Ideally, your children get all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need from the foods you provide for them daily. However, and as all moms know all too well, kids sometimes strike out on their own, visiting the school’s vending machine and skipping the nutrient-rich lunch you thoughtfully made and packed.
And let’s face it, some days — in spite of your best intentions and efforts — you run out of time and need to put some fish sticks in the oven to go with the frozen carrots and quick-prep macaroni and cheese. It happens to every mom.
Thankfully, there is a whole industry devoted to helping you keep your kids’ daily dietary needs on track. Supplements are a great way to make sure your children aren’t missing out on any essential nutrients.
Safe and High-Quality Supplements
The dietary supplement market is set to reach $278.02 billion by 2024, reports Global Newswire. That sounds like a healthy sea of endless options, but not every supplement is made equally, or even needed by every child. Your children’s dietary supplement needs may depend on a number of factors that include your family’s standard diet and geographic location, as well as their overall genetics.
What Basic Criteria Should You Look for In Children’s Vitamins?
If you do need to supplement your children’s diet, there are some basic criteria you might keep in mind:
• Choose bioavailable, or food-based, supplements since the body recognizes these over synthetic versions on a molecular level.
• Avoid GMO and choose organic supplements.
• Buy all-natural, sugar-free supplements.
What Are the Most Commonly Needed Supplements for Children?
A quick search through online sites like the Amway blog yields a huge catalog of posts about the supplements your child may need to grow strong and healthy. The most common types of supplements that parents need for their children include:
• A Multivitamin or Multimineral – Just about everyone remembers taking a playfully themed chewable vitamin as a child. When mothers stop breastfeeding, a multivitamin fills in to help continue boosting a child’s immune systems. Natural News recommends giving children a multivitamin by the time they turn a year old.
• Iron – Iron is the most commonly reported nutritional deficiency among toddlers, and it is often lacking in older children too.
• Calcium – Magnesium and Vitamin D. Children need this combination when it comes to growing strong bones.
• Vitamin C – Vitamin C is essential in keeping body tissues, such as muscles and gums, healthy. It also helps the body absorb iron and protects cells from free radical damage.
• Zinc – Zinc is crucial for healthy growth and development.
• Vitamin A – Vitamin A is great for your children’s eye health. It is helps with the formation and maintenance of healthy skin.
Additional Considerations You Should Make
There are a few supplements to consider adding to the roster, depending on some factors specific to your family and children:
• Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – If your family eats fish three times each week or more, you may bypass this supplement. However, it doesn’t hurt to keep it in the mix, just in case, since they omega-3s and omega-6s are so vital a healthy brain and nervous system, finely tuned cell membranes, proper thyroid function and more.
• Probiotics – Probiotics are great for good gut health. Children who have compromised gut health include those born via cesarean section and those who have taken antibiotics at an early age.
As long as you and your family eat a good overall diet, your children’s supplements just serve as a good way to make sure they aren’t missing a thing so they can keep growing healthy and strong, without missing a beat.