In an ideal world, children would be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from a variety of sources. However, this isn't always the case.
When it comes to the health of our children we cannot deny the huge role that nutrition and exercise play. Food is the fuel that helps them to grow and heal every single day.
In a perfect world, children would eat a wide variety of foods and their nutrition would be of no concern, but the reality is very different for a lot of parents.
Trying to get some children to eat any kind of vegetable or fruit can be a real struggle in some families. In these cases, children may be extremely fussy when it comes to the food they eat.
They may insist upon eating the same foods every single day and their diet could be completely devoid of healthy nutrients. This can impact their sleep, energy levels and lead to complications later in life such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
In these cases, is it a good idea to give children a daily multivitamin? Many healthcare professionals are divided when it comes to their opinions about whether children should be given a multivitamin.
In some cases, it may be the only opportunity for a child to ingest these vitamins. However, the body processes and absorbs vitamins more effectively when they are obtained via food, making that the ideal method.
According to the HSE website, if vitamins are being taken there is a risk, as taking too many of them or taking them for too long can have harmful effects. In some cases, vitamins may be recommended by a doctor. For example, the public health nurse will encourage parents to give their breastfed baby a Vitamin D supplement daily for their first year of life.
A Vitamin may also be suggested in cases where a condition is present, such as a health issue that affects a child’s ability to grow. It may also be recommended in cases where extreme allergies are present or if a child is following a strict diet such as the Vegan diet.
If your child is a fussy eater, you might be surprised to hear that many of the foods they eat are fortified with vitamins already. Foods like cereal, certain juices and yoghurts may be fortified with extra vitamins.
There are some risk factors if you decide to give your child a multivitamin. It is important to ensure that the one you choose is specifically designed for your child’s age group and is given at the correct dosage. It is also essential that the multivitamin is kept out of reach for young children.