As kids grow, they need to get adequate vitamins and minerals to assure optimal health.
Most children get fair amounts of nutrients from a balanced diet, but under specific episodes, kids may necessitate supplementing with minerals or vitamins.
This article explains everything you need to understand about vitamins for kids and whether your kid may need them.
Nutrient requirements for kids
Nutrient requirements for kids are dependent on sex, age, growth, size, and activity level.
According to health authorities, young kids between the ages of 2 and 8 require 1,000–1,400 CAL every day. Those ages 9–13 require 1,400–2,600 CAL every day— depending on specific factors, such as activity level (2).
In addition to consuming sufficient calories, a kid diet should satisfy the following Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) (3):
While the above nutrients are some of the most generally explained, they aren’t the only ones children require.
Kids need some measure of each vitamin and mineral for proper growth and health, but accurate amounts fluctuate by age. Older kids and teens require varying amounts of nutrients than younger kids to maintain optimal health.
Do children have different nutrient requirements than adults?
Children demand the same nutrients as adults — but normally need smaller amounts.
As kids grow, they need to get sufficient amounts of nutrients that help develop strong bones, such as vitamin D and calcium (4).
So, although kids may require more modest amounts of minerals and vitamins compared to adults, they still require to get plenty of these nutrients for decent growth and development.
Kids normally require more modest amounts of vitamins and minerals than grown-ups. Nutrients that support build bones and improve brain growth are exceptionally significant in childhood.
Do kids require supplements of vitamins?
In general, children that consume a healthy, balanced diet don’t require vitamin supplements.
Both the United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics don’t suggest supplements over and above the suggested dietary allowances for healthy kids older than 1 who consume a balanced diet.
These organizations recommend that kids consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains, and protein to receive sufficient nutrition.
These foods include all of the essential nutrients for decent growth and development in kids(10).
In general, children who consume a balanced diet that covers all food groups don’t normally require mineral or vitamin supplements. Still, the next segment comprises some exceptions.
Children should consume a variety of foods to get the nutrients they require. Vitamins are normally optional for healthy kids consuming balanced diets.
Some children may require supplemental nutrients
Even though most maximum kids who consume a healthy diet don’t need vitamins, particular events may warrant supplementation.
- follow a vegan or vegetarian diet
- have a situation that influences the absorption of or grows the requirement for nutrients, such as cancer, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- have had a surgery that affects the stomach or intestines
- are greatly picky eaters and struggle to consume a variety of foods
In particular, children who consume plant-based diets may be in jeopardy of deficiencies in iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D — notably if they consume few or no animal products (11).
Vegan diets can be especially hazardous for kids if specific nutrients like vitamin B12 — which is discovered naturally in animal foods — are not replaced through fortified foods or supplements.
Failing to replace these nutrients in kids’ diets can direct to severe outcomes, such as developmental delays and abnormal growth (15).
But, it’s possible for kids on plant-based diets to get sufficient nutrition from diet solely if their parents are including sufficient plant foods that naturally include or are supported with specific vitamins and minerals (11).
Kids with celiac or inflammatory bowel conditions may have trouble absorbing various vitamins and minerals, notably zinc, iron, and vitamin D. This is because these conditions cause damage to the areas of the stomach that absorb micronutrients (13, 16, 17).
On the other hand, kids with cystic fibrosis have difficulty absorbing fat and, consequently, may not sufficiently absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K (12).
Besides, kids with cancer and other conditions that create increased nutrient requirements may need specific supplements to prevent disease-related malnutrition (18).
One research in 937 kids ages 3–7 observed that picky eating was heavily linked with low consumptions of zinc and iron. Still, the outcomes showed that blood levels of these minerals were not significantly varied in picky compared to non-picky eaters (14).
But, it’s conceivable that prolonged picky eating could drive to micronutrient deficiencies over time and may justify nutritional supplements as a consequence.
mineral and vitamin supplements are oftentimes necessary for children who follow vegan or vegetarian diets, have a situation that affects the intake of nutrients, or are very picky eaters.
Adopting a vitamin and dosage
If your kid follows a restrictive diet, cannot sufficiently incorporate nutrients, or is a picky eater, they may benefit from taking vitamins.
Always consult supplements with a healthcare provider before giving them to your kid.
When picking a supplement, look for quality brands that have been experimented with by a third party, such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, Informed-Choice, ConsumerLab.com, or the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG).
Not to mention, prefer vitamins that are specially made for kids and ensure that they don’t hold mega doses that exceed the everyday nutrient requirements for kids.
Mineral and vitamin precautions for kids
Vitamin or mineral supplements can be virulent to kids when taken in excess amounts. This is particularly correct with the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K that are stored in body fat.
One research published vitamin D toxicity in a kid who took too much of a supplement (21).
It’s sufficient to keep vitamins out of reach of young kids and explain proper vitamin intake with older children to prevent the unintentional overeating of supplements.
If you doubt that your kid has taken too much of a mineral or vitamin supplement, reach a healthcare provider quickly.
When picking a vitamin, look for high-quality supplements and brands that carry the appropriate dosages of minerals and vitamins for kids.