Should my child take a multivitamin?
A. Maybe. Every child is different, and experts disagree about whether multivitamins are necessary. Many children are picky eaters and refuse to eat the nutritious foods that should be a part of their diet. But popular foods, like breakfast cereals, milk and orange juice, are fortified with nutrients. And because children don’t need large amounts of vitamins and minerals, they may be getting more than you think. Ask your physician for advice if you suspect your child isn’t getting enough nutrients.
If you choose to add a multivitamin to your child’s daily routine, follow these precautions:
• Choose a multivitamin that’s designed for your child’s age group.
• Opt for multivitamins that provide 100 percent of the daily value for all vitamins and minerals.
• Store multivitamins out of your child’s reach and make it clear that they aren’t candy.
Keep in mind that a multivitamin isn’t a replacement for proper nutrition. Continue to provide your child with healthy meals and snacks.
Karen E. Breach, MD, FAAP
Mint Hill Medical Plaza