Like most parents, you undoubtedly want your child to grow up healthy and strong and with all of the nutrition they need from a balanced diet. However, many parents of extremely picky eaters or kids with dietary restrictions and certain illnesses know that making sure your child has all the nutrients they need isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Children’s vitamins can be an effective way to supplement your child’s daily diet and make sure they get all of the vitamins and minerals they need, but you’ll need to ensure that the vitamins meet certain criteria in order to be effective.
The Essential Vitamins
Childrens vitamins are most effective when they include the following five essential vitamins:
- Calcium: Adequate calcium is essential for bone growth and strength in your toddler’s younger years, but it can also be stored in the body long term to promote strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
- Vitamin A: Your child needs vitamin A to promote healthy vision and a healthy immune system. Vitamin A can also help prevent acne when your kids hit puberty.
- Vitamin B12: We can’t produce vitamin B12 naturally, so supplementation is often key, especially if your child doesn’t eat any animal products, which are the most common source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is important for memory and it can also help boost your child’s energy levels.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is the immune system boosting powerhouse that helps beat back the common cold and other illnesses by strengthening your child’s immune system.
- Vitamin D: Calcium is an essential vitamin, but without enough Vitamin D, your body cannot absorb it properly. Vitamin D is key to growth and bone health, and about 40 percent of kids don’t get enough of it.
Other Important Vitamins
In addition to the essential vitamins listed above, other important vitamins included in effective childrens vitamins include:
- Folate (B9): Supports energy and cellular growth
- Biotin (B7): Supports cellular growth and healthy skin
- Pantothenic Acid (B5): Supports energy, sleep, and focus
- Iodine: Supports thyroid function
- Vitamin E: Supports eyesight, the heart, and the immune system
- Thiamin (B1): Supports concentration, sleep, and general mood
- Riboflavin: Supports eyesight, energy, and cell growth
- Zinc: Supports the immune system and helps with infections, nicks, and cuts
- Selenium: Supports sleep, mood, and inflammation
- Manganese: Supports metabolism and inflammation
A Healthier Option
An effective childrens vitamin doesn’t just include the right vitamins and minerals for good health, it also promotes good health through its other ingredients. Effective childrens vitamins have the following characteristics:
- No added sugar: Most kids (about 98 percent) already consume too much sugar each day. Childrens vitamins should not include added sugar.
- No gummies: According to dentists, gummy vitamins are the leading cause of cavities in kids. Instead of giving your child a gummy vitamin that causes more problems than it solves, look for chewable tablets that won’t get stuck in your child’s teeth.
- Made for kids: Effective childrens vitamins are made especially for kids and are not simply colorful versions of adult vitamins. Make sure that the vitamins you choose are formulated with children in mind.
- Made from real ingredients: If you can’t read the label on the back of the childrens vitamins you’re considering purchasing, put them back. Kids absorb vitamins and minerals best when they come from real food like organic fruits and vegetables and brown rice, so choose a vitamin that’s made from real ingredients.
Remember, not all childrens vitamins are created equal. In order to be effective, childrens vitamins should include all of the essential elements that kids need to grow and develop, while also keeping synthetic chemicals, added sugar, preservatives, and toxins out of the equation.