When Should I Start Giving Vitamins to My Toddler?

Trying to get your child to eat healthy foods can be a challenge, especially when there’s a fast food restaurant on every corner. Add that to your already hectic schedule, and many parents fall into the trap and eat at the fast food restaurant just because it’s easier. They didn’t have to think about making lunch or dinner that day, which is a load off their minds.

The American diet consists of eating greasy fast foods full of sugars, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates that the human body cannot process correctly. The public knows that eating a diet that consists of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to whole ingredients is best. Nevertheless, people are not in the habit of making healthy choices when it comes to diet. Admittedly, the processed, prepared foods are more accessible and cheaper, which another reason why individuals have poor eating habits.

Starting out, parents make sure that their newborns receive proper nutrition through either formula or breast milk. The vitamins and nutrients that these supply to infants are vital for the baby’s healthy development. Formula, and especially breast milk, not only helps the child grow physically, but it facilitates healthy brain development as well. Breastmilk is tailored to each baby’s needs and provides a full spectrum of nourishment to infants. It includes vitamins and minerals, such as A, C, D, E, and K. Milk proteins and lactose, which is a form of carbohydrate, is also found in breast milk, in addition to niacin and healthy fats.

As your infant grows into a toddler, their dietary needs change, as well as their tastes for different foods. This is a time when children can be most challenging to handle when it comes to trying to get them to eat healthy foods. Typically, infants are introduced to solid foods when they are about 5-6 months old.

Depending on who you ask, there are differing opinions as to toddlers should be given vitamins or not. For instance, you will find that the Mayo Clinic strongly encourages that toddlers and preschool-aged children get all their nourishment from the foods they eat. This is where the difficulty comes in because some children are sensitive to a variety of tastes and textures of food. It is up to the parents to come up with creative ways to get their “picky” toddler to eat wholesome foods.

On the other hand, on the website, Parents.com, Dr. Green supports adding vitamin supplements to a child’s diet when necessary, but not every day. Just as with adults, kids have days when they eat healthy foods, and other days, they don’t. Dr. Greene suggests giving your children vitamins on days that they don’t eat a balanced diet. When you give toddlers vitamins every day, you run the risk of over medicating, per se, and that is not beneficial; therefore, he suggests distributing vitamins on an as-needed basis.

Families that have limited eating habits, such as eating gluten-free, or follow a vegetarian, or “clean eating” lifestyle, some pediatricians say that including a multivitamin in your child’s routine may be a good idea. However, this varies significantly between doctors, so it’s best to confer with your pediatrician before you give your toddler vitamins.