A balanced diet is the best way to ensure that a body is getting all the vitamins required to grow and develop properly, so it's especially important to consider the diet of a growing child. Multivitamin supplements can be a great way to fortify vitamin intake, but there are a few things that must be considered first when looking for the best children's vitamins for your toddler.
Best Toddler Vitamins
- Iron: Supports a child's natural growth and development, metabolic and cellular function and hormonal synthesis. The recommended daily dose for toddlers is 7 milligrams.
Best Vitamins for Kids
As children get older, their recommended dose of vitamins and minerals increases too. The best vitamins for children aged 4 to 8 years are:
Calcium and vitamin D are particularly important as they aid a child's growth through their most developmental years.
Natural Vitamin Sources
Though supplements are a great way to fortify your child's intake of vitamins and minerals, the very best way is through a balanced, healthy diet, which should include:
- Vitamin D: Oily fish such as trout, salmon, sardines and eggs. The sun is also a fantastic nonfood source, but be wary of the risks of excessive exposure.
- Vitamin B12: Beef, fortified cereals and tuna
- Iron: Nuts, beans and green vegetables
- Calcium: Dairy products and leafy vegetables
- Vitamin C: Oranges, kiwifruit, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers
When Are Supplements Necessary?
There may be instances in which multivitamins for kids are recommended due to health complications. The Mayo Clinic describes examples of these health complications as:
- A delay in physical or developmental growth
- Certain chronic diseases or allergies that may prevent vitamin acquisition from certain foods
- Any vitamin deficiencies arising from a strict diet (e.g., vegetarian and vegan)
According to an article published in December 2016 by the journal Nutrients, the best vitamins for kids who are adhering to a vegetarian or vegan diet are vitamin B12, vitamin D and iron.
It's important to remember multivitamins are by no means replacements for a healthy diet. They are supplements, used only to assist vitamin intake. If any pressing health concerns arise, contact a pediatrician as soon as possible.
Happy Family Organics emphasizes that vitamin supplements are not candy, as excessive vitamin dosage can be toxic, so be sure to make the difference between vitamins and candy completely clear to your child.
- Happy Family Organics: "Supplements and Vitamins for Your Toddler"
- National Health Service: "Vitamins for Children"
- National Institutes of Health: "Vitamin B12"
- KidsHealth From Nemours: "Iron"
- Mayo Clinic: "Nutrition and Healthy Eating"
- Mayo Clinic: "Should I Give Multivitamins to My Preschooler?"
- National Health Service: "Calcium"
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Children and Dietary Supplements"
- National Institutes of Health: "Calcium"
- National Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases Resource Center: "Calcium and Vitamin D: "Important at Every Age"
- National Institutes of Health: "Iron"
- National Institutes of Health: "Vitamin C"