6 Notable Points for Choosing the Best Vitamins for Your Kids

6 notable points for choosing the best vitamins for your kids

Present era of modernization has brought in lots of trends. From little kids to frail old people, everyone is popping pills to thrive. Well, nothing is wrong with it, unless you are suffering from a medical ailment or your doctor has prescribed you some necessary medications.

What’s disturbing is the urge to take pills unnecessarily and the pioneer in this domain of pills is “Vitamin Supplement”. Suddenly, the importance of supplements has outweighed the significance of a healthy diet. The words of wisdom by an ancient physician, Hippocrates, which said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” still holds true. Before validating my point, let’s first have a rundown on what are vitamins and why do we need them?

Vitamins are organic compounds, i.e. they contain carbon. They are essential nutrients, which play a key role in cell growth, development, and function. Let’s have a deeper look into the word “essential nutrients”. It basically means any nutrient which our body absolutely needs to function normally but is either not synthesized at all or produced in insufficient quantities in our body.

What exactly do these vitamins do in our body? There are mainly 13 essential vitamins which are needed by our body. Each vitamin has its own role to play. While vitamin A is needed to maintain healthy teeth, skin, bones and soft tissues, vitamin C serves as an effective anti-oxidant. Well-known sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, thus maintaining the integrity of bones and other skeletal structures of the body. When it comes to vitamin B, it exists in several forms, such as thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and many more. This complex of vitamin B plays a key role in metabolism.


Now you may wonder that if vitamins are absolutely necessary and are not adequately produced in the body, where should you replenish this deficit from? Well, the answer is right there in front of you, i.e., the food you eat. A healthy balanced diet can fill in your body with many essential vitamins. These vitamins not just make your skin look impeccable, but also keep you away from some dreadful diseases, like rickets, night blindness, osteomalacia, scurvy, anemia, pellagra, peripheral neuropathy, etc.

If vitamins are so readily available, from eating healthy to just a day out in sun, why are these supplements even marketed? Well, that’s because some clinical scenarios necessitate the use of vitamin supplements. These mostly include vegans, elderly individuals, people with food allergy, lactose intolerance and pregnant women.

Now that you have seen the brighter side of vitamin supplements, let’s look at the other side of the coin. Ever heard of vitamin toxicity? You may be amazed to know that these vitamins are beneficial only if they are taken in an optimal amount. Just like anything else, even vitamins can do harm if taken in excess. The symptoms of excess vitamin consumption can range from mild diarrhea and nausea to severe liver damage.

Overdosage of vitamins can produce deleterious side-effects but let’s define “overdosage”. There is a certain recommended daily dose of every nutrient which varies with age and gender. National Institute of Health has released a table, describing the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of each vitamin based on different age groups[1]. So, if you have been giving your child the same dose of vitamin pill, which you have been taking, you definitely need to consult a doctor soon.

Now, if your kid lies in the “needful” category, you must note that toxicity of vitamins in children can be dangerous. Hence, making a wise choice is important. With a plethora of options of so many vitamin supplements, it can be an arduous task to choose the best vitamin supplement for your kid.

Here is a checklist for you to develop a better sense of discernment while buying a vitamin supplement for your child.

1. Consult your doctor

This point cannot be overemphasized. Although the vitamin supplements are readily available in every nook and corner, that doesn’t justify their unnecessary use. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends reviewing your child’s dietary intake before taking any vitamin supplement. Basically, you need to know what vitamins your child is already taking and what vitamins lack in his/ her diet. This will aid in determining the correct dose of vitamin that has to supplemented, thus eliminating the risk of overdose.[2]

consult your doctor

2. Assess your child’s physical status

Each one of us has a unique body. This applies to kids as well. While your neighbor’s short kid may be taking a particular dose of vitamin, your tall kid may need a higher dose. If your kid is athletic, you may want to feed him with a higher dose of vitamin. Physical status not just includes physique, but also consist of medical conditions. Presence of a developmental growth issue, a restrictive diet, chronic disease or food allergies must be considered to make sure that your child is getting an optimal dose of vitamins.

assess your child’s physical status

3. Consider the age and gender of your child

As already mentioned, age and gender play a key role in determining the right dose of vitamin supplement your child needs. Younger kids have less metabolic demands, thus need less vitamin as compared to old kids. Up to the age of 4, there may not be any disparity in nutritional needs of children based on gender. However, after 4 years of age, boys may need a higher quantity of vitamin than girls.

consider the age and gender of your child


4. Don’t go for fancy looking vitamins

Most of the supplements for kids are deliberately made colorful and pleasant-looking. Those gummy vitamins and candies are an invention of this ideology. However, these fancy vitamins are bad for your kid. A leading pediatric dietitian at Middleberg Nutrition, Pegah Jalali strictly condemns the use of these gummy vitamins as the artificial sweeteners may pose harm to kids by causing dental cavities. She instead insists on oil dropper vitamins or powders, which can be added to scrumptious food and drinks to be palatable for the kids.

dont go for fancy looking vitamins

5. Keep in mind that milk alternatives and ethnicity can alter the vitamin requirement

Vitamin D is present in both plant-derived and animal-derived sources. While animal sources like cow’s and goat’s milk are usually consumed by majority, some may opt for plant-based milk sources including soy, almond, rice, etc.

As per a study published in “Journal of Epidemiology”, children who had plant-based milk alternatives have low vitamin D levels in their body as compared to those consuming animal-based milk. This is attributed to the fact that plants have a less potent form of vitamin D, i.e., vitamin D2 as compared to a more potent vitamin D3 in animal-based milk.[3]

Another outbreak in this context was made by Dr. John Worobey, professor and director at Rutgers University. He suggested that ethic origin can play a role in vitamin D absorption from sunlight. According to him, black children are incapable of absorbing adequate vitamin D from sunlight.

Hence, kids on plant-based milk and black children may need a higher dose of vitamin D supplements.

keep in mind that milk alternatives and ethnicity can alter the vitamin requirement

6. Remember your child may not be able to digest all vitamins

A common misconception prevails among most parents that vitamins can never pose any difficulty in getting digested. They may be taken aback by the fact that certain specific vitamins, belonging to the class of “fat-soluble vitamins”, including Vitamin A, D, E and K can be difficult for your kids to be digested. This is the reason that most cases of vitamin toxicity occur due to overdosage of these vitamins. Toxicity of these vitamins can cause liver damage and kidney damage.

To conclude, vitamins and for that matter, all nutrients are double-edged swords. Their deficiency can be harmful, but their toxicity can sometimes me even more dangerous. So, it is important to consult a doctor to be absolutely sure that your kid is the ideal candidate for these supplements. Also, it is always better to develop a healthy eating habit in your kid instead of relying on these supplements. Eat healthy and live healthy should be the motto.

remember your child may not be able to digest all vitamins