Do children need to take vitamins?

 Children who are picky eaters, eat fast food or drink soda, do not eat balanced meal need to take the supplement. Food is the best source of vitamins and minerals.

If your child eats a variety of food, he may not need any multivitamins supplement. Food is the best source of the nutrient. Regular, balanced meals and snack will provide enough vitamins and other nutrients that are necessary for the healthy development of your children.

A balanced diet for the kid is one that provides the kid with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals and fatty acids. The variety of food in the diet should include dairy products, whole grains, rice, bread, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and dairy products, fruits and leafy and green vegetables, oils and nuts.

Because of lack of time, many parents may not be able to prepare well-rounded meals; some children also prefer to eat fast food or have a quick meal at a food court. The outcome is that many children’s intake of vital nutrients is insufficient.

Many children are picky eaters. They preferred the salty and fried foods over the leafy and green vegetables. Some simply just do not want to try different types of food. Many children also like drink sodas which can cause loss of minerals and vitamins from the body. All these could mean that they may have nutritional deficiencies.

In summary, the following groups of children may need the supplement.

  • Children who are not eating regular, balanced meals made from foods
  • children who are finicky eaters.
  • Children with chronic medical conditions such as allergy, asthma or digestive problems.
  • Children who eat a lot of fast foods, convenience foods, and processed foods or drink a lot of soda.
  • Children who are on a vegetarian or a vegan diet, a dairy-free diet or other restricted diets.

Top vitamins and minerals for children

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for the healthy development of the eye and the immune system. It is also vital for heart, lungs, and kidney to function normally.

Vitamin Bs

Vitamin Bs is a family of B vitamins which include vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12. Vitamins aid metabolism and energy production. Your child may need more vitamin Bs as he grows. Vitamin Bs is also crucial for healthy circulatory and nervous systems.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin and it is also crucial for a robust immune system.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. According to KK Women and Children’s Hospital, Vitamin D deficiency is rare in Singapore.

Our skin will produce Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight.

 

Calcium

Calcium helps build healthy bones and teeth as a child grows.

 

Iron

Iron is needed to make haemoglobin in the red blood cell. Haemoglobin helps to deliver oxygen to different parts of our body.

Iron is also essential for the immune system.

Food sources of vitamins and minerals

 

Vitamins/Minerals

Food Sources

Vitamins A

Dark green leafy vegetables or red/orange vegetable or fruit such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomato, papaya, mango.

Vitamin Bs

meat, chicken, fish, liver, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, soybeans and bean products such as tau kwa, chickpea,

Vitamin C

Fruit such as guava, orange, kiwi, berries, papaya honeydew, and vegetables such as broccoli, tomato, and peas.

Vitamin D

milk and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight.

Calcium

milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

Iron

red meats, including beef, organ meats, liver, turkey, pork, chicken

fish, fortified cereals, including oatmeal, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach

 

Toxic megadose

While vitamins appear to be safe, it is important to limit the intake to Recommended Daily Intake.

Vitamin may become toxic when taken in a large quantity, also known as megadose. For example, a megadose of vitamin C can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain and a megadose of niacin may cause facial and neck flushing, itching, cramping, and kidney stones.

It is therefore important to keep the supplement out of reach of your child to prevent accidental megadose.

 

Drug Interactions

Vitamin supplements may interact with the medications that your child is taking. If your child is taking any medication at all, remember to check with your doctor whether they can have the vitamin supplement at the same time.

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