A guide to the essential vitamins and minerals for kids
Children grow at such a rapid rate that keeping up with their nutritional needs can be tricky for almost every parent, especially if there’s a fussy or picky eater in the family.
A recent study revealed that up to 90% of parents in the UK admit to being confused about how to properly nourish their children and more than half (69%) admitted not being clear on what vitamins, minerals and nutrients should make up a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Wellkid from Vitabiotics is here to help. We’ve pooled our resources and knowledge to produce our essential kid's vitamins and minerals guide, to help ensure you have all bases covered when it comes to nutrition for kids.
Why do kids need multivitamin supplements?
Young children (especially those who don't eat a varied diet) may not get enough of the three most vital vitamins in developing children - vitamins A, C and D. This can apply to children in a number of different situations, including:
- Kids who may not be eating regular, well-balanced meals
- Finicky eaters who simply aren't eating enough
- Kids with medical conditions, especially if they're taking medications (Please consult your doctor before starting a vitamin supplement if your child is taking other medication)
- Kids who eat a primarily vegetarian or a vegan diet (they may require an additional iron supplement too)
- Kids who are dairy-free or on another restricted diet
“The Department of Health recommends that all children aged 6 months to 5 years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day.”
In an ideal world, kids should get the majority of their vitamins and minerals from a healthy, balanced diet that is full of fresh fruit and vegetables and includes:
- Milk and dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt
- Plenty of fresh fruits and leafy, green vegetables
- Protein such as chicken, fish, meat and eggs
- Whole grains such as steel-cut oats and brown rice
Long working hours and active social lives may mean that well-balanced, home-cooked meals aren't always possible every single day of the week, so doctors, healthcare professionals and the Department of Health recommend a daily multivitamin supplement containing vitamins A, C and D for all kids up to the age of 5.
What nutrients should I look out for when buying vitamins for kids?
With packet after packet of different multivitamins products for children lining the shelves of our supermarkets and chemists, it can be difficult to know which one to pick to ensure it contains the vitamins that are right for your little ones.
Below, we’ve listed the vitamins and nutrients to look out for so you know that you’re purchasing the right multivitamin supplement for your kids.
- Calcium and vitamin D - Calcium and vitamin D are needed for normal growth and development of bone in children
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA )- maternal intake contributes to the normal brain development of the foetus and breastfed infants. DHA also contributes to the normal visual development of infants up to 12 months of age.
- Iodine - contributes to the normal growth of children
- Iron - Iron contributes to normal cognitive development of children
- Phosphorus - needed for the normal growth and development of bone in children
- Protein - needed for normal growth and development of bone in children.
- Vitamin D - needed for normal growth and development of bone and contributes to the normal function of the immune system in children.