Ever since I was younger my mom made me take either a multivitamin or calcium or vitamin D. I used to take the ones that look and taste like gummy bears, but as I got older I started to take the pill versions. I’m curious to find out what ways vitamins benefit kids and if they even work at all. Isn’t it just healthy to get the nutrients from fruits and vegetables?
Click here for an informational video on different vitamins.
From reading many articles on this I learned thattaking vitamins at certain ages can benefit you or hurt you. According to US news, “ One study of more than 8,000 infants found an association between early exposure to multivitamins (before 6 months) and both increased risk of asthma among black children as well as increased risk of food allergy among formula-fed children. In this cohort, there was also an increased risk of food allergy among all 3-year-olds who used multivitamins compared to their peers who didnot, regardless of how they were fed as infants.” Another study showed that kids ages 2-8 still lacked in vitamin D and calcium even after taking multivitamins. Which means they weren’t benefiting at all from them.the article explained that “many multis are heavy in B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc – nutrients that most young children obtained adequate amounts of from diet alone. But they’re light on vitamin D and calcium, which tend to be lacking from children’s diets.”
If parents are really concerned about their child’s vitamin deficiency, they must make sure the vitamin contains the right ingredients. Not all multivitamins are the same. Which is why “ it’s challenging to assess whether certain combinations of supplemental nutrients might be safer or more beneficial than others.”
Elizabeth Somer, a dietitian gives an example when a multivitamin is highly recommended. She explains that most children lack omega-3 fats that is important for brain development and improving sleep habits. This is a good time to give a child a multivitamin with omega-3 “on days s/he isn’t eating well as an inexpensive way to fill the gaps. She also cautions that there’s a reason why they’re called supplements and not substitutes. You cannot feed your kids McDonald’s and a multivitamin and think all your bases are covered.”
Mayoclinic argues that “foods are the best source of nutrients… many common foods — including breakfast cereal, milk and orange juice — are fortified with important nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium and iron. So your child may be getting more vitamins and minerals than you think.” However he he supports Elizabeth Somer’s by saying “A multivitamin might be helpful (to fill the gaps) for your child if he or she: has a delay in physical and developmental growth (failure to thrive), has certain chronic diseases or food allergies, or has a restrictive diet, such as a strict vegan diet. ”
The consensus is that if you are taking the right type of vitamins at the right time then they will be beneficial to your health but if not you can be hurting your body. The best thing to do before starting a vitamin regimen is talk to your doctor and see what he recommends.