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Guide to the vitamins essential for kids to grow and fight off illnesses

How many should we be giving our kids? And which aren’t ­necessary?

Explained by Harley Street nutritionist ­Rhiannon Lambert | Source from The Sun

Recently, it was revealed two thirds of parents do not give their children any vitamin supplements, despite recommendations for those aged between six months and five years to take vitamins A, C and D.

But what do they all do? How many should we be giving our kids? And which aren’t ­necessary?

'This can mostly be achieved through diet, but some supplements for certain vitamins are recommended as it’s often difficult for kids to get everything they need by food alone — ­especially if you have a fussy child.'

'Vitamins A, C and D are ­typically the hardest to get through diet alone.'

Here, a guide to the essential vitamins for kids.


(Daily supplement required)

Unless your baby or child is drinking more than a pint of infant formula per day, they may not be getting enough of this vitamin.

Vitamin A is needed for that all-important immune system. It also helps with eyesight and keeping skin healthy.

Foods rich in Vitamin A: Dairy products, dark green ­vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, fortified fat spreads, ­carrot (hence where the phrase ‘carrots help you see in the dark’ comes from), sweet potato, mango and swede.



(No supplement required as standard)

B Vitamins have several important roles, all largely related to the breakdown of foods to be used as energy.

They also play a role in the nervous system — helping the body to move more effectively. A balanced and varied diet should provide children with enough of these vitamins without the need for supplements.

Foods rich in B Vitamins: Fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, meat, fish, ­wholegrains and more all contain these essential vitamins.



(Daily supplement required)

Your child may find it hard to consume enough of this through diet alone, particularly if their intake is not very varied.

Vitamin C is important for their immune system, as well as helping with absorbing iron.

Foods rich in Vitamin C: ­Oranges, kiwis, strawberries, ­peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.



(Daily supplement required)

Vitamin D plays a key role in keeping bones, muscles and teeth healthy, which is particularly important for growing children.

It is mainly obtained through sunlight, although it is also found in small amounts in some foods.

In the UK, we do not get enough ­sunlight to obtain ­sufficient amounts of Vitamin D so supplements are advised, particularly in the Autumn and Winter months.

Foods rich in Vitamin D: Oily fish such as salmon and sardines, red meat, egg yolks and fortified foods.



(No supplement required as standard)

Vitamin E is needed for healthy skin and eyes, as well as strengthening the immune system.

Children can typically get enough of this through a balanced diet.

Foods rich in Vitamin E: Plant oils such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, cereals and cereal products including oats, wheat and brown rice.



(No supplement required as standard)

Vitamin K is needed to help with blood clotting for healing wounds, such as tripping over in the ­playground.

Children should consume enough without a ­supplement.

Foods rich in Vitamin K: Vegetable oils, green leafy veg such as broccoli, asparagus and lettuce and spinach.

For more details, please see How to choose the right vitamin.

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