Vitamins for Toddlers? Good or Bad?

A varied diet is the key to a healthy toddler!   The diet includes three meals a day, one to three snacks of healthy whole foods. Offer four servings a day of fruits and vegetables, especially dark green  and orange ones. Three servings of grain products, one serving of meat or a meat alternative day and offer two servings of milk product fortifies with vitamin D.

Some parents are still interested in vitamins for their child especially if the child is a picky eater. Supplementing her diet with a multi- vitamin is good but if your child is underweight , consult your doctor since there may be a specific vitamin  recommended.

When buying vitamins over the counter, please look for sugar content on the label  and do not refer to her vitamin as “candy”. Liquid vitamins are recommended for toddlers to avoid choking.

Here are some nutrient supplements -along with appropriate circumstances- recommended for toddlers.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D allows the body to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus. Critical for developing strong bones. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets- a bone softening disease still apparent in the US. This affects children within the first two years of life.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. Vitamin B 12 deficiency can cause a type of anemia that make people tired and weak.

Iron

Toddlers 12 -36 months need 7 milligrams of iron per day. Diets rich in lean meats, seafood, nuts, beans, vegetables  whole grains and fortified cereals. Also, incorporate foods high in vitamin C  such as, papaya, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and pineapple.

Limit cow’s milk or toddler milk to between 16-24 ounces a day. Cows milk and toddler milk can make children full without giving them the valuable benefits of whole foods. Children who drink more than 24 ounces a day are more likely to develop iron deficient anemia because not only will mild replace some of the more iron-rich foods, butt it will also prevent the absorption of iron form other sources. Water is good between meals instead of milk.

Finally, a vitamin is not a substitute for a healthy varied diet! If your toddler isn’t eating well , give her a vitamin, but also keep trying to improve her eating habits.