Does your child need vitamins?

Does your child need vitamins?

Welcome to Kids’ Nutrition Advice, a weekly series where our resident registered pediatric dietitian, Ayelet Goldhaber, answers questions parents have when it comes to feeding their children. Goldhaber specializes in both pediatric and family nutrition. Have a question you want answered? Send it to us at! Today we’re tackling the question, should your child take vitamins? 

Multivitamins are worthwhile for picky eaters and those with a limited diet, i.e avoiding dairy or other large food groups. But the caveat here is if kids really hate taking them, vitamins can cause even more picky eating or oral aversion. If the diet is well-balanced, plenty of veggies/fruit/dairy/protein, there is no need! 


So, how do you know your kids need vitamins?

There are a few things to look out for. If there are large food groups avoided such as a diary, it’s a good idea to add a calcium and vitamin D. Picky eating or limited food variety are other  good indicators. Otherwise, routine vitamin levels can be checked at by your pediatrician. If it’s a major struggle to get your toddler to eat any fruit or vegetables, a vitamin will help them get the nutrition they’re not getting. But remember, fruit counts; many kids will get vitamins, nutrients and hydration through fruit, which can be helpful.

At what age is it safe for children to start taking vitamins?


There are a few factors on which age is safe to start giving your child vitamins. Vitamin D should be started in infancy for all breastfed babies. Formula fed babies are getting enough through formula, so they don’t need a supplement. babies may take iron if their levels come back low from routine no tiring at the pediatrician, so really no baby is too small. However, adding megadoses of vitamins is not helpful, be sure to check with your pediatrician or pediatric dieting to be sure you are not exceeding recommended amounts, which can be harmful. 

Gummies vs Pills

Trying to decide between whether to give your child vitamins in a gummy or pill form? Gummies often contain less of the actual vitamin compared to chewables and pills. If the dose you need can be met via gummy, go for it. Do be careful to keep away from children when unsupervised to avoid overdose because they often look a lot like candy! 

Do children actually absorb vitamins and  how can parents maximize vitamin absorption in kids?

Your tiny humans absorb vitamins just like you. Taking them with food is a good idea, or at least around the time of a meal or snack. This helps to avoid potential tummy aches and actually helps certain vitamins absorb better. A specific example would be taking iron with food that contains vitamin C, like citrus fruit, is a good idea to maximize absorption.

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