Vitamins for Kids
With all of the information floating around the media today about the importance of nutrition, more and more people are turning to supplements and vitamins to make up the difference of their fast processed food diets.
Lets get one thing clear …..experts do not agree on this subject. …so if you have been confused do not feel bad!
According to a American Academy of Pediatrics, a diet based on the food pyramid will provide adequate amounts of all vitamins which a child requires for appropriate growth and development.
However, it is very difficult to find a child who eats a diet based on the food guide pyramid. Even in the adequacy and effectiveness of the food pyramid has come into question in the past five years….can’t win can we?
It is safe to assume then that since most children are either picky eaters or may have a poor diet as well as a food pyramid guide which may not be accurate, many children a will require a multivitamin supplementation in order to provide their bodies with the right amount of vitamins and minerals to support optimal growth and development.
Other situations which may present themselves include children who eat a vegetarian diet, those who suffer from a gastrointestinal or metabolic disorder and those who have an immune deficiency, such as diabetes or lupus.
According to new recommendations infants who are exclusively breast-fed should also receive 200 international units of vitamin D each day.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that a supplement is only necessary if the pediatrician recommends it other experts believe that a daily supplement is a good way to fill in any gaps in your child’s nutrition. The concern is that a child will receive vitamins over and above the recommended daily allowance which can lead to vitamin toxicity. However, since most children do not like vegetables and fruits, a daily vitamin and mineral supplement will help them meet their recommended daily allowances.
Supplements and vitamins are not a substitute for healthy food and they should never be used in order to justify a poor diet or a picky eater. If a child is not eating well then a vitamin is in order but steps must also be taken to improve his eating habits.
One common deficiency in children’s diets are omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for proper nervous system and brain function. Kids who don’t like fruits and vegetables may also not be getting enough vitamin C which is important for the immune system.
Vitamin B complex have several functions which involve carbohydrate metabolism. Many experts also believe that minerals are depleted in our soil and that much of our current produce is also deficient in calcium, zinc and chromium.
When you purchase a children’s vitamin in order to fill in the gaps it is important to get a high quality supplement from a nutrition store or a health food store.
Not all vitamins are made alike. There are specific chemicals bound to each vitamin molecule which helps it to be absorbed in the correct place in the gastrointestinal tract. When these chemicals are of poor quality most of the vitamins end up in the toilet.
Remember that vitamins and supplements are not replacements for a well-balanced diet. Parents must remember to encourage their children to eat a healthy foods they need and allow the vitamins only to fill in the gap and the things they don’t receive.