As a parent or guardian, you may worry that your child's diet is missing something. Maybe he or she is a picky eater. Or maybe your busy schedule doesn't allow you to prepare as many wholesome, home-cooked meals as you'd like. Multivitamins seem like a logical solution, but are they really necessary?
Generally speaking, most children receive adequate nutrition from the foods they eat and the beverages they drink. Children that tend to be the most at risk for developing deficiencies are those with food allergies or chronic diseases that greatly impact their food and drink choices.
Others who may not be getting what they need include kids who are so picky that they severely limit their food intake, vegetarian or vegan kids, and kids who are extremely active (such as those involved heavily in sports).
While multivitamins aren't a substitute for a balanced, healthy diet, they can help supply nutrients that may be missing from the food your child eats every day. When considering a multi, look for one that offers reasonable percentages of each nutrient without greatly exceeding 100% of the Daily Value of any nutrient. Be sure to pay attention to the serving size as well.
Of course, before giving your child any supplement, be sure to consult with your pediatrician or healthcare provider.
Here are some of my top picks for kids' multis: