. This is a practice considered acceptable by many.
When Are Supplements Necessary?
Health experts agree that if kids have a healthy, well-balanced diet suitable for their age and activity levels, they don’t necessarily require any supplements. This is because they are already getting their vitamins and minerals from the foods they eat. Vitamins and minerals are always absorbed better when eaten and included in one’s regular diet. Because of this, parents are always recommended to consider the important food groups for children when planning meals to make sure that they are always eating something nutritious.
In general, supplements are only required if your child’s doctor or licensed dietitian say that your little one needs them. This usually happens when kids are picky eaters or are unable to eat certain foods, such as children who are vegetarian or have Celiac disease. In such instances, kids fail to get the important vitamins and minerals they need. They will be advised to take an appropriate supplement; for example, an iron supplement will be prescribed to kids who are low in iron or are already anemic.
Most parents think that it’s all right to give kids over-the-counter supplements. Unfortunately, this is a misconception that can pose serious health problems to children. If you give a supplement that it is not needed, you run the risk of pumping unnecessary vitamins or minerals in your children’s bodies which can be bad for them.
For instance, high amounts of vitamin A can cause skin problems and damage the liver. Excessive intake of vitamin C and zinc, on the other hand, can lead to frequent nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
Types Of Supplements You Can Give Your Kids
If your child’s pediatrician recommends a supplement, one or more may be prescribed:
Most generic chewables or liquid childrens’ multivitamins will do, unless the child has some special requirements. If a child is a vegetarian, for instance, a supplement high in vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and calcium will be recommended since these are the usual nutrients lacking in their diet.
Generally, a good multivitamin supplement to get is one that contains vitamins A, B, C and D. Many brands will also have a trace amount of some of the minerals included. Make sure you check the label first to determine which specific vitamins and minerals are included in the supplement you want to buy.
- Omega fatty acid supplements
Omega fatty acids play an important role in brain development and functioning and help improve the heart. This nutrient also acts as a mood enhancer and helps improves one’s behaviors by promoting a peaceful disposition and emotional stability. It is certainly a nutrient that provides several health benefits to kids.
Fish oil is the most popular source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, some kids and adults may have digestive issues when taking fish oil. In such instances, krill oil, an alternate supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids, would be recommended.
Probiotic supplements are usually recommended for kids since this nutrient helps with digestion. Probiotics help the body properly assimilate and digest foods. This, in turn, helps kids have a healthier immune system and a general feeling of wellness.
Tips for Buying and Giving Kids Supplements
- Read the label of the supplement you want to buy. Take note of all the nutrients and ingredients it contains. Choose one that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors.
- Various studies show that kids are not getting enough vitamin D. As such, choose a supplement that has 400 IU of vitamin D.
- Kids younger than four years old are not yet fully capable of grinding foods when they chew. It is best to give them liquid vitamins to avoid choking accidents.
- Select a supplement with a childproof cap and always store it out of kids’ reach.
- Choose a supplement that tastes good so that you won’t have a hard time getting kids to take it.
- Always remind your kids that supplements are not candies even if they taste great and come in fun colors and shapes.
- Give your child only the doctor’s or specialist’s recommended dosage – no more and no less.
Keep in mind that supplements are called supplements for a reason – they are not intended to give children (and adults) all the nutrients they need. You still have to make sure that the kids have a well-balanced diet so that they get the recommended amount and types of nutrients daily. The supplement you give them will only fill any gaps and provide the ones they are lacking.