Do Kids Need Multivitamins?
Do Kids Need Multivitamins?
Between school activities, sports and playtime, today’s kids lead active lives and are always on the go. As responsible parents, you’ll want to ensure that they are always protected, happy and full of energy. Making sure that your children are eating healthy is therefore extremely important, even more so for young kids who are growing and developing rapidly.
Good Nutrition to Start the Day
Although you do your best to get your kids to eat a balanced meal, every so often, there could be nutritional gaps in their diet resulting from the following factors:
- Picky and fussy eaters.
- Not eating enough fruits and vegetables, which leads to a lack of vitamins and minerals needed for growing bodies.
- Eating highly processed food which contain high sugar content, preservatives or artificial flavouring.
- An intolerance or allergies to certain types of food.
- Health conditions that affect proper food absorption, such as Coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease.
- According to the Nutrition Survey of Malaysian Children (SEANUTS Malaysia), it was found that, on average, Malaysian children aged 1-6 years only consumed 0.91 and 1.07 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, respectively.
- That is less than half of the recommended amount stipulated by the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents (2013).
There is clear gap between what our children are consuming and what they actually need! How do we bridge that nutritional gap? One convenient way to do that is to consider giving supplements that are made specially for kids. But that begs the question, how do you choose the right one?
Choosing the Right Kids Supplements
If you choose to give your child a multivitamin, it’s important to know the details of each:
- Check out the ingredients.
Make sure they are free of any artificial flavours or colours, aspartame and lactose. Many children’s multivitamins are also full of GMOs that can be linked to harmful side effects. Avoid all these and look for a brand that contains natural ingredients that are grown, harvested and processed on its own certified organic farms.
- Avoid chewable multivitamins that contain glucose syrup.
This common ingredient can lead to tooth decay. Look for chewable vitamins sweetened with ingredients like xylitol or stevia, which are naturally derived sweeteners that won’t promote tooth decay.
- Contains iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, C and E.
These are common nutrients that kids usually do not get enough of:
- Iron: The most common nutritional deficiency among toddlers, and it’s common among older children too.
- Calcium: Needed to form growing bones. Proper calcium intake from childhood on can help maintain normal bone mass later in life.
- Magnesium: An important mineral that keeps bones strong and the heart rhythm steady. It also supports the immune system and helps maintain muscle and nerve function.
- Zinc: An essential nutrient for proper growth and development.
- Vitamin A: Helps them see better, plus aids in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin.
- Vitamin C: Helps keep body tissues, such as gums and muscles, healthy. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron – important for kids – and protects cells from free radical damage.
- Vitamin E: This antioxidant powerhouse fights off free radicals.