How Do You Give Vitamins to a Child?
Thanks to advancements in medical technology and health sciences, there are now a variety of options when it comes to finding child-appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements – but should kids take vitamins? Many doctors and healthcare professionals agree that one of the best ways to ensure kids receive all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for survival and healthy bodily functions is to provide a well-balanced diet comprised of fresh produce and other quality ingredients.
For choosy eaters or kids who won’t take a multivitamin supplement, there are a variety of approaches a parent could attempt. Many children may not like the taste or texture of vitamins and supplements, especially those that come in pill, capsule, or tablet form. You may try other methods of administration, like gummies or liquids, which can sometimes taste better and have more palatable textures.
Still, there are plenty of questions kids and parents may have about how to go about supplementing a healthy diet with vitamins like, “What age to start taking multivitamins?” or “What are the best vitamins for kids’ immune systems?” It’s important to address any questions or concerns you may have with your doctor or your child’s pediatrician before making any changes to their diet or before starting a vitamin supplement regimen. Pediatricians are skilled healthcare professionals who have years, oftentimes decades, of experience providing quality healthcare and overseeing the development of healthy children into healthy young adults.
While vitamin supplements may not be suitable for everyone, they can provide people of all ages who may be suffering from a deficiency with an opportunity to obtain the vital nutrients their bodies need to continue healthy daily functions uninhibited. As technology continues to advance and health scientists learn more about vitamins, administration methods, and how our bodies absorb and utilize those nutrients, options are increasing for those who are searching for vitamin supplements or other ways to improve their nutrient intake.
Best Vitamins for Kids and Toddlers
Many parents may remember astonishingly few choices on the market for children-safe vitamins – a handful of colorful, chewable vitamins vaguely shaped like popular cartoon characters. Nowadays, numerous brands and drug manufacturers may tout that they have the best vitamin products for children or that their brand tastes the best – they try numerous marketing techniques. Some claim that their products taste better than others; other drug manufacturers insist that their products are tasteless and odorless; these are generally subjective claims, and oftentimes the best way to find out is to find out for yourself.
Ultimately, however, the best vitamins for your children are going to be the ones that your kids are willing to take and the ones that provide appropriate daily recommended amounts of essential vitamins and nutrients. There are several tasteless liquid vitamins for toddlers and young children as well, toddler multivitamin gummies, and countless other products designed to ensure that kids have access to the vitamins and nutrients they need to fuel their growing and developing bodies.
For kids who are especially sensitive to food textures, you might consider gummy vitamins or liquid vitamins. Gummies are often sweetly flavored and may have a similar texture to candy or fruit chews that are familiar to children. Liquid vitamins can also be administered sublingually or added to other beverages, so the taste is not as noticeable. There are many options available, and it may be a matter of finding out what your child enjoys (or what they can at least tolerate) to determine the best approach for your family.
Common Deficiencies in Children
According to the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation, common vitamin deficiencies in children may include calcium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency, and zinc deficiency (1). Since vitamin D is involved with (and essential for) the process of absorbing calcium, those two deficiencies may often manifest together. Calcium and vitamin D also help support healthy bone development and can help prevent rickets, osteomalacia, and other issues in the musculoskeletal system (1).
If you suspect your child may be suffering from or at elevated risk of a deficiency, check with your primary care physician to rule out other possibilities and consult with a licensed healthcare professional about the best options moving forward. For patients with issues struggling to absorb vitamins traditionally via their digestive tract, vitamin supplements – especially sublingual vitamins or injections – may provide an opportunity to obtain those essential nutrients.
It’s especially important to help children overcome deficiencies during childhood when their bodies and minds are still going through crucial developmental changes. Transforming into a teenager and later into a young adult requires a great deal of energy, vitamins, and nutrients.
- Veronica Kacinik, MSc, RD. “Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Childhood” Retrieved 14 November 2022. https://seewhatgrows.org/common-nutrient-deficiencies-childhood/.