Growing kids need vitamins to stay healthy and strong, most of which they get from their food. However, a lack of a balanced diet means they don’t get all the vitamins they need. Experts say that an imbalanced diet, coupled with other conditions, might cause your child to develop vitamin deficiencies. Multivitamin nutritional supplementation comes to bridge this gap, so your little one grows healthy and strong.
However, when you think about it, kids’ vitamins can be confusing because there are so many things you have to consider. For instance, does your baby need a vitamin supplement with iron? Are there unhealthy kids’ vitamins? If so, how do you choose the best? All these questions plus the information out there can be overwhelming. Here’s easy to follow guide to help you navigate through it all.
1. Does your baby need a multivitamin supplement?
Does your baby need a multivitamin supplement? When your kid eats a healthy diet, they likely won’t need to take a multivitamin supplement since they get all nutrients from the food. Most moms believe that their kids get all the nutrients they need from breastmilk. While this isn’t wrong, and breastmilk is a superfood of sorts, infants still need multivitamins supplements. You see, breast milk lacks two vital vitamins: vitamin D and iron.
For this reason, breastfed babies need to take some Vitamin D right from birth and an iron supplement when they get four months.
For Formula-feed babies, the story is a little different. Most infant formulas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. As long as your baby is taking 32 oz of formula a day, they get all the nutrients they need.
Generally, if you breast and bottle-feeding your little one, you may need to give them an iron and vitamin D supplement. Remember, though, and this depends on how much formula your infant takes. Once you wean your little one, you may need to supplement their diet with these and other multivitamins.
Other reasons that might require your child to take multivitamins include:
- Follow a vegan, vegetarian diet and other plant-based diets (including little or no animal products). Kids on this diet need to take vitamin B12, D, along with calcium, iron, and zinc.
- Having a malabsorptive condition such as celiac disease which affects their ability to absorb nutrients properly
- Has had surgery or other medical conditions that impact their intestines or stomach
- Are you too picky eaters or struggle to take a varied diet?
- Premature infants are born weighing less than 3.3 pounds. They need extra vitamins and minerals added to their breastmilk or formula.
So, if your baby falls in any of these categories, they might need to take multivitamins. However, it’s best to consult a pediatrician first before starting your baby on any vitamin supplementation routine.
2. Types and importance of vitamins
Here are some of the standard vitamins and minerals your baby needs.
Vitamin D is credited for healthy, strong bones because it enables the body to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus. These two components are vital to bone builders, and their deficiency leads to poor bone health and may even result in diseases like rickets.
As mentioned, breast milk lacks this vital nutrient.
As mentioned, breast milk lacks this vital nutrient. Thus, pediatricians recommended giving breastfed babies about 400 IU of vitamin D a day right from birth.
We process infant formula, so infants fed with formula do not need any extra vitamin D. Make sure your baby takes at least 32 oz of formula a day, so they receive the right amount of vitamin D.
What about getting it from the sun? Most people can absorb vitamin D from the sun, but we do not recommend babies and their sensitive skin to sunbathe. The best way for babies to get this vitamin is through a supplement.
B12 helps keep the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy. It also helps make DNA and other genetic materials in the cells. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause megaloblastic anemia. If you notice your little one is tired, weak, low muscle tone, and regressing in their development stage, seek medical help.
Like other vitamins, B12 is not present in all foods. For instance, breastfeeding moms who don’t take animal products will need to take B12 supplements for themselves and their munchkins. If you aren’t careful, your little angel will develop a B12 deficiency by two months. Unfortunately, symptoms appear later, mostly around 6 to 12 months.
Your baby needs iron to make hemoglobin, which helps red blood cells absorb oxygen. You might not know it, but your baby was born with a store of iron to last 4 to 6 months. Even with such a vast reserve, your kid needs 11 mg of iron daily. The AAP recommends giving your baby an iron supplement when they get to 4 months, especially breastfeeding exclusively. Typically, formula-fed babies rarely need supplementation since formulas contain iron. Prematurely born infants or those with low birth weight will need iron-supplementation.
Everyone needs a healthy immune system, and this is where Vitamin A excels. It helps strengthen the immune system, vision and makes your baby’s skin healthy. If your child doesn’t get enough Vitamin A, they may suffer illnesses like night blindness. Sadly, research shows 20 percent of children aged 6 to 5 suffer from the disease. To counter this, the APP recommendation that;
- 6 to 11 months babies get a single shot of the vitamin once a year
- 1 to 5 years get a dose every 4 to 6 months
Vitamin C has several benefits to your kiddo. First, it helps boost their immune system, health and enhances the production of collagen.
Since it is an essential vitamin, your baby naturally gets it in breastmilk, baby formula, fruits, and vegetables. It’s also an antioxidant that protects the cells free from damage.
The AAP and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans say babies aged 0 to 6 months get about 40 mg of vitamin C daily. Those aged 6 to 1 year need about 50 mg daily. Breastfeeding moms need 120 mg of vitamin C daily to help meet their babies’ needs. If you are unable to meet this need, then supplements are essential.
Luckily, Formula-fed babies don’t need vitamin C supplementation because formulas contain vitamin C
Even little humans need Vitamin K to help with blood clotting in case they get hurt. A deficiency means they risk developing hemorrhagic disease, which is a bleeding disorder. Usually, it affects kids within the first few weeks of life. To counter this, the AAP recommends all babies get a one-time vitamin K injection at birth.
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3. Best Multivitamin for Baby- What Should we do?
There are numerous ways you can add the vitamins your child needs in their diet apart from vitamin-rich foods. For example, they are available in chewable tablets, gummies, liquid drops, and powders. These designs can appeal to your little ones, so they find them interesting.
Ut, choosing the best multivitamin for your baby isn’t an easy job. It often depends on several factors. For example:
- The vitamins and minerals your child needs – does the multivitamin you are considering have all the nutrients your little one needs?
- The dosage – do you know which dosage is suitable for your kid’s age and needs? If unsure, when will you consult your doctor for an answer?
- Are the vitamins chewable tablets, gummy bears, powder, or in liquid form? Which one is most appropriate for your kid? Tip: If they are older, gummy bears and tables are best.
- The ingredients – what do you know about the manufacturer? Do they use high-quality products when making the vitamins? What are the elements contained in the label? Which parts included in the brand? Are they all benefits, or will some cause harm? As a rule, avoid products with artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.
4. The Best Multivitamin Products for baby
Baby multivitamins come in two groups: those with and without iron. When picking a multivitamin, make sure it doesn’t exceed 100 percent of your child’s age group’s daily recommended value. Our research compiled a list of the best multivitamins in the market today to make your work easier.
Well-baby Multi-vitamin Liquid
Babies need nutritional support for a few years of life. This multivitamin may be a great way to ensure your little one gets all the vitamins they need. It packs with a nutritional punch and comes loaded with 14 essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, it has vitamin A, B1, B5, C, and D. It also has amino acids, iron, copper, and more, which other products usually don’t have.
It’s ideal for kids six months to 4 years. To administer it, mix the contents into a liquid and spoon with a dosing spoon. It’s a superb excellent sugar-free choice as sugarcane is the man sweetener.
Natures Aid Multivitamin Drops
These multivitamin drops contain nine essential vitamins and minerals suitable for kids aged three months to 5 years. Use a dropper to drip the vitamin liquid on the tongue or add it to a liquid such as water.You want a vitamin that won’t harm your baby’s teeth. It makes Nature’s aid multivitamin a good option since they use glycerin as a sweetener. However, the taste might be too much for your baby, so you can try mixing it with a few tablespoons of yogurt.
best multivitamin for baby–Zarbee’s Naturals Complete Toddler Multivitamin
Most multivitamins have kids four years and above in mind. However, Zarbee’s is suitable for kids between 2 and 4 years. It’s rich in 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, Folic acids, B6, and B12. The company cleverly uses honey to sweeten the vitamin drips, so your child looks forward to it every day.
Because it’s gelatin free, it’s suitable for vegetarians. Also, it is allergy-friendly, which is a plus.
best multivitamin for baby–Ritual Essential for Kids 4+
When picking a multivitamin supplement for your child, you want to go for something free of GMOs, artificial colors, preservatives, and synthetic fillers. Ritual Essential multivitamin is a great choice, especially if your child is a picky eater.
In addition to containing vitamins and minerals, each gummy also contains 50 mg of Omega-3 DHA. The additional nutrients aid in brain development and boost digestion. They use sugar candy and sweetened with a sweetener plant, making it safe for little ones.
best multivitamin for baby–SmartyPants Kids Daily Multivitamin
These super tasty gummies contain a wide range of essential nutrients such as omega-3 EPA and DHA. These nutrients are excellent for boosting brain and heart health, vitamin D for bone health, B12 for energy, iodine, and more. They are free of synthetic colors, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and also GMO-free.
These multivitamin gummies are also milk, egg, gluten, nut, shellfish, soy, and wheat-free, making them ideal for kids with allergies. Kids age 4 to 6 benefit the most from this multivitamin. The dosage is four gummies a day and is available in 3 different flavors: lemon, strawberry-banana, and orange.
Whether your baby is a picky eater or you want to give them a nutrition boost, always consult a pediatrician before adding vitamins to your child’s diet. Whatever the reason, adding multivitamins to your little one’s diet will help them meet their nutritional needs. It also improves their overall health and lessens the chance of disease.