Making sure your kids grow up to be healthy, happy and strong can require quite a bit of thought and planning, not to mention a great deal of research on what’s best for their growing minds and bodies. No matter how many kids you have, it can feel like you’re asking yourself the same questions every day: Is my child safe? Are they healthy? Are they being nourished physically, emotionally, socially and mentally? Are they getting all their needs met? And perhaps the most common question of all: what on earth am I going to feed them to make sure they’re actually getting all the nutrients they need? If you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed thinking about your child’s well-being and how to make sure they’re getting everything they need, you’re not alone, and there is good news: many children’s vitamins are capable of providing your little ones with all the nutrients they may occasionally lack in their daily diets.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that there are actually two main categories of vitamins: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins (B-complex and C) travel right through the bloodstream and are not stored, so it’s extra important to make sure children are getting enough of these. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are stored in the body’s fat tissues, but won’t be completely absorbed unless your child is also getting plenty of healthy fats in their regular diets.
This brings us into an important conversation: why exactly do children even need vitamins? And when you are feeding them vitamins, how can you be sure they’re being absorbed properly and not just serving as an empty sweet treat? Here are a few important reasons your child needs vitamins:
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Kids don’t always get enough vitamins in their regular diet
Let’s face the facts: sometimes it can be extremely challenging to get your child to eat enough healthy foods. When you consider how picky some kids can be when it comes to their preferred foods and drinks, children’s vitamins can be quite the lifesaver.
But before you pick up a box of vitamins on your next run to the store, it’s highly recommended to talk with your child’s pediatrician. They can help you understand what specific nutrients your child may need more of in their daily routine and help you find a vitamin that will make up for that and more.
Thankfully, almost all children’s vitamins on the market nowadays come in fun flavors, shapes and textures, making it slightly easier to find something they’ll be willing (and, if you’re lucky, even excited) to ingest on a regular basis.
Kids need the right amount of vitamins to support healthy growth
Calcium and Vitamin D are two of the most crucial vitamins when it comes to supporting your child’s growth and making sure their bones and muscles stay strong to set them up for a lifetime of health and wellness. These vitamins are just as important as adults, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting enough in the early years to build a foundation of health before they’re lacking as adults.
Again, your pediatrician can help you understand what vitamins will support your child’s unique growth needs and projections. Since every child is different, there’s no cut-and-dry way to determine exactly what your child is going to need until you evaluate their growth patterns with their trusted doctor. The amount of supplemental vitamins they’ll need also depends on their age and any preexisting health concerns, as well as their lifestyle (for instance, if they play sports or spend a lot of time outside, etc.)
Another thing to note is that, according to Healthline, many doctors actually say that giving infants Vitamin D supplements shortly after they’re born is important to ensuring optimal health and growth.
Vitamins also support healthy brain function to help kids in school
Many people underestimate the power vitamins have over the mind – not only when it comes to healthy brain function and learning abilities, but also in terms of overall mental and emotional wellness. Doctors say iron, zinc, iodine, choline, and Vitamins A, B6, B12, and D are critical for brain development in the early years.
Again, making sure your child gets enough vitamins early on in life will set them up for success as they continue to grow up. Ultimately, healthy brain function in childhood will help them focus better in school, perform well and work and learn how to regulate their emotions in a healthy, gentle way.
Healthy brain function has impacts far beyond school – it also helps kids sleep better, develop healthy eyes and skin and feel more energetically regulated overall. Another important benefit of vitamins is that they can support gut health, which plays a major role in brain regulation.
No matter what children’s vitamins you choose to feed your child, remember that it’s still critical to ensure they’re getting plenty of nutrients through a well-balanced diet as well.