How to Choose Your Kid’s Multivitamin
What vitamins do my kids need? This question becomes very popular here at the Source, as we look to a healthy Back to School season. Parents are sifting through the endless choices of children’s multivitamins trying to find the best supplement for their kids. But how do you choose a vitamin supplement for your kid? What do they need? Here’s what to look for in the best kids’ vitamins.
Multi-vitamin supplements for kids and adults vary greatly in the nutrients they provide and their quality. For everyone regardless of age, eating a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruits, high-quality protein and healthy fats should be where we get the bulk of our nutrient needs met.
Since this isn’t always 100% possible (especially challenging if your kid is a picky eater), a multi-vitamin might be necessary.
Why Does My Kid Need a Multi-Vitamin?
Your child is growing rapidly every day (physically and mentally), and proper nutrition along with physical activity is critical for their short and long term health. Even more importantly than for adults, children should be eating as much of their diet from organic and local foods as possible, and definitely need plenty of exercise.
Certain key nutrients are especially important for kids, such as omega 3 fatty acid for neurological development and the beta-carotene form of vitamin A for vision and immune health. Whether it’s extra nutrition for the picky eater or general support for your active kiddo, a good quality multi is probably a good idea. Here’s how to choose the best multivitamin for your kids.
It Should Taste Good But Be Low in Sugar
You want your children’s multivitamin to taste good enough that they’ll take it, but you’ll also want to avoid products that are high in sugar and/or include artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. Look for kids’ multivitamins that contain no more than 3 grams of sugar per serving, like these.
Avoid Artificial Additives, Hydrogenated Oils, and Synthetic Dyes
This rule goes for adults, too, but is even more important not to expose your kids to potentially risky additives and ingredients that are often included in supplements. For this reason, an organic children’s multivitamin that comes from a reputable company is best. Check out this informative article on dangerous ingredients commonly added to supplements.
Watch Out for Iron
Children need iron, but taking too much can be very dangerous to their health, even fatal. If your child’s multivitamin has iron, make sure you keep it locked in a safe place where they can’t take more than the safe daily dose.
Better yet, choose a kids multivitamin without iron and make sure your kids get enough from food sources, such as beef, lamb, sunflower seeds, clams, whole grains and dark, leafy green vegetables.
Free of Allergens
Be sure that the multi-vitamin is free of allergens, as these can be potentially dangerous for your child’s health. Common allergens include yeast, dairy, soy, corn and artificial ingredients such as preservatives, flavorings, and dyes.
Includes Minerals and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Not only should your kid’s multi-vitamin include at least 100% of the DV for all essential vitamins, but it should also include omega 3 fatty acids and minerals. Especially chelated forms of minerals will make absorption easier.
Following these basic guidelines can ensure that you choose the best and safest multi-vitamin to support your child’s growth and overall health. However, make sure that whichever multi you choose is in addition to a nutrient-dense diet and plenty of water.
Browse multivitamins for kids and make sure they’re getting the best complete nutrient profile. Vitamin World’s come in chews, gummies, and coated capsules (also available in organic).
Rachel Fiske is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and graduated from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition in Berkeley, California. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Rachel focuses on issues of weight management, GI problems, hormonal imbalances, fatigue and more via a whole foods diet and lifestyle changes.