There is a lot of debate surrounding whether or not a child needs a daily dose of mineral supplements or multivitamins. Some experts recommend that you should only give your child food supplements if your regular doctor prescribes one. They believe that most modern foods are fortified with minerals and vitamins, and therefore adding to them is unnecessary. Other experts however, advise that as long as your child is not getting more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of any vitamin or mineral, it cannot hurt to top off their diet with a multivitamin or mineral supplement.
Vegetables and fruits are high contenders for the pickiness phase in a child's diet, and they are all filled with crucial vitamins and minerals your child needs. As a parent, you may wish to supplement your child's food intake with multivitamin and mineral supplements to give yourself peace of mind when your child flatly refuses to eat a particular type of food.
Vegetarian families, or those with severe food allergies may need supplements to enable them to meet the daily recommended allowance for minerals and vitamins. If you are a vegetarian family, be sure to supplement your child's diet with calcium, riboflavin and the vitamins D and B12.
Anaemic children may be prescribed a regular dose of iron supplements. As with an overdose of any medication, it is wise to understand the recommended daily allowance and to ensure that your child's diet does not exceed it.
Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin for growing bodies. Children who don't get enough of it should be taking 400 IU of a Vitamin D supplement.
The mineral calcium is another extremely vital element to a child's diet. If they are not getting enough through foods such as yogurt, cheese, almonds, milk, fish, soy products or some green vegetables, then getting them an additional calcium supplement is very important.
Vitamins for your child can come in syrups, softgel capsules or chewable tablets. Choose the form of supplement by the age of your child. If you need a vitamin or mineral supplement for your baby, a syrup or drops is the best as they cannot yet chew a tablet.
For young children, softgel capsules are the best as they look fun, are tasty and it's usually not that hard to convince your child to eat them. Syrups or drops are also good, especially if your child is not yet comfortable with chewing into solids they aren't familiar with.
Older children can choose from the range of vitamin and mineral forms, though they can easily manage chewable tablets and may be more comfortable getting to bite down into something. Just be sure to encourage them to chew the tablets thoroughly.
The approach 'little is good, but more is better' does not apply to minerals and vitamins. The body can only safely absorb a moderate amount of each. If you are in doubt about what the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals are for your child, it is best that you consult a paediatrician or ask your regular doctor.