One question I get asked often is, “Do I give my kids supplements and if so, which ones?” The short answer is yes, but it is more complicated than that. I do think most children could benefit from supplements, especially if their diet consists of processed foods or if they are very picky eaters. But what are the most important supplements for your kids? Which ones should they take?
Although I try to arm my kids with the best nutrition possible, sometimes they just won’t eat what I hope they do, so this is when I turn to supplements. I realize that nothing can replace the quality, variety and even the availability of nutrients found in food, and in no way are supplements a replacement for a proper meal. But I also don’t want to my children to be deficient in important nutrients.
Here are four supplements I give my children to stay healthy. You should talk to your child’s primary practitioner to make sure there are no contraindications with health conditions or medicine they are on before taking any over-the-counter supplements.
1. Multi-vitamin: Provides essential nutrients and boosts immunity. I give my kids Nature’s Plus Animal Parade chewable. They love the animal shapes and the taste, and I feel good giving them a vitamin that does not contain anything artificial.
2. Acidophilus: Contains probiotics for digestive health and boosts immunity. Probiotics are especially important when a child has been on antibiotics, as they help replenish the good bacteria lost. Pathway Children’s Acidophilus is grape flavored and provides healthy digestive support for those 5 years and older. For the younger ones, I like Udo’s Choice Infants’ Probiotic Blend, a powder than can easily be mixed in juice, yogurt or applesauce.
3. Omega-3s: Contain fatty acids for brain, eye and muscle development. Nordic Naturals ProOmega Junior are strawberry flavored and can be chewed. They also offer liquid versions that can mixed with applesauce, if your child prefers that.
4. Vitamin D: Promotes healthy bone and tooth formation, and helps the body absorb calcium. This is especially in the winter months, when there are shorter days and we are less exposed to the sun. Carlson Vitamin D drops are easily administered; one drop in water can provide 1000IU of the sunshine vitamin.
Remember to always read product labels carefully, and if you have questions about dose, please contact one of our nutritional advisors at Village Green Apothecary.
Photo from here, with thanks.