Should Children Take Multivitamins

Moms frequently ask if their children should take a multivitamin

dsc00106_edited.JPGWhole foods should be your first resource for your family’s health. A diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit is optimal. A picky eater’s diet is limited and because we rely on processed foods, which are not as healthful as fresh foods, it’s a good idea to add a high-quality multivitamin-mineral supplement to your child’s diet.

The problem is that many vitamins on the market designed for children contain artificial ingredients.

Angel eats a healthy diet and takes vitamins.

A good resource for purchasing children’s vitamins is a whole foods store where there are qualified personnel to answer questions about ingredients. Read the nutrition label carefully. Search for multi-vitamins derived from whole foods, not synthetic vitamins. If an artificial color or flavor is listed you know it’s not made from whole foods, look for another brand. Some times the ingredient “natural flavor” is code for MSG. Always ask.

In addition to a daily multivitamin, there are a couple of other supplements which make a lot of sense for children today. Probiotics is the first. Processed foods interfere with the good bacteria. Also, antibiotics kill both the “bad” and “good” bacteria in our guts. Probiotics stimulate the immune system and are necessary for a healthy GI tract. When children have a proper balance of beneficial organisms in their GI tracts, it supports health as well as brain function. Look for a probiotic brand made just for children.

The second is a cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is an anti-inflammatory high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and D. It is available in lemon flavor which has a pleasant taste. I recommend finding a brand which is made from fish caught in the Pacific Ocean. Fish caught in the Atlantic have been found to have a higher mercury count. Carlson’s Fish Oil is a superior brand. 

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