Why Might Your Child Need Supplements?



Why Might Your Child Need Supplements?


There is an ongoing discussion surrounding the need for parents to provide their children with natural nutritional supplements, with both camps holding strong opinions as to why or why not they may be necessary. For children who are provided a well rounded diet, the majority of nutrients should be acquired through daily meals; however, we all know that there are some children who are simply picky eaters, creating a situation where nutrients from food may not be enough to promote health physical and mental growth. Here are a few examples of natural supplements that may play an important role in your child’s development or easing common ailments.


Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements, including chamomile or mint, generally derived from tea, are not necessarily recommended for children on a daily basis, but could aid in remedying an upset tummy. Additionally, a natural ginger syrup or tea may be beneficial in easing the woes of nausea for a youngster.


Those children who are well nourished through a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, should have no glaring need for a multivitamin on a daily basis. However, research shows that there is no inherent harm done by consuming a high quality multivitamin regularly. The key ingredients within a multivitamin help to promote healthy brain function, can increase attention span, build up their growing immune system to be able to withstand and fight off infection, and prevent deficiency diseases most commonly related to nutrition, including anemia and rickets.


B12, Calcium, and Vitamin D

The need for a B12 supplement in young children can be prominent in those who partake in a vegan or strictly vegetarian diet, as vitamin B12 is obtained through the consumption of foods that have an animal origin – fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and milk. Although a handful of foods contain B12 that are allowable within a vegan or vegetarian diet, including seaweed and tempeh, the amount of B12 consumed is less than the recommended amount from these sources. Children who fall within this category are up against a vitamin deficiency that can cause, among other things, irreversible nerve damage as well as anemia.

Consuming the appropriate amount of calcium, most commonly derived from milk products, is not as commonly an issue for young children. However, for those that may not consume milk on a regular basis, the need for a calcium supplement may be necessary. This integral vitamin assists in the growth process in children of all ages, and can help decrease the potential for developing osteoporosis later in life.

Vitamin D is produced within the skin after direct exposure to sunlight, and a deficiency in this area can cause improper bone formation and chronic fatigue. For those families who live within a geographical region in which obtaining direct sunlight is not a daily option, the risk for this deficiency should be addressed. Alternatively, vitamin D can be obtained through the consumption of cow’s milk in addition to a vitamin supplement.

The choice to add a vitamin supplement to a child’s daily routine is a personal choice, but the facts listed here can help in determining what may or may not be necessary for your family.

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