Does my child need a supplement? This is a question asked by a large majority of parents. We are constantly wondering if our children are eating enough, growing enough, and why they insist on only consuming mac and cheese. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that they need to take a daily multivitamin to fill in any gaps. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, your child is likely doing just fine.
Children who are healthy AND consume a well-balanced diet are likely getting all of the nutrients they need through food and do not require a daily vitamin and mineral supplement. The possible exception here is Vitamin D, where deficiency is on the rise among all age groups of children. Most children, even as they are going through frustrating food jags and bouts of picky eating, can get all of their nutrients through the foods they eat (assuming they eat a decent healthy diet).
There are some groups that are at risk of specific deficiencies due to growth stages, restricted diets, and other various concerns and conditions. These children should attempt to add deficient vitamins and minerals back into their diets with foods that are high in that particular nutrient. Our bodies are better at absorbing nutrients through foods rather than supplements.
If you are concerned about your child’s intake, consider working with a dietitian to develop nutrient dense menu plans that can help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you are still asking yourself does my child need a supplement, please talk with your pediatrician about supplement options to make sure you are providing your child with the safest options.
**This article is intended to be a source of information for parents and caregivers. It is not medical advise. Should you require medical expertise, please talk with your family’s doctor.**