Due to the poor diets of many children today, particularly those in developed western nations, children’s vitamins are becoming increasingly important for the development of healthy children.
Importance of vitamins in Childs’ health
One of the primary vitamins lacking in the diets of children is vitamin D, essential for many bodily processes, which is often found in ‘fortified’ milk and other products.
It is suggested by medical professionals that a child should drink at least a pint, of half a liter of this kind of milk every day, else they will need to find some other way of supplementing vitamin D in their diets.
What can happen because of Childrens vitamins deficiency?
Anaemia is caused primarily by iron deficiency.
Iron can be found in many common foods including meat, fish and dairy products, but poor quality versions of these products, and processed food based on them, typically contain less iron.
Adolescent girls starting to have their periods will also need an increased amount of iron in their diets to compensate for blood loss.
Calcium is crucial for the healthy development if strong teeth and bones, and can be found abundantly in milk and other dairy products, as well as fortified health drinks and juices.
Some children however are allergic to dairy, or just plain don’t like it, and are therefore at risk of calcium deficiency, which can cause serious health problems later in life, particularly for women who suffer more from brittle bones, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Flouride is typically talked about in relation to healthy teeth, because it helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
This is particularly important for very young children, while their teeth are growing and developing.
Some areas have fortified water supplies that contain fluoride in some amounts, but if you do not live in such an area, or are not sure, then some kind of diluted flouride supplement is recommended.
Flouride tablets or other concentrated forms are not, however, recommended as they can cause discolouration of the teeth.
What does it contains?
Childrens vitamins solutions typically contain recommended daily amounts of the most essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, iron, flouride, vitamin B12, vitamin E, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin.
If some of these look familiar to you, it may well be because you have at some point read the side of a cereal box.
Cereals have for a long time now been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals as part of their selling point as the ‘best meal of the day’.
However, one bowl of cereal will not be enough to provide enough vitamins and minerals for a growing child, which is why supplementation is recommended in order to make sure that they get a complete balance.
Childrens vitamins are available in a variety of forms, perhaps the best, safest and most convenient are the liquid forms, for example fortified fruit juice, sweets and pastilles – usually fruit flavoured and often disguised simply as regular candy.
There are even gummi bear vitamins, for those children who are absolutely one hundred percent opposed to anything that might be good for them.
It is true that many common foods, and especially those aimed specifically at children, tend to be fortified these days with some combination of vitamins and minerals, with cereal being a prime example as described above.
However, the levels of this fortification are almost always below the recommended daily amounts, and also a parent would still be required to keep track of what their child was eating on a daily basis to make sure they were getting enough of all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Most healthcare professionals agree that supplementing with some kind of childrens vitamins and mineral formula is a good, safe and convenient way to ensure that your child has all the fuel they need in order to grow and develop healthily.
Recommendations for Childrens vitamins intake
Supplements are no substitute for food, however, and cannot provide other essential bodily fuel such as protein and carbohydrates.
It is also not recommended to much exceed the recommended daily dosage of various vitamins and minerals, which way prove to be counterproductive.
Exercise is the other crucial component in the health of a child, and again a lack of exercise cannot be compensated for with any amount of supplementation, the two things work synergistically.
So that if your child is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need, they will be better able to exercise, and the exercise that they do will prove more beneficial, because their body has all the fuel it needs to make it so.
If nothing else, a good childrens multivitamin will give you piece of mind that your child will not lack any of the essential vitamins and minerals, even if their diet changes drastically, which is often the case with children who eat at school, eat at their friends’ houses, etc.
Words of caution
Some children may require special childrens vitamins as a result of some existing health condition.
Under these circumstances, you should seek advice from your doctor about exactly what they will need and how to go about it.
Childrens vitamins are absolutely no substitute for regular health check-ups.
About its dosage
Never over-compensate and give your child more than one dose of a childrens vitamins supplement in one day, even if they missed one yesterday, or you think they have some kind of health issue that may benefit from more vitamins.
Excesses of some of the vitamins and minerals in these formulas may prove counter productive, and there is a recommended daily amount for a reason.
If you think that your child’s nutritional intake or some other facet of their health is lacking despite vitamin supplementation, you should seek medical advice.