The vitamin supplement drink that Lucille Ball famously shot a commercial for on her show may be fictional, but the fact remains we are inundated with commercials for various vitamin supplements all the time.
The manufactures of these supplements attempt to get us to part with our hard earned dollars by telling us the various wonderful things these vitamin and mineral powders, elixirs and pills can do for us. They promise everything from increasing the growth rate of nails and hair, to weight loss. I think it is especially tempting for parents, who want to ensure their children have every nutrient they need to develop and grow to maximum potential, to want to purchase something that they believe can do that. Their child may even be excited about taking this vitamin because it resembles a gummy candy, or their favorite cartoon character! Seems like a no brainer, right?
So, is it a good idea? The questions we need to look at to figure that out are; do vitamin supplements work, are they necessary, and if the answer to both of those is yes, what type and how much supplementation should we be giving our children? Let’s look into each of these questions a bit further.
How much and what kind: The most important vitamins and minerals for a child’s growth and development are A, B, C, D, Calcium, and Iron. Each provides the body with necessary components for the changes and development that occur during childhood.
When supplementing, it is also important to discuss with a healthcare professional the dose that is appropriate for your child. High levels of supplementation can be dangerous to health. If you’d like to learn more about vitamins during childhood some great resources are The American Academy of Pediatrics, and Oregon State Univeristy’s Linus Paulinginstitute Both have lots of information and research.