Can Babies and Toddlers Benefit from Using Multivitamins?
It’s so important that our growing kids get all of the nutrition their bodies need. From their cognitive development to strong healthy bones allowing them to take those all important first steps, proper nutrition promotes it all.
It’s always a worry when considering introducing something new to your little ones, especially something like supplements. Are they really necessary? Can they cause your child harm?
There’s lots of research as to whether people should give their children supplements. Most experts agree that taking a daily supplement won’t do your child any harm as long as they don’t take more than the recommended daily amount. Supplements are particularly beneficial for children with food sensitivities and limited diets as they help ensure they get everything they need.
Supplements also give peace of mind to parents of fussy eaters. For some, weaning can be a nightmare. No matter how hard you try, you can’t always get them to eat what’s good for them.
Formula fed babies tend to get all of their vitamins and minerals from milk especially in the first six months of life. (source) Breastfeeding moms sometimes worry that their youngsters aren’t getting everything from their milk. If for any reason the mother isn’t getting complete nutrition from her diet this can affect the breast milk.
If your baby was born prematurely or at a low birth weight, there’s a chance that that he could need a vitamin supplement. If you think any of these scenarios apply to you and your family, check with your pediatrician to find out if a multivitamin supplement is a good fit for your needs.
What Vitamins are Important for Babies and Toddlers?
Vitamin D is very important to growing babies. Without vitamin D our bodies cannot absorb calcium. As I’m sure you know, our little ones need calcium to develop strong healthy bones and teeth. (source)
Most adults have difficulty getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D, and only small amounts are transferred through breast milk. Therefore, it’s often recommended that babies take a vitamin D supplement if they are breastfed exclusively.
Vitamin B12 is also incredibly important. Vitamin B12 is a major factor in the development of the nervous system. It’s important to ensure that your diet contains plenty of sources of B12 in order to transfer enough to your breast milk. (source)
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for healthy brain development. Although it is probably not advisable for infants to take an omega-3 supplement, breastfeeding moms should consider using one themselves if they do not get enough dietary omega-3. (source)
What Kind of Multivitamins are Available for Babies and Toddlers?
There are a number of products available for babies and toddlers. Many are in a convenient liquid form. Some offer as many as 20 nutrients and can be given to babies daily.
There are lots of options available for children of all ages. It’s important to choose a product designed for the age of your child to supply the correct dose of vitamins and minerals.
Of course I must stress that supplements are not a substitute for a healthy, nutrient-packed diet. Keep trying to give whole foods like fruits and vegetables to your little one to form good eating habits that will last for life.
Nevertheless, I’ve looked at all of the vitamin supplements available for infants in order to help you make an informed decision on the best multivitamins for babies and toddlers.
Remember babies are constantly growing and under 12 months they often have sensitive stomachs. Something may work great for one child but cause an upset stomach in your baby.
Therefore it is often a case of trial and error when it comes to supplements and kids. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate speak to your doctor.