Vitamins for Kids: Do They Need Them?
  /   Dr. John Snow

Vitamins for Kids: Do They Need Them?

As parents, we want our kids to be healthy. But let’s be honest, doing so isn't easy.
From the daily clean-plate battles to their nightly temptations of sugary treats, keeping kids healthy can feel overwhelming and stressful.
But not to fear.

While there isn’t a one-fits-all solution to keeping your kids healthy there's one easy way you can ensure your kids are getting the nutrients they need.

Vitamins for kids are that key solution to ensuring your kids are happy and healthy. And that’s all parents really want for their kids.

However, today’s parents are overwhelmed with so many options, such as gummy vitamins, probiotics, vitamin A, complete multivitamins, omega-3, and of course Flintstones, making it difficult to know which dietary supplement is right.

We understand that as parents, you want to be fully informed before making any decisions that affect your kids. So to help with the process—because it can be overwhelming—we’ve put together the key points of what you need to know about multivitamins and how to know which ones they really need.

Why your kids need multivitamins:

  • They fill the nutritional gaps

We all know kids are supposed to eat a certain number of fruits and vegetables -- yet even the best eaters are still picky. A proper vitamin can help fill in the gaps that kids just aren’t getting enough of. With the right vitamin, you can focus a bit less on those brutal dinner-table arguments over what your kid is eating, so you can choose your battles elsewhere.

  • Keeps your kids strong and healthy

Vitamins for kids help ensure that your kids have the right nutrients for optimal development, which is especially important for kids. While vitamins for adults have questionable effectiveness, when kids don’t get the appropriate nutrients and minerals from a high-quality vitamin, an unexpected deficiency can result in behavior issues, bad moods, poor sleep, tummy problems, and misbehavior.

  • Helps boost their immune systems It’s inevitable -- kids will be exposed to germs, no matter how hard you try.. But that’s okay if they have a strong immune system. Giving your kid a daily vitamin will help boost up their immune system so that they can fight off the germs they encounter and leave you with more peace of mind when they put their hands on everything in sight.
  • Provide extra energy to get them through the day

When your kid gets the right amount of nutrients, they will have the necessary energy to get them through their busy day. Being a kid is full-on—from constantly absorbing new information, running around and going through growth spurts, having enough the right nutrients is important so they don’t break down.

  • Introduces healthy habits early

It is never too early to get your kid hooked on healthy habits for life. Introducing a daily vitamin for your kid (especially one without sugar) will help them learn what it feels like when they are well-nourished and get them hooked on practicing healthy habits. It is one of the best tools you can give them as they grow into adulthood—healthy decisions set the tone for the rest of their day and life!

What vitamins your kids need:

When it comes to deciding what vitamins your kids need.
there is no straightforward answer As parents, you need to consider many factors but not to fret, we’ll break it down simply for you when it comes to figuring out what vitamins your kids need—and what they might need a little bit extra of.

Every kid needs these 6 essential daily vitamins:

  • Calcium

Good for the bones and fantastic for long term development, calcium is one of the most important vitamins for kids -- yet it’s not produced naturally by the body, so the only option is a vitamin or a vitamin supplement to make sure! The best part is the more calcium your kid gets, the more they can store, so the more prepared they will be to fight off diseases such as osteoporosis when they are adults.

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps with a healthy vision and a proper immune system. And once your little ones become teenagers, Vitamin A helps them fight off any risk of acne.

  • Vitamin B12

Did you know that we as humans can not actually produce Vitamin B12 on our own? It is normally sourced from animal products, so if your kid follows a vegetarian or vegan diet, giving them extra Vitamin B12 is a good idea. Vitamin B12 may also help improve memory and boost their energy, along with fighting off any heart disease as they age.

  • Vitamin C

Ah, the good ole’ Vitamin C—we can’t ever really get enough of it. Boosting Vitamin C intake is always one of the first solutions to help your kid conquer the common cold as it is one of the most ideal vitamins for strengthening immune support. Having enough Vitamin C is one of the most ideal nutrition markers for your kid’s overall health and ensures their body will be able to fight off any nasty germs they might encounter.

  • Vitamin D

Good for the bones and the brain, Vitamin D has a big role to play when it comes to your kid’s growth and ability to absorb calcium. And unfortunately, it’s one of the vitamins that 40% of kids just don’t get enough of -- especially picky eaters or those that live in colder climates, since vitamin D is found in ultraviolet UVB light. how do you know if your kids need an extra boost of their vitamins? While each case is different, we recommend considering giving your kid a daily vitamin if they meet any of the below:

  • Follow a vegetarian or vegan diet—as they are at risk for being low on Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Vitamins B12 + D.
  • Have trouble eating vegetables
  • Eat lots of processed foods like breakfast cereals or pizza
  • Are a picky eater who don’t normally eat a well-balanced healthy diet—as they will be missing out on eating key vitamins
  • Suffer from celiac disease, cystic fibrosis or have problems absorbing vitamins and minerals through a normal diet—as the extra boost will help get the proper nutrients to their body.

How to choose the right vitamin for your kid:

Now comes the tricky part --how do you know what daily vitamins you should be giving your kid? It’s a consumerist world, so no surprise if you are feeling overwhelmed with your choices such as gummies or a chewable.
Here are our tips to help you choose the right vitamins for your kid:

  • Have a chat with a pediatrician or health care provider

If you’re in doubt, we recommend having a chat with your kid’s physician as they follow the American Academy of Pediatrics and can point you in the right direction in terms of children's vitamins. They will be able to help you determine what vitamins your kid might be lacking and give you the extra peace of mind that you are doing the right thing.

  • Avoid any brand with sugar

98% of kids eat too much sugar! So there’s absolutely no reason a kid’s vitamin should be including six grams of sugar, given by each and every day. That’s as much sugar as a couple of Starburst in the morning.

  • Give your kids a chewable, not gummies

Gummies have become all the rage. Yet every dentist agrees -- gummy vitamins are the leading cause of cavities in kids. That’s because gummies get stuck in their teeth, leading to more problems than they solve. And we all know parents don’t need another problem in their lives. Plus gummies include gummy junk that growing bodies should never eat.

  • Choose kid-friendly vitamins

Don’t forget, not all vitamins are created equal! The doses of daily nutrients vary in daily multivitamins for kids compared to adults. You don’t want to cause harm to your kid by giving them mega doses of vitamins that their bodies don’t need yet. So, keep an eye out on labels that say the vitamins are kid-friendly -- not brands made for adults that slap on a kid’s version. Companies like Hiya produce vitamins with kids in mind and ensure each ingredient has a beneficiary purpose to your kid.

  • Make sure your vitamin includes the essentials

It’s difficult to know what hidden deficiencies your child may have. That’s why the best kid’s vitamins have a variety of vitamins and minerals, including selenium, magnesium, zinc, and more. If you focus too much solely on the most popular vitamins and minerals, your child may be missing out and having a deficiency you don’t know about.

  • Make it fun!

The best kid’s vitamins include an experience that make vitamins fun -- not a daily chore. While it’s not a suitable replacement for candy as they only need one a day, a daily vitamin for your kid can become a fun part of their routine that they look forward to!