First of all does my child need a multivitamin supplement?
Depends on the daily diet and activity of the child. If child as a reasonabley good diet with moderate activity, then a multivitamin supplement can be optional. But children where diet is deficient or the activity level is very high (children into vigorous sports), they do need a good daily supplement.
Now the next question is how to select a good multivitamin supplement. Below are a few points which should be looked into a supplement specially for kids –
- Make sure it tastes good. When kids are involved, taste is everything and also the supplement is effective taken for longer duration – 3-6 months
- Read the label carefully. Product labels identify which nutrients are included and the amounts contained within each serving. Get the basic vitamins and minerals.
- Check the percentages of vitamins. Ideally 50% of ‘recommended daily allowance’ (RDA) should be in the single serving of daily supplement. Don’t overdo it. Avoid 100% of RDA, because supplements are in addition to the nutrients in food, and some, in large doses, can build up and become toxic.
- It is difficult to give a twice daily dose of syrup or gummy. Each dose (1 gummy or 5 ml syrup) should contain the daily requirement of vitamins.
- No iron. Iron is toxic if taken in large amounts, and accidental iron poisoning is a leading cause of poisoning deaths in young children. If Iron deficiency is detected then supplement it separately after consulting the treating doctor.
- If giving to Indian kids, then go for Indian supplements because the requirement for Indian and non-Indian kids is different depending on the type of daily diet.
- Avoid artificial flavors.
- No hydrogenated fats or other additives. Also be on the lookout for hydrogenated oils, dyes, artificial colors, and other additives.
- No GMO (genetically modified organisms)
- Vegetarian supplements are few but available for people who particular about diet
- Factor in the travelling part. Since supplements are given for longer duration, a syrup is difficult to carry as compared to a multivitamin gummy
- A laboratory tested supplement is always better.
Kids nowadays have a more hectic and stressful schedule than our times (when we were kids). Choosing a good multivitamin makes a lot of difference towards his/her output whether it is studies or sports.
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