17 min read
What Is A Good Multivitamin For Children?
It is an accepted fact that many factors hinder parents' efforts to ensure that their children consume a healthy diet. Thus, some parents may opt to give multivitamin supplements to their children to ensure they won't suffer health conditions related to nutritional deficiencies.
As many kinds of supplements are available on the market, how can you know if that product is a good multivitamin for children?
The reality is that a good multivitamin for your children might not simply be a case of finding the "best brand." Instead, choosing a multivitamin should be based on your children's individual needs. Why? Each child differs in nutrient requirements based on age and nutritional status.
With that in mind, we will cover the following topics in this article:
- What affects children's nutrient intake?
- Do children need multivitamins?
- When should you give your children multivitamins?
- What are the essential nutrients that should be included in multivitamins?
- How to select a good multivitamin for your children?
- How to tell if your children are getting enough nutrients?
- Multivitamin precautions for children
Let's find out.
What Affects Children's Nutrient Intake?
Yes, a diet containing various foods is the best way to ensure that our children receive the essential vitamins and minerals they need for growth and development.
As parents, we are all aware that our children should be getting all the essential nutrients from various food sources. Thus, it is a concern that we should ensure that our children are meeting their daily nutritional needs.
However, diet alone may not suffice your children's nutritional needs. Why? Biological, economic, physical, and social determinants make it more difficult for many parents to provide a quality diet for their children [*].
More particularly, children with restrictive diets, lack of availability of particular foods, or improper absorption will likely need dietary supplements [*].
Region and income are also factors. This doesn't just mean that children in less advantaged countries are more likely to be vitamin/mineral deficient, although this can be the case. For instance, in wealthy European countries, despite the wide availability of food, children can still lack proper nutrition [*].
Do Children Need Multivitamins?
Did you know? Almost 1 in 3 children take a multivitamin [*]. With so much information on children's vitamins and with so many vague answers, it can be hard to find the best solution.
In some instances, vitamin supplementation is essential. This is especially the case if a vitamin deficiency is diagnosed by your child's doctor. Your child must take the supplement prescribed by them. In most cases, their doctors will prescribe a multivitamin.
Overall, giving children multivitamins would be considered one of the practical solutions to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
However, if your child is growing normally and healthily, it is unnecessary to let them take multivitamins.
For more information on boosting your child's vitamin intake, read it here.
When Should You Give Your Children Multivitamins?
According to a study in 2009, iron and vitamin D are the two most common deficiencies in normal growing children. Additionally, giving your child a multivitamin can prevent the problems from these deficiencies; Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) and rickets, respectively [*].
Some children are more prone to vitamin and/or mineral deficiency. Below is a list of some cases where supplementation can become necessary:
Vitamin D, B12, and calcium have been noted as the biggest risk for deficiency in a vegan diet [*]. Proper planning of intake of these vitamins should be incorporated into a restrictive diet such as veganism or vegetarianism.
Thus, a multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplement containing sufficient doses might need to be taken to avoid deficiency.
The requirement for vitamin D, in particular, varies depending on nationality and geographical location. Sunlight provides vitamin D synthesis in children but less so in those with darker skin pigmentation.
One study found that families migrating from hot to less sunny countries were more likely to encounter conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency. A multivitamin containing vitamin D could be considered in cases where location affects the uptake [*].
Digestion and absorption
Gastrointestinal disorders can result in the malabsorption of vitamins and minerals in children. But there may be other causes. Symptoms of malabsorption include:
- Abdominal pain that does not go away
- Abnormal stool (feces)
- More frequent bruising
- Weight loss or lack of weight gain
You should consult a doctor in the presence of any of these signs. Thus, vitamins and/or minerals may be prescribed and medication to treat the malabsorption.
Note that a multivitamin can be helpful, so long as the doctor agrees to this in conjunction with typical treatments.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Children with ASD often lack the intake of necessary vitamins and minerals. As studied, vitamin supplementation can benefit children with ASD with positive results [*].
Notably, Vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, and D have been noted to most often require supplementation. To find a good multivitamin for children with ASD, see the contents and ensure that the above are included.
If your child is manifesting vitamin or mineral deficiency symptoms, it might be time to give them a multivitamin supplement.
We have discussed that iron and vitamin D are most commonly lacking in children. Other vitamins or minerals might be deficient depending on those mentioned above.
Children may also need to take multivitamin supplementation if:
- They have poor appetites or are picky eaters.
- They are not eating well-balanced meals from fresh, whole foods.
- They are delayed in their physical and developmental growth.
What Are the Essential Nutrients That Should Be Found In Multivitamins?
Children with vitamin A deficiency are more likely to experience illness than those who have enough.
In fact, according to a 2005 study, ensuring proper vitamin A uptake in children in some regions could be one of the most high-impact solutions to mortality rates [*].
For example, in the USA, vitamin A deficiency is rare. So again, location will affect whether supplementation is required [*].
Children ages 1-13 are recommended 300-600 mcg RAE, increasing with age [*]. It is wise to ensure that a multivitamin does not contain much more than this.
Vitamin B complex involves B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Yes, all of them!
These vitamins are necessary for cellular and energy metabolism, blood cell synthesis, and specific developmental processes, i.e., brain development.
This vitamin has been historically used to prevent and reduce the length of a common cold.
Researchers suggest testing on an individual basis whether vitamin C can work for your child's common cold [*].
It may or may not be effective. Regardless, the recommended nutrient intake for children is 15-45mg [*].
Vitamin D is arguably also one of the most important vitamins to consider in a multivitamin supplement. The need for this nutrient will also depend on your geographical location.
In the northern hemisphere, sunlight is less prevalent than in the southern hemisphere. Thus, in many countries, vitamin D supplementation is recommended by doctors for children. Covering a European country where sunlight is most prevalent seasonally, this study stated that vitamin D supplementation is encouraged throughout the year to ensure proper uptake [*]. Dosage is suggested at 15mcg / 600 IU [*].
Vitamin K has been studied for its value in playing a role in blood coagulation.
Beyond this, in 2007, a study found that it may also have additional benefits for bone health in children [*]. The same research found that vitamin K levels can be sub-optimal even in healthy children.
Dairy products are the most calcium-rich foods. As a result, children on dairy-restricted diets may be lacking in calcium. Some children, like those with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, may require calcium supplementation.
The dose of calcium for children is 700-1300mg [*]. Keep in mind that vitamin D is required to process calcium, so ensure that there is enough of that.
Lack of iron in the body can result in Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). Common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include tiredness, pale skin, and breathlessness [*]. It should also be considered that iron can be toxic in the above-recommended doses [*].
So, care should be taken to ensure your child is sufficiently consuming iron. Their recommended iron intake is 7mg to 10 mg.
This mineral is needed for the thyroid gland, which produces hormones.
It's safe to say for proper hormonal development during childhood, deficiency of iodine should be avoided. Intake is recommended between 90-120mcg.
How To Select A Good Multivitamin For Children?
Too much or too little amounts of vitamin and mineral intake can be ineffective. These are the essential points you need to make when selecting a multivitamin for your children:
#1 Select the suitable form of a multivitamin.
It's a great thing to know that you have several forms of multivitamins to choose from. Multivitamins for children typically can come as
- Gummies or jellies
- Powdered form
You know your child best, and so the form of multivitamin they will prefer to ingest.
#2 Read the label.
First of all, make sure you choose a multivitamin that contains the abovementioned essential micronutrients formulated for your child's age group.
Go over the multivitamin's ingredients, potential interactions, and contraindications.
#3 Choose a trusted brand
The brand should be from a reliable manufacturer and a trusted seller to ensure that the product is legit and contains nothing harmful. Furthermore, see to it the multivitamin that you are going to choose has undergone third-party testing.
How To Tell If Your Children Are Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals?
It is best that you make time to take your children to their doctor regularly. After all, health check-ups can help detect any underlying health conditions.
Basically, blood tests and physical screenings can be taken to check for nutrient deficiency. More universal micronutrient tests also measure many different vitamin and mineral levels in the bloodstream.
Note that your children's nutritional needs depend on several things. A good multivitamin for one child might not be the best for another. This is why it is best to seek professional medical advice regarding your child's dietary needs and any concerns about a particular multivitamin supplement.
Supplementation can be beneficial, but it can also be unnecessary. Provided a healthy diet, and if your child has no conditions preventing proper uptake of nutrients, there may be no need for a multivitamin. In the cases where multivitamin supplementation is needed, it can be advised that care is taken to make sure only the correct amount is given to your child.
Nuzest Has The Good Stuff For Your Children!
Kids love smoothies! And you can have a multivitamin supplement in this form!
Nuzest's Kids Good Stuff can help fill your children's nutritional gaps! Our formula can provide the vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, K, E, K, calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, and more!
Tasty, plant-based, and full of goodness, Kids Good Stuff is packed with the nutrients children need to live, learn, grow and play. The multivitamin smoothie provides peace of mind for parents everywhere.
Here are more reasons why parents are choosing our Kids Good Stuff as multivitamin support for their children:
- It is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and non-GMO
- It is made from real food, including 11 different fruit and vegetables
- It is suitable for everyone of all ages from 4 and up
- It contains pre-and probiotics for happier insides with
- It has 8g of plant-based protein per serve to aid growth and development
- It contains brain-supportive nutrients to nurture learning and focus
- It provides long-lasting energy to help them live, learns, grow and play.
Did you know? We have more parents who are choosing Nuzest's Kids Good Stuff! Click here to find out why.
Kids Good Stuff
Parents asked, we answered. Kids Good Stuff is the one-and-done nutritional support that growing bodies need.
The information provided on Nuzest is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please speak to your qualified healthcare professional in the event that something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.