Top 5 tips when choosing vitamins and supplements for kids

October 07, 2019
  • Does your kid really need one?
    1 / 5 Does your kid really need one?

    “If your little one enjoys a healthy, well-balanced diet, then he probably doesn’t need supplements,” says Lynette Goh, principal dietitian at National Healthcare Group Polyclinics.

    “Supplements are only meant to ‘fill in the gaps’ if he isn’t eating well.” If Junior has a medical condition that requires him to take specific vitamins, then his paediatrician should recommend them.

    Related: 5 ways to get children to eat healthy

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  • Go general
    2 / 5 Go general

    If you decide to give your kid a supplement, Lynette says to give him a general multivitamin or mineral supplement, but make sure that it does not exceed 100 per cent of his recommended daily allowance.

    The main nutrients he needs for healthy development are vitamins A, B, C and D, iron, calcium and folic acid.

    Visit www.tinyurl.com/VitForKids for the exact amount he needs. Otherwise, you may wish to just give him supplements for nutrients that cannot be obtained from his diet.

    Related: 6 healthy breakfast toast ideas for kids

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  • Is Junior on meds? Get the doctor’s OK
    3 / 5 Is Junior on meds? Get the doctor’s OK

    Some drugs do not interact well with certain vitamins and minerals and may, in fact, cause adverse reactions.

    So if your child is on medication, ask the doctor if it’s all right to give him supplements, Lynette advises.

    Related: 5 places to eat healthy quinoa dishes in Singapore

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  • Don’t buy into trends, and remember: “more” is not better
    4 / 5 Don’t buy into trends, and remember: “more” is not better

    Just because a new supplement claims to boost your kid’s brain health or immunity, it doesn’t mean you have to buy it, says Lynette.

    And ditch that “more is better” mentality – megavitamins, large doses of vitamins, or extra vitamins on top of a daily multivitamin, can be toxic.

    Even if Junior is sick, you shouldn’t give him extra doses in hopes that he will recover faster.

    Related: 3 best ways to keep your children healthy

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  • Avoid herbal supplements
    5 / 5 Avoid herbal supplements

    Ginkgo, St John’s Wort and other herbal supplements are not advisable for children.

    “There are no guarantees of strength, purity or safety of the products,” says Lynette.

    Related: 6 ways to keep your family healthy and safe from illness

    (Photos: 123RF.com) 

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