By: Heather Dyson
Requirements for supplementation vary depending on the child’s age. Both breastfed and formula fed infants meet most of their nutritional needs. Once your child transitions to solid foods, it is important to offer a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which will go a long way to helping them meet their nutritional needs. Even “picky eaters” often get enough vitamins and minerals, but a children’s multivitamin might not be a bad idea if you are worried your child does not eat enough variety. Just be sure to choose one that is made specifically for children, such as L'il Critters or Flintstones brands.
Another vitamin that is often recommended for infants and children is Vitamin D. We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun, however in the fall through spring months we cannot get enough sun to make the Vitamin D we need. Also, the sunscreen we use to protect our skin from harmful rays also blocks the rays we need to make the vitamin. Infants can be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D per day and children over the age of 2 with up to 800 IU per day. Be sure to buy a children’s version as Vitamin D supplements are sold in many different dosages. Enfamil’s Vitamin D drops are a good and safe choice.
Always speak to your pediatrician or a Registered Dietitian before supplementing your child or if you are concerned about your child meeting his or her nutritional needs.
About the Author: Heather Dyson is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian who currently focuses on counseling patients with a variety of health situations, and in ages ranging from infancy to elderly. Click here to learn more about Heather.