Variety is the key to eating healthy. If your child eats a variety of foods, then he/she is in no need of nutrient supplements. Vitamins and other nutrients can be acquired from the meals and snacks that we consume for proper growth and health. Only if your child has a feeding problem that lasts for several weeks or if you are skeptical about your child’s nutrient intake, you can take the help of a nutrition expert. Consult with an RDN or your child’s pediatrician before you put him/her on supplements. You can check out the link www.firsteatright.com and book an appointment with a nutritionist/dietitian to start your child on supplements.
Don’t fall a prey to health claims that propose recovery from colds, depression or attention deficit disorder in children using supplements. There is no strong scientific evidence to support these claims and hence, maybe harmful. Supplements can be prescribed when your child avoids an entire food group due to a food dislike, allergy intolerance or when your child is a vegetarian.
When your healthcare expert recommends a nutrient supplement for your child:
- Make sure that the supplement comes with a childproof cap. Keep it out of your child’s reach.
- Be careful to give a supplement only in the safe, recommended doses as too much can be harmful.
- Remember: Supplements are just that – supplements – not anything extraordinary to skip smart eating.
- Caution children against taking supplements as another form of candy with captivating names, colours, shapes and package design.
- Be aware that enriched and fortified foods may have the same added nutrients that the supplement has.