Top 10 Nutritional Supplements for Kids
There are many nutritional supplements for kids available today so it is important to understand which ones your child really should be taking.
Many adults are now taking two or more supplements to help protect against a long list of diseases and illnesses that are prevalent in our modern society. Some supplements are now marketed to children as well, and you may want to give your child the same protection that you give yourself.
10 Best Nutritional Supplements for Kids
The question is which nutritional supplements you may want to consider, so we rounded up some of the best options for your consideration.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These essential nutrients aren’t produced by the body naturally, and they offer a long list of health benefits for humans of all ages. Common supplements include krill oil and cod liver oil, both of which are now marketed in flavors that most children find appetizing.
- Calcium. If your child doesn’t consume a lot of dairy products, they may need a calcium supplement to keep their bones strong and healthy. A daily multivitamin will include some calcium, but it typically falls far short of the 1,000 mg that is recommended daily for children under the age of eight. That goes up to around 1,300 mg for children over eight.
- Vitamin D. Your child can get vitamin D from fish, krill or cod liver oil nutritional supplements, and most multivitamins include this vitamin as well. You may also just get your child out in the sunshine for at least a half hour each day to naturally fulfill their need for vitamin D. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to serious medical issues, so supplementation is often a good idea.
- Magnesium. This mineral is found in green leafy vegetables and many whole grains, and smaller amounts are found in some types of nuts. Since many children consume more refined grains than whole grains and may not eat leafy green vegetables on a daily basis, magnesium deficiencies are becoming more common. A high-quality multivitamin should take care of this need for your child.
- Zinc. This is another mineral that you may not think much about but which is critical to your child’s immune system. It is contained in chicken and beans, so most children will get what they need from a healthy diet. If your child doesn’t eat much meat or is a vegetarian, then make sure that they take a daily supplement that meets this nutritional need.
- Cod Liver Oil. This was once a popular supplement that was fed to children from a young age, but it fell out of popularity over time. As more parents look for natural supplements loaded with nutrients and fatty acids, this oil is hitting store shelves once again. Look for flavored oils designed to make it more appetizing for children. Chewable nutritional supplements are available as well.
- Iron. An iron deficiency can leave your child lethargic and weak, and it may put him or her at risk for other medical conditions. Most children receive the iron that they need by consuming a varied diet, especially red meats. If your child is a vegetarian or you believe that they aren’t receiving the iron that they need, a multivitamin with iron is a good start. Keep in mind that most gummy vitamins don’t contain iron and aren’t a good pick.
- B Vitamins. This group of vitamins comes with a long list of benefits for your child, but most children receive what they need by eating a variety of foods from milk and chicken to fish and beans. When supplementation is needed, your doctor may recommend a good multivitamin or a prescription in addition to a healthier diet.
- Vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 has been used for years to help with blood clotting, but vitamin K2 comes with a much longer list of benefits. It can help protect the heart from disease, keeps the brain active and healthy, and even offers benefits for the skin. Your child should receive some of this vitamin by eating a healthy diet, but you can find supplemental drops that may give them even more benefits.
- Probiotics. There are some probiotics marketed just to children, and they can help many children regulate their bowels and improve digestion. You can ensure that your child gets these healthy bacteria by feeding them yogurt each day, but supplements may add a needed boost to the immune system.
If you’re debating whether your child needs any supplement beyond a basic multivitamin, schedule an appointment to discuss this issue with a pediatrician or family doctor. They are familiar with your child’s medical history and can help you make the best decisions on behalf of each member of your family.
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