Children need them! A child’s body also needs more than the minimum amounts of nutrients the government says they need to develop properly. However, it has not been possible to find a children’s chewable multi-vitamin/mineral that has anything close to the range of nutrients our adult Foundation has.
Part of the reason is that some nutrients have a very bitter taste and are difficult to put into a chewable tablet. Multivitamins are not much good if children won’t take them or eat them. We are looking at different formulas and methods of delivery to offer our own children’s vitamin in the future. Until then, we looked at over 110 children’s multivitamins/minerals available and evaluated them based on taste, value, and availability. Source Naturals’ “Mega-Kid” was our top find.
We will be adding more articles in the future but will add a brief note here. Studies have concluded that a very small percentage of children are getting their nutritional requirements, even in rich countries such as the U.S. This is partly due to the impact of smart marketing of foods that are not nutritious to kids. Parents must begin to set good examples and also help their kids develop good dietary habits and learn to make better food choices.
Ways to build Healthy Dietary Habits:
- Reduce processed meats like chicken nuggets, hot dogs and processed meat slices (vs. whole roast slices).
- Reduce simple carbohydrates refined foods (like french fries, macaroni and cheese, chips, etc.).
- Limit sugar intake – possibly the greatest cause of hyperactivity in kids – as well as nutrient loss. (Soda pop and any caffeine drinks are especially bad, and aspartame is an extremely harmful sweetener.)
- Reduce saturated fats.
What Nutrients Do Children Need?
Found in our Ultimate Foundation, many child nutritionists have suggested that the following items especially are needed to help children develop properly but are lacking in many children’s formulas.
Immune System: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Antioxidants such as beta-carotene.
Metabolism: Magnesium to help with calcium and vitamin C metabolism.
Cell Growth: Folic acid is essential for supporting the growth and reproduction of body cells.
Thyroid Health and Energy Support: Iodine not only helps the thyroid but it helps the body produce energy and burn excess fat.
Vitamin D: should also be added to the list unless your child is often in the sun. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) decided to double the amount of vitamin D it recommended for infants, children, and adolescents. The new guidelines suggest an intake of 400 IU of vitamin D per day, as opposed to the 200 IU per day they used to recommend. We would like to see 600 IU in the fall and winter to help them resists colds and flu. This must be met by an appropriate dietary supplement unless the children receive a lot of sunshine.
The Endocrine Society had earlier raised doubts about the previous Vitamin D recommendations not being sufficient even to the extent of ensuring essential levels needed by children. Apparently, the new guidelines are resulting from a wide-ranging deficiency of Vitamin D in infants, children, and adolescents. This has led to a large number of cases of Rickets in the US. The new recommendations, to provide health supplements to children, apply even to infants.
Recent studies have shown that 400 units of vitamin D a day will benefit children in a two-fold way; one is by preventing rickets, and the second by treating it.
Also, since it’s difficult to assess a safe level of sunlight exposure to an individual to help vitamin D production. This can be made up for with health supplements of vitamin D. Rickets in children and adolescents is the primary reason why kids should take sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Aside from nutritional supplements, Vitamin D is also found in dairy products (viz. cheese, butter, cream, fortified milk), fish, oysters, fortified cereals, and margarine. But the diet supplements are always an option that is effective.