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Is Giving Your Child Vitamins Important?

Is Giving Your Child Vitamins Important?

 

Vitamins are necessary components we all need to keep our bodies operating normally.  Our bodies do not make enough vitamins on their own so we need to get vitamins from the food we eat, or in the case of Vitamin D, be exposed to sunlight.  In a healthy, well-rounded diet of whole food, we are easily able to get all the vitamins we need.  Whole foods can be described as fresh, non-processed food.  However, in our society, many food are highly processed and even fruits and vegetable are grown using techniques that minimized the vitamin and mineral content.  Another issue is that children are often not willing to eat a wide variety of whole foods, no matter how we try.  Therefore, giving children a multivitamin in addition to trying to get as many vitamins as possible from whole foods can be a great way to supplement your child’s diet. 

Most children can start taking a vitamin supplement when they turn one.  In some, cases, especially with breast-fed babies, your pediatrician may recommend a supplement even earlier.  Any brand of multi-vitamin formulated for children can be chosen, unless your child has special dietary needs.  In that case, you should read the label carefully.  Also, children’s vitamins are marketed to be appealing to children and often look and taste like candy.  Therefore parents need to treat them like medicine.  Keep them in a place that children cannot reach and make sure they child safety cap is on securely. 

Vitamins are a good example of “more is not better”.  Trace amounts of vitamins help our body, but an excess amount of some vitamins can be harmful to our health.  If your child does eat more than the recommended amount of vitamins, contact the poison control center, to be safe.


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