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How to Safely Choose Your Children’s Vitamins

 

Your kid needs a wide range of nutrients, both essential and nonessential, to maintain good health. Essential nutrients cannot be made by the body by itself or may be produced in minimal amounts only and hence, they are best consumed through diet. Your little one also requires various minerals, which are needed by the body to function properly.

Kids with calcium and vitamin D deficiency may also have weaker bones. Mild anemia among kids can affect learning and behavioral activities. Many parents provide nutritious food but many kids do not like to eat them and thus become deficient in the required vitamins. This is why vitamin supplements for kids are essential for their growth.   

Avoid These in Your Vitamin Supplements

Have a close look at the list of ingredients. Many vitamins have sugar as one of their ingredients. Avoid the ones that use synthetic ingredients as they are hard to digest and are also not safe, like whole food-based ingredients. Do not opt for vitamins that have parabens, polysorbate and other artificial colorings or flavorings.

Points to Consider

  • It is recommended to choose a supplement that contains multivitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants, calcium / magnesium and essential fatty acids (EFAs). It is important to choose vitamins that are food-based. Synthetic ingredients used in vitamins are not recognizable by the human body on the molecular level.
  • Avoid using desserts as a bribe to clean your kid’s plate. Instead, give your kid a chewable vitamin right after the meal. Fat-soluble vitamins can be absorbed with food only.
  • According to Nutrition Facts and Figures 2013 published by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology Philippines, “Only 41.0% of the households’ meal planners read product labels.” So, you may skip looking at the graphics on the labels, but you should be at least reading the list of ingredients.
  • Consider your family’s diet before you buy any supplements. If you have fish three times a week, EFA supplement is not required.
  • Consider your child’s specific needs. If he has a poor health condition, or if he plays sports, he will use more nutrients than anyone else.
  • Kids with chronic health conditions like asthma or digestive disorders have special diet needs, particularly if they’re taking medications. Discuss with your kid’s doctor first before starting any supplement.
  • Every kid has a specific requirement based on his or her health condition, age, physical activities and other things. So it is good to consult your doctor first to get the right one.

Keep in mind that a vitamin supplement does not make up for unhealthy poor diets. Provide a healthy diet and make kids have fruits and vegetables instead of junk food

 

-Medical Observer

 

Reference:
Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures 2013 – 8th National Nutrition Survey Overview, accessed online from http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/images/sources/FactsAndFigures/2013_Overview_8thNNS.pdf on 10 June 2017.

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