Children's Vitamins & Minerals Information


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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a diet based on the Food Guide Pyramid provides adequate amounts of all the vitamins a child needs. Still, there are situations where children's vitamins are necessary, especially if your child is a very picky eater or has a poor diet. Vegetarians also need vitamins to meet all of their nutritional needs.  Read more below...









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Important Vitamins and Mineral for Children

Vitamin A

Milk and infant formulas are excellent sources of Vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin. A deficiency can occur in children with fat malabsorption or with a very poor diet. Too much Vitamin A can also be harmful.   vgo to top


Vitamin C

Although many parents exceed the recommended daily requirements of Vitamin C to prevent colds and upper respiratory tract infections, there is little research that supports this practice. Too little Vitamin C can lead to scurvy, which is now uncommon, but can occur in infants under one year of age who are exclusively fed cow's milk. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of Vitamin C.   vgo to top


Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is necessary for proper blood clotting.  It can be deficient in some newborn babies, especially if they did not receive a Vitamin K shot after they were born and they are being breastfed.   vgo to top


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another fat soluble vitamin that can be deficient, causing Rickets, in some infants that are exclusively breastfed, especially if they have very dark skin or if they have limited exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is mostly found in fortified foods, such as milk and infant formulas.


There was once thought to be little need for supplements of Vitamin D in most children if they have sunlight exposure, although the AAP now recommends that all children receive Vitamin D supplements.  Infants and children who drink 16-17 ounces of formula or Vitamin D fortified milk won't need a supplement, but exclusively breastfed infants need to take 200 IU of Vitamin D each day.   vgo to top


Children and adolescents need the mineral iron to prevent anemia. Those most at risk of iron deficiency are infants who are not given extra iron after six months of age (usually in the form of an iron fortified infant cereal), and babies who drink low-iron formula, cow's milk or goats milk. Good sources or iron include meats, fish, legumes, and fortified foods, such as breads and cereals. Adolescent girls are also at risk of anemia once they begin having their periods. Younger children require about 10mg of iron each day, while older children and adolescents need about 12-15mg a day.  
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Calcium is another important mineral, and it is necessary for healthy bones and teeth.  Children who drink milk and eat dairy products, such as yogurt, ice cream and cheese, usually get enough calcium from their diet.  Children with milk allergies or who just don't like milk are a little more of a challenge to meet these requirements, but it is still easy if you find other foods high in calcium, such as calcium fortified orange juice.  Vitamins, even those with extra calcium, generally only have about 200mg, or 20% of daily requirements, so you usually also need to supplement these vitamins with foods labeled 'High in Calcium'.  Younger children require about 800mg of calcium each day, while older children and adolescents need about 1200-1500mg a day.  
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All children need supplemental fluoride after they are six months old to help prevent cavities. For most children, they can get this fluoride from the water they drink, if they are in an area where the city water supply has an adequate amount of fluoride in it (greater than 0.6 ppm), and they are drinking tap water.  Also, commercially prepared pre-mixed infant formulas do not contain an adequate amount of fluoride, so consider using a powder or concentrated formula and mixing it with tap water, supplement your infant with extra tap water, or talk to your Pediatrician about giving fluoride supplements. It is in general better to have your child drink water that is supplemented with fluoride instead of giving extra fluoride drops or supplements. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is permanent white to brown discoloration of the enamel of the teeth. It is easier to get fluorosis if you are giving your child fluoride drops and he is still getting fluoride from his diet.   vgo to top



Zinc is an important mineral, especially for adolescents, as it helps with growth and sexual maturation. Infants require about 3-5mg of zinc each day, while adolescents need about 10-15mg.  Foods high in zinc include meats, seafood, dairy products, whole grains, breads and fortified cereals, nuts and dried beans.   vgo to top


Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical profession. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.  Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Please review the Terms of Use before using this site.  Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.



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