Would you give your child a multivitamin?

by 431 · October 16, 2013 at 12:48 AM

For my toddler, I am considering purchasing a multivitamin:


I'm undecided, with the following arguments on each side:

Pro-vitamin: As a toddler, she doesn't eat predictably...She really isn't super-picky, but she definitely has her preferences, and not all of them are for healthy foods! Also, how do I know she is getting enough of everything she needs, even in an overall healthy diet? (Healthy=gluten free, home-made food, healthy animal meats/fats, fruits and more veggies than the average toddler)

Anti-vitamin: As time goes on, I'm increasingly suspect of supplements...The one above is a "whole-food supplement," which makes me a little more comfortable...But how do I know that one or more ingredients is not actually harmful in some way?

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190 · October 16, 2013 at 12:09 AM

I gave my kids vitamins off and on over the years. Kids are pretty hard to break so not giving them vitamins early on won't destroy them. If they are eating a good mostly junk free low carb, low sugar diet you can skip them. I'd suggest running an average week of food through one of the online database programs to see how they are doing vitamin/mineral wise. Cron o Meter or paleotracker.

If I only knew then what I know now !

225 · October 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM

i would just try to keep them on a healthy diet.

problem with multivitamins is they usually give you non-ideal ratios(amounts not customized to you) and in forms that have horrible bioavailability. with an adult you can get multiple pills and supplement what you need, but im not sure you could get a child to take multiple pills a day.... so best to go as far as you can with their diet then maybe choose a supplement carefully.

to address your second issue, IMO its silly to worry about the .1mg of some additive in a pill; while a whole food vitamin may be better in general i dont see too much reason to avoid pills in general. i would put your concern into appropriate supplement amounts and forms, as they could potentially cause issues. (not terribly likely either unless you supplement reclessly)

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