All parents want their kids to grow up to be healthy and strong, but it’s also extremely common for kids not to get all of the nutrients they need due to picky eating, accessibility of healthy options, and other factors. As a result, many parents decide to put their children on vitamins in order to support healthy habits and get them the nutrients they need, but wading through all of the labels and rhetoric about kids vitamins can be confusing. If you’re trying to choose a multivitamin for your child, here’s what to look for.
The Essential Elements
Multivitamins that offer many different vitamins and minerals are great, but there are five key vitamins that your child must receive every day. These include:
- Calcium: Calcium isn’t produced naturally in the body, but it’s one of the most important vitamins kids need for healthy bones and long term development. Kids can store calcium in larger amounts the more they receive it, which can help fight against osteoporosis in the future.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is key to healthy vision and a healthy immune system. As teenagers, vitamin A can also help fight off acne.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is important for memory and it can also help boost your child’s energy levels. Our bodies cannot produce vitamin B12, which usually comes from animal products, so it’s especially important to supplement your child’s diet with vitamin B12 if they follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Vitamin C: You know how kids seem to get sick constantly? Vitamin C can help with that. This vitamin beats back the common cold and other illnesses by strengthening your child’s immune system.
- Vitamin D: Calcium is great, but without ample amounts of Vitamin D, your body cannot absorb it properly. Vitamin D is key to growth and bone health, and about 40 percent of kids don’t get enough of it.
A Healthier Option
Now that you know which vitamins and minerals children need in order to grow and stay healthy, it’s time to dive into the other characteristics you should look for when choosing a kids vitamin. There are lots of unhealthy vitamins that are packed with sugar, preservatives, chemicals, fillers, and synthetic materials that can cause major dental damage and other issues. A healthier option for kids vitamins includes:
- No added sugar: About 98 percent of children eat more sugar than is recommended on an average day. Why add to it with vitamins?
- Chewable tablets: Most kids vitamins are gummies, but dentists agree that gummy vitamins are the leading cause of cavities in kids. These vitamins end up stuck in your child’s teeth, causing pain and leading to costly trips to the dentist.
- Made for kids: Kids vitamins and adult vitamins are not interchangeable because children and adults have different nutritional requirements. Make sure you give your child a vitamin specifically made for kids so they don’t receive doses of vitamins that they don’t need.
- Includes the essentials: In addition to the five vitamins listed above, it’s also a good idea to look for vitamins that include a variety of nutrients, like selenium, magnesium, zinc, and more. You never know where your child may be experiencing a deficiency, so choose a kids vitamin that offers the most important ingredients.
Choosing a vitamin for your child doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you know what to look for, you’ll see that there are multivitamin options that are specially designed with kids in mind and that help to promote healthy growth and good habits for a lifetime. Remember, when it comes to kids vitamins, ditch the sugar and add the essentials.