Keeping your kids healthy is a full-time job. Parents are becoming increasingly more concerned with the products they use in their households. Parents are cutting out chemicals and junk food as they change their approaches to family wellness, placing their children’s well-being and balanced diet at the forefront.
One of the most important aspects of giving a child a healthy start is sitting on the kitchen table. It’s the food you serve and the essential nutrients it imparts to your growing child.
You want to ensure your child’s nutritional needs are properly met, assuring that they’ll enter their teen years healthy, thriving, and ready to start thinking about college majors.
Vitamins and minerals are crucial to a developing mind and developing body. Here are the vitamins your child should be getting to promote optimal wellness.
Everyone Needs Every Vitamin and Mineral - It’s The Amounts That Vary
There are 13 essential vitamins and 13 essential minerals. They occur in almost everything we eat. Our body uses these vitamins and minerals to promote growth and development while we’re young and to maintain health as we get older.
Children and adults need all of the same vitamins and minerals. They simply need them in varying amounts at different stages of life. The vitamin and mineral needs of a child will fluctuate from birth until their teenage years. The needs of your four-year-old and the needs of your older children will be different, and that’s something you should keep in mind when researching vitamins for your family.
1. B Vitamins
B vitamins work to support the health and development of the heart and nervous system. They’re also necessary for a healthy metabolism and energy production. All B vitamins are essential, but vitamin B12 is the most critical B vitamin to support overall health. The other B vitamins include vitamin B6, B2, folic acid, biotin, and riboflavin.
B vitamins are plentiful in meat, poultry, and fish. Eggs are a great vegetarian source of B vitamins. Children who eat vegan diets may have a difficult time meeting their vitamin B needs through diet alone.
While nutritional yeast and fortified soy products often contain vitamin B, they’re often used in small amounts, and your child may need vitamin supplements.
Soy is also a common allergen, and the families of those affected by the allergy can’t depend on soy to meet their dietary needs.
How Much Vitamin B12 Does My Child Need?
Vitamin B12 is measured in micrograms. The daily needs of vitamin B12 for children of different ages are as follows:
- Infants - 0.5 mcg
- 1 year to 3 years - 0.9 mcg
- 4 years to 8 years - 1.2 mcg
- 9 years to 13 years - 1.8 mcg
- Teenagers - 2.4 mcg
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that the body uses to protect healthy cells. It also supports the overall health of blood vessels and works to strengthen the immune system.
Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are good sources of vitamin E.
- If you’re preparing healthy meals, you likely want to limit vegetable oils to reasonable serving sizes.
- If your child can have nuts or nut butters, they’ll likely supply plenty of vitamin E.
- If you’re a nut-free household, sunflower seed butter can be used as an alternative.
Supplementation may be necessary for children with dietary restrictions.
How Much Vitamin E Does My Child Need?
Vitamin E is usually measured in IU, or International Units. One IU is equal to 0.67 milligrams of d-alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E Hiya uses in our children’s multivitamins. Daily needs for vitamin E are as follows:
- Toddlers 1 to 3 years - 6 mg
- 4 years to 8 years - 7 mg
- 9 years to 13 years - 11 mg
- Teens, adults, and older adults - 15 mg
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D and vitamin D3 work with calcium to build and support bone health, and vitamin D is one of several fat-soluble vitamins. This vitamin is essential for children of all ages, as their bones still have a lot of growing to do.
Oily fish, egg yolks, red meat, and liver are naturally high in vitamin D. These things are difficult to safely incorporate into the diets of young children, which is why many cereal, dairy products, and bread companies fortify their products with vitamin D to help fill nutritional gaps. If your child can consume cow’s milk, it will serve as the best dietary source of the vitamin.
How Much Vitamin D Does My Child Need?
The recommended daily amount of vitamin D for babies and children is 400 IU, or 10 micrograms. Needs increase as children progress into adolescence. The American Academy of Pediatrics automatically recommends supplementation of vitamin D for all children who are not obtaining at least 400 IU through their diet. This includes breastfed infants who can be supplemented with special vitamin D drops specifically used for this purpose. Children who do not get enough of this vital nutrient from diet alone may need liquid supplements or multivitamin gummies.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a multifunctional powerhouse. The body uses vitamin C to make collagen, support skin health, support gum health, heal wounds, minimize bruising, and boost the immune system. It supports every function that an active, growing child’s body relies on every day.
Vitamin C naturally occurs in citrus fruits, bell peppers, potatoes, and strawberries. Most children don’t have a problem meeting their vitamin C needs through their regular diets. It’s only a challenge for notoriously picky eaters.
How Much Vitamin C Does My Child Need?
Vitamin C needs are measured in milligrams. Daily needs increase as follows:
- 1 to 3 years: 15 mg
- 4 to 8 years: 25 mg
- 9 to 13 years: 45 mg
Does My Child Need a Multivitamin?
It’s important to emphasize proper nutrition to your children. If you force fruits, beans, and vegetables into their bellies, you’re likely to get a lot of pushback. They’ll grow to associate healthy eating with dinnertime tension, and that’s the last thing you want. Encourage your child to try new foods at their own pace and use a multivitamin supplement in the interim.
Children with food allergies or absorption issues and children in plant-based households may have a slightly greater need for multivitamins than other children. If they’re limited in selecting foods, they can consume, or if their body has difficulty extracting and utilizing vitamins and minerals from food, a multivitamin may help fill in the gaps.
Before you start using a multivitamin in your household, speak to your child’s pediatrician. If your pediatrician feels as though your child’s intake of vitamins and minerals is adequate, a multivitamin may not be necessary.
Read the Whole Label When Selecting Vitamins for Your Kids
Reading the label is important when you’re trying to make sure your children are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to fill up the gaps in their diets. You want to be sure that the multivitamin contains sufficient amounts of everything your child needs to be healthy. You also want to make sure the formula is free of things your child doesn’t need.
Gummy vitamins are dressed up with a health halo. On the surface, they seem like a fun way to encourage your children to take their vitamins. In reality, they’re candy with added vitamins.
In terms of added sugars, there’s often no difference between giving your child a few gummy bears and giving your child a serving of gummy vitamins. Doesn’t it feel counterintuitive to give your kids added sugar, artificial flavors, and artificial sweeteners in the name of health?
That’s Why We Created Hiya
Hiya is a children’s chewable vitamin naturally sweetened with monk fruit extract. There’s no sugar or gummy junk in the bottle. Your children will enjoy the naturally derived fruit flavor of Hiya without creating an equivocal association with candy and health.
We spoke with pediatricians when formulating Hiya. To create the best multivitamin supplement for growing youngsters and picky eaters, we wanted to know what most children were missing from their daily diets.
Hiya is the ideal choice for most families. Our multivitamin ingredients are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. Our vitamin is also eco-friendly and made in the United States.
If your family’s pediatrician agrees that your children would benefit from the use of a children’s multivitamin supplement, Hiya is always here.