Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy growth and development in children. While a balanced diet is usually enough to meet their needs, some kids may require a supplement due to deficiencies or other risk factors. It's important to be aware of the potential risks of taking high doses of vitamins and minerals, as well as the right doses for children. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, it's important to read labels carefully.
If your child consumes or drinks foods with added vitamins and minerals, make sure that the total amount does not exceed the safe limit for their age. If your child is on a restrictive diet, can't absorb nutrients properly, or is picky about eating, they may benefit from taking vitamins. Outside this age group, when children should start taking vitamins depends on when they begin to have needs that justify taking them. While all vitamins and minerals are important for growth and development, some are especially important for kids.
Vitamin B helps with metabolism and energy, while vitamin D is produced in the body after exposure to sunlight and is found in some foods such as fortified dairy products and alternatives to dairy products, egg yolks and fish oils. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, spinach and broccoli. If a pediatrician recommends that your child take vitamins, look for quality brands that have been tested by third parties and that are formulated with the right doses of nutrients for children (to avoid toxicity). Children who consume less than 32 ounces of vitamin D-fortified milk or dairy products a day may need a supplement to meet the recommended amounts. OLLY vitamins have also been third-party tested by NSF International for purity and potency. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't monitor supplement ingredients as closely as prescription drugs, so always be careful when taking them at home with young children.
Taking large amounts of vitamins that exceed the recommended daily amount can be toxic and cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, or diarrhea. If you suspect that your child has taken an excessive amount of a vitamin or mineral supplement, contact a health professional or poison control center right away. Recent research shows that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is closely related to better mental health in high school children. While it's important to create a complete diet with vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, beans and other foods rich in vitamins, other store-bought staples often contain additives such as vitamin D or iron. Children who have a lack of appetite, drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages, take certain medications, or have chronic medical conditions that interfere with their intake may need a supplement.