This is a bit of a trick question: the best vitamins for kids come from healthy food, but a daily kids multivitamin is a great way to fill in any nutritional gaps in the diet. The best kids multivitamin formulas are the ones designed around the unique developmental needs humans have during childhood.
Does my child need a kids multivitamin supplement?
Ideally, a growing child would get every vitamin and mineral they need to thrive from a healthy, clean, and well-balanced diet. But how many of us live ideal lives? Parents are busy, children are often picky or fickle about what they’ll eat, and toxins and preservatives run rampant in the prepared foods that are often the easiest choices for feeding kids on-the-go.
One way to make sure your child is still getting the necessary nutrients to grow, learn, and perform is by supplementing their diet with a “pediatric” or kids multivitamin /mineral formula designed specifically for their needs. That part is very important: children need a vitamin designed for children. On one hand, you can indeed have “too much of a good thing” when it comes to kids and some nutrients. Iron and the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) can be toxic at too-high doses, although these are some of the most important nutrients for kids to consume at adequate levels. On the other hand, as children’s bones, muscles, and brains are still rapidly growing, their needs for certain nutrients may be more than you might expect for their small size, compared to adult needs.
Why choose a Metabolic Maintenance® kids multivitamin?
Most growing children would benefit from taking a daily kids multivitamin to help meet all their nutritional requirements. However, this supplementation may be critical for children on vegetarian or vegan diets, restrictive diets due to food allergies or intolerances, or those suffering from chronic diseases that affect digestion or absorption. Metabolic Maintenance® offers 2 kids vitamin options. One of which may just be the perfect solution for these issues and others, affecting your child.
The Pediatric Vitamin/Mineral Base Powder is an iron-free formula, for kids getting adequate iron from the diet. This powder is free of sweeteners, preservatives, and colorants. It has been formulated without the eight major allergens as identified by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004: wheat (gluten), eggs, milk, soybeans, shellfish, fish, peanuts, and tree nuts. The powder contains all the required vitamins and minerals, in balanced amounts designed specifically for children, in their most bioavailable forms. Rather than coming as a difficult-to-swallow pill, or a chewable that may be confused with candy, the fine vitamin/mineral powder comes loose with a measuring scoop. This way the dose is adjustable and the powder can be stirred into water, juice, or a food like applesauce for easy consumption.
The clean nature of Metabolic Maintenance® Pediatric Vitamin/Mineral Base Powder has been recognized by the Feingold Association which has strict standards for product inclusion on their website.
If your child is age 6 or older, and able to swallow small capsules, the Little One™ Children’s Multivitamin may be a more convenient alternative. Little One™ is also different from the base powder in that it contains a well-tolerated form of iron from Albion®, an industry leader in mineral amino acid chelates. It also contains a range of activated B-vitamins for maximum metabolic efficiency, vitamins A and E in child-friendly doses, and vitamin D-3 to protect your child from the consequences of low serum levels, even when sun exposure is low.
Which vitamins are most important in childhood?
Vitamin means “vital to life’ so they are all important for children to thrive. However, certain vitamins are especially important to children as they are growing new bone, muscle, and brain tissues. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children do not get enough calcium from their diets. Calcium is required for healthy bone growth, and a lack of calcium can lead to poor growth during childhood and osteoporosis later in life .
You may also notice that most kids’ multivitamin /mineral formulas fall into “with iron” or “without iron” categories. Iron is an essential mineral, and deficiency (also known as anemia) and insufficiency are fairly common in children . Iron deficiency is dangerous, as it leads to a lack of red blood cells carrying oxygen throughout the body and can cause delays in growth and development . Iron deficiency is most common in children who have restricted diets (by choice or due to health complications), drink too much milk (more than 24 ounces/710 milliliters/ day), have certain health conditions such as chronic infections, children who have been exposed to lead, those who don’t eat enough iron-rich foods (common in vegetarian/vegan children), and those who are overweight or obese . Because iron can be toxic at high levels, it is important to discuss with your pediatrician whether or not your child should be taking supplemental iron, or an iron-free kids multivitamin formula.
Other vitamins of concern for children are vitamin D, vitamin A, and the B vitamins.
Vitamin D controls the absorption of calcium and aids in the development of bones and teeth . Even though vitamin D is produced naturally in the body after sunlight exposure, the known harmful potential of over-exposure, and associated increased rates of sunblock and sunscreen use, mean that many people require dietary/supplementary vitamin D to meet minimum requirements. This is especially important for children who do not consume dairy, eggs, and/or fish oils, as these are the most common sources of dietary vitamin D . Vitamin D deficiency in childhood is linked with poor bone formation, in severe cases resulting in rickets.It is also linked to increased incidence of autoimmune disease, and neurodegenerative disorders . As vitamin D is involved in a healthy immune system, parents wishing their child to avoid frequent upper respiratory infections will want to be sure their child is getting adequate amounts of this important vitamin. The cholecalciferol (D-3) vitamin D contained in the Pediatric Vitamin/Mineral Base Powder is the most bioavailable form of the supplement, and it is the same type of vitamin D the body makes naturally in response to sunlight.
Vitamin A is also a promoter of normal growth and development, as well as a key player in tissue and bone repair, and healthy skin and eyes. It is another important player in immune health, always a consideration for kids who are building their immune systems up and are frequently exposed to infection. Beta-carotene (vitamin A) is a fat soluble member of the carotenoids that is converted to retinol, an essential nutrient for vision. It is also a strong antioxidant and the best quencher of singlet oxygen . Antioxidants play an important role in neutralization of oxidative stress, and nutrient antioxidant deficiency is a cause of numerous chronic and degenerative pathologies .
Yet another regulator of bone growth, Vitamin K has been shown to aid in the maintenance of healthy bones by regulating calcium uptake in bone tissue, increasing new bone formation and reducing bone resorption . Zinc, copper, manganese and boron also support bone mineralization .
Selenium (Se) is a trace mineral that forms the active site of several antioxidant enzymes and is a known immunomodulator, along with vitamins A and D. Selenium is also necessary for proper thyroid function . Iodine is also essential to thyroid health, as it is a necessary element in the synthesis of thyroid hormone .
The B vitamins are are large and varied family, but are commonly associated with energy production, nervous system maintenance, and cardiovascular health. Thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, B-6, biotin and pantothenic acid are cofactors for enzymes needed for cellular energy production through metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from the diet. Thiamine, folate, B-12 are involved in development of the brain and nerves, as well as neurotransmitter synthesis . Methylfolate and B-6 are required for homocysteine metabolism and have been linked to mood improvement . The B vitamins through effects on neurotransmitter formation can be important contributors to attention, focus and calm.
Vitamin C is well known as the body’s tool for healing and fighting off infection, but it also strengthens connective tissue, muscles, and skin through its relationship with collagen production . Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and although it is a water-soluble vitamin, it works synergistically with fat-soluble vitamin E as an antioxidant to quench free radicals . Alpha-tocopherol, the most bioactive form of vitamin E, has high antioxidant potency as well. Due to its fat-solubility, α-tocopherol protects cell membranes from damage by free radicals and lipid peroxidation .
If you are concerned that your child may not be getting all they need from diet, a multivitamin/mineral supplement may be the perfect way to fill in the nutrient gaps in your child’s diet. Metabolic Maintenance®’s Pediatric Vitamin/Mineral Base Powder and the Little One™ Children’s Multivitamin are clean, well-balanced options for children. The powder is easy to mix with food or juice, easy for children to swallow and tolerate, and easy to adjust the dose. The Little One™ capsules may be more convenient for children between 6 and 12 who don’t mind swallowing capsules and would benefit from a boost of easily absorbable iron.
Help your child thrive by providing all the nutrients their bodies and brains need during their growing years.
- Ellis, Esther. “Does My Child Need A Supplement?” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. March 18, 2018. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/dietary-supplements/does-my-child-need-a-supplement
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Iron deficiency in children: Prevention tips for parents.” Mayo Clinic | Children’s Health. Dec. 10, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/iron-deficiency/art-20045634
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