Children need vitamins for lots of reasons. The most pressing reason to incorporate vitamins for toddlers is to bridge the gaps that likely exist from not eating perfect amounts of all of the food groups everyday. Even the perfectly planned meal may not get fully consumed if you have a picky eater.
And if your toddler snacks on chips, cookies or crackers, their minds can be tricked into thinking they are full enough to skip meals.
Having said that, how do you go about choosing the best vitamins for toddlers when you need them? Here are a few tips from author and pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene:
- You want to supplement with 50 to 100% of the 13 critical micronutrients – also called the Greene 13.Calcium, fiber, folic acid, Iron, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids (especially DHA), phosphorous (except for kids who drink carbonated beverages and get too much), potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc. You likely will need more than one supplement to get all of these vitamins.
- Avoid paying premiums for vitamins for toddlers that boast about having extra amounts of the above nutrients.This means vitamins that have more than double the daily recommended amounts of vitamin doses. The extra doses don’t necessarily add benefit.
- Avoid unnecessary ingredients.Skip vitamins with hydrogenated vegetable oils, chemical dyes, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives such as butylated hydroxytoluen. You can find these in some of the most popular brands.
- Look for vitamins low in sugar and avoid gummy candy vitamins.Dr. Greene says the habit of giving your kids candy-like vitamins everyday is a hard one to back. Instead he prefers liquid vitamins or chewable vitamins that are low in sugar.
- Finally, Get the advice of an advisor in a local health food store before purchasing.
They can often help you compare two or more brands that you’re considering and often have extra knowledge about how the vitamins are made and how effective they are at being absorbed.
One final tip I would add is to read the labels of the vitamins you choose and ask a nutritionist or pharmacist if you don’t understand the ingredients. Remember that terms such as natural are not regulated, while the term organic should be accompanied by the name of a certifying body.
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