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Vitamins for Kids: Which Ones Do They Need?

Vitamins and minerals are essential to ensure the optimal health of your child, and you should make sure they are getting enough of it as they grow. From a balanced diet, many children get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, but in some situations, children may need supplements to fulfill their nutritional needs. The most important nutrient that performs many roles in our body is Vitamin D. Children need vitamin D to make their teeth and bones strong, and its deficiency can affect their bones. Therefore, proper nutrition is essential for infants and children’s growth.

Nutrient needs for children

The needs of nutrients in children’s bodies differ with sex, age, size, activity level, and growth. Some kids get sufficient nutrients from their diet, and others may require newborn multivitamin dropsto fulfill their nutritional needs. According to health experts, children between the age of 2 and 8 require about 1000-4000 calories in a day. Whereas, children of age between 9 and 13 need 1300- 2600 calories per day – figure may vary depending on the activity level and other factors such as size.

In addition to this, a normal child’s diet must meet the following standard nutrient requirements:

Nutrient  1-3 Years  4-8 Years
Calcium 700 mg 1000 mg
Iron 7mg 10 mg
Vitamin A 300 mcg 400 mcg
Vitamin B12 0.9 mcg 1.2 mcg
Vitamin C 15 mg 25 mg
Vitamin D 15 mcg 15 mcg

These nutrients, as mentioned above, are some of the most commonly discussed ones, but they aren’t the only ones that a child needs. There are some vitamins and minerals that support the optimal health of your children, and the amount of them varies by age.

Do children have different nutritional needs than adults?

The amount of the nutrients varies with age, but they generally require the same ones as adults. The child needs to get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals when they are at a growing stage as it helps build strong bones. Besides, for brain development, nutrients, including iron, zinc, iodine, choline, VitaminD, B12, A, are crucial. Therefore, kids have similar nutrition needs like adults, but they need a smaller amount of it compared to them.

Do kids need vitamin supplements, and how much?

Kids having a balanced diet need not necessarily require supplements. However, newborns and infants have different nutritional needs than children. Therefore, they may need pediatric multivitamin with iron drops to fulfill requirements of nutrients for breastfed babies.

Although many American Pediatrics do not recommend the supplementation of iron for children older than one year and suggest the introduction of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein to get sufficient nutrients. However, supplementing your newborn with multivitamin has no harm and will prove beneficial for their growth and development.

A baby should be getting 400 IU of Vitamin D within a few days of birth and afterward around 480 IU. The surplus 80 IU can get it from the mother while breastfeeding. Vitamin D is recommended for babies who are breastfed via dropper or added in forfeited infant formula.

Supplemental Nutrients for kids

A kid having a diet with proper nutrition might not need supplementation, but under some circumstances, they might need it. Children who are at risk of deficiency may need certain vitamins and minerals, specifically those who:

  • Follow a vegan diet.
  • Have stomach or intestinal surgeries.
  • Struggle while eating.
  • Picky eaters.
  • Have certain health conditions, including cancer, Inflammatory bowel disease, and celiac disease.

Further, children who generally have a plant-based diet are seen with calcium, iron, and zinc deficiencies. If you fail to replace these nutrients, it may lead to severe consequences like development delays and abnormal growth.

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