In a perfect world, your child would get all the nutrients he or she needs from a healthy, balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, lean protein and whole grains. But as we all know, there is no such thing as perfect, and it’s not always possible to ensure that your kiddo is adhering to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
So, what’s a parent to do?
In today’s fast-paced world of drive-through windows and constant commitments, like dance class, soccer practice and a seemingly endless parade of birthday parties, healthful home-cooked meals might not always be on the menu. And that’s okay.
To help ensure your son or daughter gets a daily dose of much-needed nutrition, consider supplementing his or her diet with vitamins and minerals. Such supplementation may be especially important if your child:
- Does not eat enough
- Is a picky eater
- Follows a vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free diet
- Consumes a lot of processed, convenience and fast foods
- Drinks large quantities of carbonated beverages
- Has a chronic medical condition (e.g., asthma, digestive issues)
What nutrients might be missing?
You are likely wondering which supplement(s) might be best for your son or daughter. It really just depends on the child and his or her diet. Many children benefit from multivitamins, which include the recommended daily allowance of all the essential nutrients. However, others may only take calcium supplements or snack on protein bars.
In general, children need adequate amounts of Vitamins A, B, C and D as well as sufficient calcium, iron, protein and fiber.
Always consult your child’s health care provider before administering any new supplements, and be sure to monitor young children when taking supplemental nutrients.
Supplements to consider
Once upon a time, chewable supplements were the norm. But now there are many other kinds to consider. Following are some kid-friendly supplements to help your son or daughter hit a nutritional homerun:
Fiber gummies. What child (or adult, for that matter) can resist the allure of gummy bears? And these allergen-, gluten- and dairy-free Yummi Bears are packed with the fiber your son or daughter needs for digestive regularity and health.
Kids’ protein bars. Made with organic whole grains and “vitamins and minerals that are important for kids,” Clif Kid ZBar peanut butter protein bars make a wholesome, delicious and perfectly portable snack for children of all ages.
Supplement straws. Offering 16 different vitamins and minerals, these handy straws are a wonderful way for your child to sip his or her supplements. “The straw is filled with nutrients and natural flavors that dissolve as the water passes by!”
Manuka honey lollipops. Children ages two and older may benefit from these soothing lollipops, which contain “New Zealand Manuka Honey NPA 10+ and Bee Propolis that is rich in bioflavonoids.” Perfect for easing achy throats and promoting everyday wellness!
Vitamin C drink sticks. These “grape-flavored powder packets” are a quick and easy way for your kiddo to bolster his or her immune health and stock up on those essential daily nutrients. Plus, they taste delicious!
Liquid multivitamins. Just mix this fruit-flavored liquid with an equal amount of water and your son or daughter will reap the rewards of “24 organic fruits and veggies, plus other key vitamins, minerals and more, to help children focus, maintain calm energy and feel their best.”