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Vitamins for Kids

Aug 17, 2007
Do your children need to take vitamin supplements?

That's a question that more parents ought to ask of themselves or the doctor before they start pumping kids full of over-the-counter supplements that may or may not be conducive to good health. Although it may seem like a good idea to feed your children all the extra nutrients you can get hold of, the truth is that a simple vitamin formula is not enough to keep your kids healthy, and it not a good idea to rely on a supplement of this type to do the job of a balanced diet and other health-oriented lifestyle practices.

Some doctors prescribe vitamins for babies or toddlers if the child is not developing properly or there is suspicion of anemia or another disorder that could interfere with proper nutrition. Since most pregnant women take prenatal vitamins, a majority of babies are born in a healthy state as far as nourishment goes. Generally, only children with health conditions that impact nutritional intake need a vitamin supplement. Of course, that decision is best left to the doctor.

If a child does not eat properly because a balanced diet is not provided, it is the parent's or guardian's responsibility to provide the right food daily to make sure kids get all the nutrients their bodies need for health and growth. Children who are picky eaters need to be trained to sample a variety of possibilities from the five major food groups. Toddlers may go through phases where they eat less than before, but they usually get over it pretty quickly and are soon ready to eat balanced meals again. Life-long fussy eaters should be encouraged to find healthy substitutes for the foods they dislike most, and learn to eat those that are indispensable. A vitamin supplement may not be needed for any of these situations, unless your doctor recommends it.

Another reason kids may need vitamins is during a prolonged illness or recovery period, or in the event of a chronic condition. Situations like these can attack a child's immune system and create all kinds of problems. That's why it is so important for kids to follow a healthy diet most of the time, so when they do become ill, their bodies will have the strength to fight it off. At times like this, a vitamin supplement may come in handy. Children being treated for serious illnesses with medication that suppresses their immune systems may likewise benefit from vitamin therapy.

Some children's vitamins come with minerals and iron. Check with your doctor to see if iron is a good idea for your child, as some kids get too much of it, which can build up and create another type of problem. Kids must be taught not to take vitamins like candy, but rather to treat vitamins like medicine and follow parental directions about when to take them.

Prescription or over-the-counter vitamins can help to improve kids' vitality and overall health. Ask your doctor whether your children ought to take a vitamin supplement.
About the Author
Learn how to find safe vitamin and mineral supplements by visiting 1st Vitamins at http://www.1st-vitamins.com
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