Friday, February 29, 2008

Should Kids get Vitamins?

This is from CNN:

Some parents spend a lot of money on vitamins, trying to make sure their children get the nutrients they need.

One expert says that might not be necessary.

Mom Mary Beth Toole said, "Unfortunately, I cannot ensure that they will have a balanced meal every day and for every mealtime and that just gives me peace of mind."

In her book "Food Fights," Pediatrician Jennifer Shu writes about children's vitamins. She claims most kids don't need them. Shu explains even the pickiest eaters should get enough nutrition from the basic food groups.

Shu said, "The bottom line is that children don't need vitamin supplements.
They're going to get the vitamins they need in a good, regular balanced diet."

But she doesn't fault parents for trying. If you want to give your child a daily vitamin there is likely no harm in doing so. Just make sure you follow the directions exactly.That means just one vitamin a day.

Shu reminds parents that vitamins are medicine and should never be referred to as candy.

Do you give your child vitamins? I have bought them before and planned on giving them to my four-year-old, but never got into the habit. I had heard some pediatricians don't think they're necessary, but I'm sure not everyone agrees.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Exblick said...

We've never given the boys vitamins and I've often wondered why so many parents do. My kids' snacking and meals are balanced and their physician has never suggested an issue. I do purchase fortified orange juice and milk, though.

Jennifer said...

I tried the flintstones vitamins with my kids when they were younger. They were not fond of them so I gave up. Our pediatrician also agreed they were unnecessary. I was a bit of a "sneaky chef" and still am, sometimes, trying to make sure both ate enough fruits and veggies.
I'm also with Exblick, and I do buy the calcium fortifed OJ and Milk, that's been my biggest worry, since my son is not fond of milk. said...

My four-year-old used to drink a lot of milk. Now that you mention it, he doesn't drink it that often anymore. Maybe I need to start doing the orange juice thing too.

Lisa said...

At what age, then, are vitamins recommended? Aren't we as adults supposed to be taking them... so when do doctors make the distinction that vitamins are important? I do give my kids a children's gummy vitamin each day. I don't think it's necessary, but I think it establishes good nutrition habits when it's made part of their daily routine. said...

That's a good question. I will ask a couple pediatricians what they think. I am wondering if vitamins are recommended for adults now that you mention it. It sounds like a good idea, but based on this story, I am not sure.

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