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Vitamins for Kids: Do They Need Them?

Updated: May 14, 2022

You probably heard it from your own parents: "Eat your breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day!" But now you're the one saying it — to your sleepy, frazzled, grumpy kids, who insist "I'm not hungry" as you try to get everyone fed and moving in the morning.

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Even if you eat a healthy morning meal every day, it can be tough to get kids fuelled up in time for school, childcare, or a day of play. Most kids get adequate amounts of nutrients from a balanced diet, but under certain circumstances, children may need to supplement with vitamins or minerals.

Children require some amount of every vitamin and mineral for proper growth and health, but exact amounts vary by age. Older children and teens need different amounts of nutrients than younger kids to support optimal health.

Do kids have different nutrient needs than adults?

Kids usually need smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals than adults. Nutrients that help build bones and promote brain development are especially significant in childhood.

As children grow, it’s vital for them to get adequate amounts of nutrients that help build strong bones, such as calcium and vitamin D (4Trusted Source).

Moreover, iron, zinc, iodine, choline, and vitamins A, B6 (folate), B12, and D are crucial for brain development in early life (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Thus, although kids may need smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to adults, they still need to get enough of these nutrients for proper growth and development.

Nevertheless, it’s possible that prolonged picky eating could lead to micronutrient deficiencies over time and may warrant nutritional supplements as a result.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are often necessary for kids who follow vegan or vegetarian diets, have a condition that affects the absorption of nutrients, or are very picky eaters.

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