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How Do I Choose the Best Kids' Multivitamin?

Some kid's multivitamins may be in pill form.
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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2014
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Many parents are concerned about their children getting the proper nutrition. It is best for children to get their nutrition from a healthy and balanced diet, but it is not always practical. As a result, many people feel that it is necessary to incorporate a kids’ multivitamin into children’s diets. Choosing the best kids’ multivitamin is an important task, because too much of some things, such as iron, might be harmful to a child’s body. In order to pick the best kids’ multivitamin, make note of vitamins he or she might be deficient in so you can provide these vitamins through the multivitamin, look for a liquid that is more quickly digested, and look for a multivitamin that does not add unnecessary sugar to the child’s diet.

Many experts feel that children should get all of their nutrition from the foods they eat. This is a great way to provide vitamins and minerals, but for some, it just is not practical. If you feel that a child is deficient in certain areas, look for a kids’ multivitamin that includes these items, and give that multivitamin to the child. Always try to add vitamins by changing the child’s diet first, but if this cannot be done, the multivitamin might be a great option. Be very careful to make sure that the child is not getting too much of any one vitamin or mineral, because this might be harmful to his or her health.

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A liquid multivitamin might be easier for a child’s body to digest, and his or her body can use more of the vitamins in the liquid. The liquid form allows the nutrients to pass more efficiently into the bloodstream, instead of having to digest a pill and extract the nutrients. In addition, many children prefer the liquid over the pill, because it might have less of a chalky texture and a better taste. If using a liquid, be sure you have the proper measuring instrument to ensure administration of the correct dose.

It is very important to remember to look for a kids’ multivitamin that does not contain a great deal of added sugar. A great-tasting multivitamin will be easier to administer to a child, but if it is putting extra sugar into his or her body, it is not good for him or her. Unnecessary sugar might contribute to health problems and childhood obesity, so it is best not to add it into a child’s diet in unnecessary ways. Natural sweeteners are a great alternative.

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pastanaga
Post 3

@irontoenail - The best vitamin supplements for kids are going to be fairly mild though. The thing is, it's not a matter of "the more, the better" after a certain point. Vitamins can be dangerous if they are given in huge doses and some of them don't leave the body very quickly, so they can build up over time.

Iron is a good example. Too much of it can be very dangerous. A mild vitamin supplement probably isn't going to do any harm, but if you are concerned about their eating habits I think it's probably better to just get a blood test to make sure there's a problem before you try to treat it.

irontoenail
Post 2

@bythewell - Having a multivitamin is better than being deficient in something though and it's a struggle to ensure that modern kids get the wide variety of nutrients their ancestors would have taken for granted. Even if you give them the best balanced lunch box in the world, they will probably swap it with their friends and only eat the parts they like (invariably the less nutritious options). And on top of that, children have very sensitive taste buds compared with adults, which is why they often don't like the same kinds of foods and will object to eating a varied diet.

Vitamin supplements for children just ensure that they aren't going to suffer from any problems.

bythewell
Post 1

If you can possibly avoid giving your children multivitamins then they will be much better off getting the nutrients from food sources. This isn't just about what is "natural" there is scientific evidence to suggest that it's easier to absorb things like iron from food, as the kind they put in vitamin pills is often harder on the digestive system.

Also, I know that calcium and iron can block each other from being absorbed, which is why you should not drink milk at the same time as taking iron supplements. I expect that putting them into the same pill will have the same effect and there are probably other interactions like that which happen when you put all the vitamins in a single dose.

Incidentally, if you really need to increase your iron intake, it works better if it's eaten around the same time as vitamin C. So eating an orange after your steak is a good idea.

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