Should I give my child multivitamins?

Should I give my child multivitamins?

Author -  Vicki Martin, Nutritionist and Naturopath

Naturopath Vicki Martin explains how to tell whether your child might benefit from a multivitamin supplement

Experts disagree on whether children need multivitamin supplements. Many young children are picky eaters, which may mean that they need a vitamin supplement to improve their appetite.

Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about whether your s/he is getting the level of vitamins and minerals they need. But times a multivitamin supplement might be appropriate for your child include if s/he:

  • Has an eating disorder, is not eating well, or is a picky eater
  • Is not growing well, or has growing pains or problems 
  • Doesn't eat regular or well-balanced meals
  • Doesn't get enough Vitamin D through diet or sunlight exposure
  • Has certain chronic diseases or food allergies
  • Has a restrictive diet, e.g. a vegetarian or strict allergy reduction diet

Keep in mind that certain vitamins and minerals can interact with medications your child may take. Follow these precautions when giving your youngster multivitamin supplements:

  • Make sure the multivitamin is designed for your child's age group.
  • Choose a multivitamin that provides a good level for all vitamins and minerals.
  • Store multivitamins out of your child's reach and make it clear that they aren't sweets. 
  • Don't use multivitamins as a replacement for proper nutrition. Keep giving your child healthy meals and snacks.