Should your child take vitamins to stay healthy? There are many multivitamins marketed for kids, including fruit flavored gummy vitamins, but are they necessary?
Children's of Alabama Nutrition Director Jeanna Jackson said that because vitamins are stored in the body, eating a variety of different food groups is adequate. "The good news is generally most of our patients will get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy and well-balanced diet." Jackson said.
If your child is a picky eater and you have concerns about whether they are getting enough variety in their diet, Jackson recommends talking to your child's pediatrician. In this case, she said a multivitamin may do the trick.
There are other instances when vitamins are recommended. "Babies that are exclusively breast-fed need vitamin supplementation from their first few days of life because breast milk is low in vitamin D," Jackson said. She also said a pediatrician may recommend supplementation in the instance of diseases like Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend a multivitamin for children. However, Jackson said if a parent chooses to give their child a multivitamin, they are generally safe. She recommends against a megadose of vitamins that may cause problems with nutrient absorption of other vitamins and minerals. An example would be a vitamin D dosage well beyond the Recommended Dietary Allowance, RDA.