The Importance of Vitamins for Picky Eaters
  /   Dr. John Snow

The Importance of Vitamins for Picky Eaters

Odds are that as a parent, you have dealt with a picky eater. After all, kids are notoriously picky eaters and it can be really challenging to get them to eat certain foods. For some kids, being a picky eater is just an annoying quirk, but for others, it can actually cause a lot of problems. So what’s a parent to do? It can be  really frustrating trying to deal with a picky eater who refuses to eat healthy fruits and vegetables in place of sugary snacks., and while you should encourage your child to consciously eat a balanced diet on their own, there are things that you can do as a parent to make sure that their nutritional needs are being met. Children’s vitamin supplements are one of the best ways for your child to get all of the vitamins and minerals they need, especially if they aren’t getting them from food alone – a common problem for picky eaters.  

Children’s Vitamins: The Basics

Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for growth and nutrition, not just for children, but for every human being young and old! However, vitamins are extremely important especially for children because children are constantly growing and developing every single day with the help of those vitamins. When a child doesn’t get enough vitamins, it can lead to vitamin deficiencies and harmful consequences like impaired growth, developmental delays, and bone defects. Obviously this is the worst-case scenario, but vitamin deficiencies are actually more common than you would think. The most common vitamin deficiencies in children relate to Vitamin D and calcium. Recent studies have shown that more than 40% of children don’t get enough Vitamin D, while up to 90% of girls and 80% of boys don’t get enough calcium. 

In an ideal world, your child would be able to get all of the vitamins and minerals that they need from whole foods alone. While this is definitely possible, it might not be easy or even realistic for most children because a lot of children aren’t going to want to eat vitamin-rich foods like vegetables, shellfish, beans, etc. These foods simply aren’t appetizing or appealing to children, and they often won’t be until the child grows older and develops a more advanced palate. Constantly worrying about what foods your child will and won’t eat, then trying to compare  that information with the long and complicated lists of foods that contain those essential vitamins, and then trying to combine those foods into actual meals that your child will want to eat is a lot to handle, and you don’t have to.. Children’s multivitamins like those from Hiya are a great way to make sure that your child is getting all the nutrition that they need without the hassle of trying to get them to eat things they simply don’t want to.. Giving your child a daily multivitamin might be the best way to ensure that they get all of the vitamins and minerals that they need to continue growing and developing at the right rates. 

Children Who Need Vitamins

Even though all children could benefit from taking vitamins, there are some children who can  benefit more than others. Giving daily vitamins to picky eaters is an easy solution to difficult eating habits that might prevent your child from getting the nutrition that they need.  Additionally, children  with food allergies or restricted diets that prevent consumption of  dairy, wheat, or meats could also benefit from taking a vitamin to make up for those missed nutrients. Also, children with chronic illnesses or physical/developmental delays might also benefit from taking a vitamin in order to help boost their immune systems, growth, and development. 

Vitamins that Children Need

While you are probably familiar with some of the basic vitamins that kids need like Vitamin C and calcium, there are many different minerals that are also extremely important that you might not be so familiar with. The good news is that we have done all the research for you to give you an idea of what kids need to grow big and strong:

  • Vitamin A: Has been shown to boost immunity, may improve eyesight, and may grow cells throughout the body. You can find Vitamin A in things like kale, carrots, and squash. 
  • Vitamin B: There are many different types of Vitamin B that are all necessary for children. The B vitamins include B1, B2, B5, B7, B9, and B12.
    • B1 (Thiamin): Has been shown to improve concentration, sleep, and mood. B1 is found in seaweed, grains, and legumes. 
    • B2 (Riboflavin): Has been shown to benefit eye health, boosts energy, and promotes healthy cell growth. B2 is found in spinach, bananas, and asparagus. 
    • B5 (Pantothenic acid): May improve energy, increases focus, and promotes sleep. B5 is found in mushrooms, milk, and kale. 
    • B7 (Biotin): May help cells, skin, and the digestive system. B7 is found in cauliflower, mushrooms, and avocados. 
    • B9 (Folate): Has been shown to provide energy and may grow cells. B9 is found in broccoli, brussel sprouts, and avocados. 
    • B12: Has been shown to help with sleep and memory. B12 is found in banana, liver, and milk. 
  • Vitamin C: Has been shown to promote a healthy immune system by reducing illnesses and promote growth. Orange juice, peppers, and strawberries are all good sources of Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D: May help to strengthen bones and reduce illnesses. You can obtain Vitamin D from food sources like mushrooms, oranges, and fish. 
  • Vitamin E: Is known to possibly improve eyesight, benefits heart health and boosts immunity. Vitamin E is found in things like avocados, spinach, and almonds. 
  • Calcium: May helps to build strong bones and helps kids grow big and tall. Broccoli, collard greens, and kale are all good sources of calcium. 
  • Iodine: Has been shown to control metabolism, growth, and development. Iodine is found in foods like kelp and eggs. 
  • Zinc: Helps boost immunity and fight off infections during cold and flu season. It can be found in beans, meat, and poultry. 
  • Manganese: May help to improve sleep, mood, and concentration for a happier and healthier kid. Manganese is found in avocados, spinach, and bananas. 
  • Selenium: Has been shown to benefit sleep and mood and also reduces harmful inflammation. Food sources for selenium include tuna and mushrooms.  

Quality Children’s Vitamin Supplements

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with such a long list of vitamins and minerals that children need.. However, there are high-quality multivitamin supplements out there, like those from Hiya, that contain beneficial nutrients to help your child stay happy and healthy! Based on research and development from pediatricians and scientists, quality children’s vitamins must include just the right forms and amounts of those essential nutrients. You should also look for a vitamin that is truly healthy, avoiding things like fillers, added sugar, chemicals, and preservatives. Instead, the best multivitamin should include organic fruits and vegetables, natural sweeteners, and is in a chewable form versus a gummy form, which has been shown to  cause cavities. 

Tips for Dealing with a Picky Eater

Even if you are able to meet all of your picky eater’s nutritional needs through vitamins, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t address their picky eating. To help them grow out of their narrowed food preferences, here are a few tips to try:

  • The first tip for dealing with a picky eater is to stick to a routine with set times for meals and snacks. At the same time, don’t provide too many snacks or beverages like juice or milk that might fill up your child before mealtime. Instead, encourage them to drink water or eat small amounts of healthy snacks like fruit and veggies that help curb hunger without filling them up before a meal. 
  • The second tip for dealing with a picky eater is to not force them to eat when they aren’t hungry. We definitely understand wanting your child to eat, but making it into a big deal by trying to bribe them to eat or even force them to eat isn’t the best way to go about it. Instead, offer smaller portions and allow your child to respond to their own cues by being able to ask for more if they are still hungry.
  • The third tip for dealing with a picky eater is to not give in to their food demands by cooking them a separate meal after they have rejected the original meal that was made. Instead, allow the child to sit at the table with the original meal while everyone else eats. This can encourage them to try new foods because their family is trying it right along with them.
  • Our last  tip for dealing with a picky eater is to be patient when introducing new foods into your child's diet, and understand that it might take them some time to warm up. Pairing new foods along with favorite foods might be a good way to encourage your child to try something new. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative with how you serve foods; you can  make it fun for them by using different shapes, bright colors, and dipping sauces.  

Dealing with a picky eater is definitely a struggle, but there are ways to work with it. If your kid takes picky eating to the extreme and is missing out on valuable vitamins and minerals as a result, a children’s multivitamin can help make sure that they get the nutrition they need while they work on improving their picky eating habits.

*The FDA plays a specific role in regulating nutraceuticals and for all companies requires the following disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.