The physical health and wellbeing of children is a high priority for their parents, regardless the ages of the kids. This concern includes dietary nutrition. Here’s a look at a few natural supplements that could be helpful for your children.
Can Children Take Supplements?
April 24-28 was designated this year as Every Kid Healthy Week, although its premise is a great year-round reminder. If you are a sensible parent (and we know you must be), then you are well-aware that nutrition is a priority for the health and welfare of a child or adolescent. The value of nutrition to physiological health can’t be understated. Children with certain dietary needs, or with certain lifestyle considerations, could benefit from following a carefully researched regimen with vitamins and minerals.
For children, supplementing with vitamins or minerals is, before anything else, intended to bolster healthy growth and development. Children with an adequately balanced diet are not likely to have any need to take any supplements. It’s a different story, though, for those youngsters with specific nutrient deficiencies and/or certain known health conditions.
Supplements That Could Benefit Children
Supplementing with vitamins and nutrients can really help some children. However, these should not be construed as a replacement for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. The following are five supplements for parents to consider for their children, most of which are common and essential to good nutrition and physiological health.
Calcium is known for its contribution to strong bones. Calcium intake is critical for the health and proper physical development of children and adolescents. A diet with dairy and calcium-fortified foods can meet the body’s demands for calcium. However, many youths do not eat these foods on a regular basis. A calcium supplement could allow children to get the RDA of at least 1,000mg daily. Calcium carbonate, the form most common in supplements, is easily absorbed and well-tolerated. Bone development in children is a reliable predictor of one’s health later in life, so getting enough calcium is particularly important for growing children.
Iron is an important mineral that contributes to physical growth, so it is crucial for youth to get enough of it regularly, especially during growth spurts. Growing children can be at risk of iron deficiency because they need so much of it. Children on a vegetarian or vegan diet might be especially helped by supplementing with iron.
Vitamin D is crucial. It contributes to structural body health, especially the formation of strong bones. Vitamin D also helps bones heal after injury. In fact, vitamin D works well with calcium to support bones. Furthermore, vitamin D contributes to the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Vitamin D can be absorbed in good concentration from time in the sun, and from certain foods. However, many children don’t get these regularly. A vitamin D or D3 supplement could help.
Vitamin C is a crucial vitamin. Up to 6% of children over 6 years of age could be vitamin C deficient. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for children is less than 100 mg. However, some children don’t get this much, noting, too, that the upper intake levels for vitamin C in children is around 1,000mg. A vitamin C supplement that is USP certified has the preferred standard of quality for this supplement.
Melatonin could improve sleep in children who experience sleeping difficulties. While not usually recommended for children under 5, children 6 and older could see improvements in sleep from taking 1-2 mg of melatonin. Children with ADHD, and those with autism, are more likely to have sleeping difficulties. Melatonin can improve sleep quality, which can in turn improve behavior during daytime. It is recommended as a short-term means to improve sleep.
Nutrition is of great importance for growing children and youth. These vitamins and minerals, along with melatonin, could all benefit children who need them. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about any one of these supplements before giving them to your child.