Vitamins are an essential part of our health, especially during childhood, when the body needs all the nutrients it can get to fuel its natural process of growth and maturation. But when should kids start taking vitamins?
There are many opinions on this topic, but no clear consensus as to when the best time to start giving your child vitamins is. While some parents begin supplementing their children as soon as they’re out of the womb, others wait until age two or three, or even longer, before beginning their vitamin regimen.
For example, as a health supplement company, we produce vitamins for children ages 3 and above.
It all depends on your child’s needs and how you want to handle them. But when exactly should you start giving your kids vitamins? Read on to learn about the benefits of vitamins for kids and how to know when you should start giving your child supplements.
Why You Should Give Your Child Vitamins
Every parent wants what’s best for their child’s health, and eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is critical for growth and development.
But, let’s face it, do our children eat healthy every day? It gets even more challenging when you have a picky eater on your hands.
Research has repeatedly shown that children are not receiving the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for several nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, potassium, fibre, and iron.
When it comes to children, multivitamins can play a significant role in ensuring that their bodies receive optimal amounts of essential nutrients.
Vitamins are a tried and tested approach to ensure your child gets enough of the critical nutrients they need, regardless of their eating habits.
Your physician can also prescribe vitamins for children with diseases, conditions, or restricted diets. If your child doesn’t eat Vitamin D fortified milk, or alternative dairy products, for example, your physician may prescribe Vitamin D supplements.
Another question most parents ask is, do their kids need supplements if they are healthy? Take a look at what UNICEF says about vitamin A for example.
Vitamins Kids Need
While you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to pick up these vitamins at your local drugstore, there are some essentials your kids might need. For example, our multivitamin contains all essential vitamins in sugar-free vegan raspberry flavoured gummies.
Your children’s bodies cannot produce Vitamin A independently; thus, they must get it from food or supplements.
Children who consume a lot of vitamin A in their diets, particularly those derived from plants, have been found to live longer and fall sick less easily than kids who don’t.
According to UNICEF, high-dose vitamin-A supplementation enhances a child’s probability of survival by 12 to 24%; it strengthens the immune system, protects against life-threatening diseases like measles and diarrheal disease, and is required for vision and bone growth.
How Much Vitamin A do kids need?
Some children require Vitamin A supplementation from infancy. Below is the recommended dose for kids at different stages from 0 months to 18 years.
- 0-6 months: 400 mcg/day RAE (Retinol Activity Equivalent)
- 6-12 months: 500 mcg/day RAE
- 1-3 years: 300 mcg/day RAE
- 3-8 years: 400 mcg/day RAE
- 8-13 years: 600 mcg/day RAE
- 13-18 years: 900 mcg/day RAE
Vitamin B Complex
One thing to keep in mind regarding Vitamin B is that it is a water-soluble vitamin—therefore, it is not kept in the body for long before it is peed out.
So, to keep a consistent level of B Vitamins, you must give your kids daily, either through their food or supplementation.
While children do not need vitamin B in large doses, they do require the majority of the eight different vitamins within the B complex, they are:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): promotes the development of healthy nerves and muscles in children.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): creates vitamin B3 and activates vitamin B6. It also helps produce red blood cells (RBC).
- Vitamin B3 (niacinamide): aids in the development of healthy skin and the proper functioning of the neurological and digestive systems in children.
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): aids in forming RBC and adrenal hormones.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): promotes children’s brain development and proper function of the nervous and immune systems.
- Vitamin B7 (biotin): promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid) promotes RBC development in kids and is necessary for healthy cell development and DNA synthesis.
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin): maintains kids’ brains and nervous systems.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble, essential nutrient that must be consumed daily, either through food or supplements.
It aids in forming and repairing RBCs, bones, and tissues. It keeps your child’s gums healthy and strengthens blood vessels.
Furthermore, vitamin C promotes wound healing, strengthens the immune system, and prevents infections. It is also necessary for the production of collagen, a ubiquitous protein in human beings.
Since your child’s body is incapable of producing vitamin C on its own, you must make sure they consume a diverse range of coloured fruits and veggies daily – which is often easier said than done.
If your child is a picky eater, it might be easier to take vitamin C in the form of oral, sugar-free gummies like iron and vitamin C gummies.
Vitamin D is an essential component for the health and development of children. It has various purposes, including regulating the body’s calcium absorption, maintaining bones and teeth, and promoting normal muscular function. Vitamin D also helps the immune system function effectively.
Although your kids can make vitamin D from sun exposure, most children are often drenched in sunscreen to avoid sunburn, thereby decreasing the amount of vitamin D their bodies can produce.
In fact, studies have shown that over 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient.
Most kids need supplements like vitamin D3 to support healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin found in various foods such as vegetable oils, grains, meat, egg, and fruits.
It is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the correct functioning of a lot of internal organs. It also acts as an antioxidant.
Fortunately, unlike other vitamins and minerals, most parents are not concerned about their kids’ vitamin E intake.
However, ensuring that your kid is well-nourished will help avoid sickness, improve recovery from illness, and much more.
Conclusion: At what age should kids start taking vitamins?
Vitamins are essential to the overall health of all children, but they’re even more crucial during certain stages of life when the body needs them to grow and develop properly.
Experts recommend giving your kids vitamins from when they are six months old. Liquid multivitamins are the obvious choice for children at this age.
From the age of 2 years and above, children can start taking solid vitamin supplements — the most convenient form of delivery being gummies.
Should a 3-year-old take a multivitamin?
While multivitamins aren’t necessary for healthy children, 3-year-olds lacking certain nutrients can take multivitamins.
Can a 12-year-old take multivitamins?
Yes, a 12-year-old can take multivitamins.
Are gummy vitamins safe for 2-year-olds?
Gummy vitamins are safe enough for 2-year-olds