If your kids are fussy eaters, it can be hard – if not impossible – to get a balanced diet into them, and as a result, they can end up low in certain vitamins and minerals that are essential to their healthy growth and development.
What are the recommendations for vitamins in children?
Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, eyes and immune system, and can be found in dairy products, fortified spreads, ‘orange’ fruits and vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, swede, mangos), and dark green vegetables (spinach, cabbage and broccoli).
Vitamin C is important for general health including a healthy immune system and the absorption of iron from the diet. It is found in fruits and vegetables including strawberries, kiwis, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers.
Vitamin D is important for healthy teeth and bones. The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight, but we parents are wary of letting our little ones stay in direct sunlight for fear of burning, and few foods contain the amount that is needed, so a supplement is recommended for children aged 6 months to 5 years, unless they are receiving fortified formula milk.
The Department of Health recommends that all children from six months to five years old are given supplements, in the form of vitamin drops, which contain vitamins A, C and D.
However, taking too many vitamins can be harmful, so it important not to ‘double up’ with other supplements such as cod liver oil, which also provides Vitamins A and D. Talk to your health visitor or GP or visit the NHS website for more information.