Fort Worth, Texas,
10:46 AM

Let's Learn About ... Giving Your Kids Vitamins

Dr. Diane is back with 7 quick facts parents should know

"What is the best vitamin my kid can take?"

That's one of the most common questions I get while doing my AMAs on our Willow Park Pediatrics Facebook page. 

The answer I give, most of the time, is - nothing.

Here's a few points about vitamins. Short and simple.

  1. If your kiddo eats a well-rounded, healthy diet, they don't need a daily vitamin. This means meats, milk, veggies, fruits, and whole grains daily.
  2. If your kiddo has a "bad day" - a.k.a. a chicken-nugget, mac-and-cheese kinda day, offer a simple chewable children's multivitamin that day.
  3. Limit your child's milk intake to 20-24 ounces or less per day. While we love the calcium and Vitamin D in milk, it hinders the absorption of other vitamins, like iron, and fills kids up so they don't eat the other foods they are supposed to eat.
  4. Large doses of certain vitamins can actually be harmful. Be careful of natural websites/naturopaths who claim "megadoses" of vitamins can cure ailments. Be especially careful with kids, as there is lacking research about this and some bad side effects can happen.
  5. If your child is a vegan or a vegetarian, or allergic to milk, they need a daily vitamin. Talk to your pediatrician about this.
  6. Certain medical conditions require vitamin supplementation. Think food allergies, GI tract disorders like celiac and Crohn's, and endocrinologic (hormone) problems. Talk to your doc.
  7. Vitamins can have SIDE EFFECTS! Yes! Vitamins! For example, B vitamins are associated with night terrors and nightmares. Other vitamins can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches. They're similar to medications, folks - yet not as strictly regulated by the FDA - and you have to be careful with them.

Cook Children's published a good article about vitamins a few years ago. Check it out!


Dr. Diane

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