Vitamins for Kids and Teens

Kids and teenagers grow fast. To fuel that growth, they need good nutrition, including plenty of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, kids today don't always get what they need. One out of every ten toddlers is low on iron, for example, and teenage girls need extra. Many teens, male and female, are low on zinc.

How can you be sure your kids are getting their vitamins? The standard answer is to make sure they eat a variety of foods, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. That's easy for the nutritionists to say. Anyone who's ever been a parent knows that it's a lot harder to do. It's tough enough to get a six-year-old to eat vegetables--just try getting a sixteen-year-old to eat them!

Vitamin and mineral supplements can be very helpful here. Give children under age two vitamin and minerals supplements only if your doctor recommends them. Many doctors do suggest an iron supplement or a formula containing iron for babies under 24 months, especially if you are breastfeeding. For young children over age two, liquid multi supplements are convenient--all you have to do is add a squirt to their morning milk or juice.

Older kids like chewable tablets and you might even be able to get your teenagers to swallow a daily supplement. There are a lot of different brands from which to choose. We suggest looking for one that has the RDA for your child's age group and is made without artificial colorings and preservatives. As a rule, there's no real reason to give a child or teen supplements of individual vitamins and minerals--stick to a good multi instead.

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