Think about what sorts of meals your kids have been eating over the last couple of weeks and ask yourself how well balanced those meals were. Did you run through the drive through and pick them up something quick a couple of nights? How many TV dinners were microwaved for them? Most kids out there don’t get a well balanced meal, 3 meals a day, everyday… Take a look at this article from WebMD: (plus as an added bonus check out the nutrition facts for the Shaklee Incredivites at the bottom of this page.)
Which Kids Need Vitamin Supplements?
Given the reality of time-crunched parents, those well-rounded, home-cooked meals aren’t always possible. That’s why pediatricians may recommend a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement for:
- Kids who aren’t eating regular, well-balanced meals made from fresh, whole foods
- Finicky eaters who simply aren’t eating enough
- Kids with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or digestive problems, especially if they’re taking medications (be sure to talk with your child’s doctor first before starting a supplement if your child is on medication)
- Particularly active kids who play physically demanding sports
- Kids eating a lot of fast foods, convenience foods, and processed foods
- Kids on a vegetarian diet (they may need an iron supplement), a dairy-free diet (they may need a calcium supplement), or other restricted diet
- Kids who drink a lot of carbonated sodas, which can leach vitamins and minerals from their bodies
Top Six Vitamins and Minerals for Kids
In the alphabet soup of vitamins and minerals, a few stand out as critical for growing kids.
- Vitamin A promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; and healthy skin, eyes, and immune responses. Good sources include milk, cheese, eggs, and yellow-to-orange vegetables like carrots, yams, and squash.
- Vitamin Bs. The family of B vitamins – B2, B3, B6, and B12 – aid metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Good sources include meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, and soybeans.
- Vitamin C promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin. Good sources include citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and green vegetables like broccoli.
- Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources include milk and other fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and fish oil. The best source of vitamin D doesn’t come from the diet – it’s sunlight.
- Calcium helps build strong bones as a child grows. Good sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
- Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate. Good sources include beef and other red meats, turkey, pork, spinach, beans, and prunes.
Megavitamins – large doses of vitamins – aren’t a good idea for children. The fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) can be toxic if kids overdose on excessive amounts. Ditto with iron. Your kids can get too much of a good thing.
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