Veta Vita Vegamin

Date - April 6, 2014 / Author - Cara Toomey / Category - Uncategorized

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.

Image from Healthy Children.org

Image from Healthy Children.org

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.

  • Do vitamin supplements work? The answer to this is very complicated. It depends on the type of vitamin, the formulation of the particular supplement (some forms are more easily absorbed) and if you are actually deficient in that particular vitamin or mineral, amongst other things, but sometimes do work.
  • Are they necessary? Rarely, according to American Academy of Pediatrics. Vitamins and minerals are micro nutrients, meaning our bodies only need them in very, very small amounts. Usually (even for children) This is generally more than accomplished  by eating a varied diet with fruits and vegetables emphasized. There are, however, some reasons that some children may require supplementation. If any of these are true for your child, you may wish to speak with a healthcare professional, and discuss your concerns. They will asses and determine if a supplement may be the answer.
  • Has failure to thrive
  • Has certain chronic diseases or food allergies. This can include Asthma, diagnosed digestive or metabolic disorders, or certain medications
  • Is on restrictive diet, such as a strict vegan diet
  • Kids who aren’t eating regular, well-balanced meals made from fresh, whole foods. For whatever reason, if you suspect your child may not be getting sufficient vitamins and minerals due to over consumption of one type of food, or too much convenience, packaged, or fast food.
  • Children who play an extremely physically demanding sport.
  • Too much soda.

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.

kidvitamin

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.

 

 

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