Parents are constantly worried about the eating habits and nutritional intake during the growth years of their kids. Where adequate amounts for vitamins and minerals are important for children, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet becomes the key. In this fast paced world where some parents resort to additional supplements to fulfill their child’s nutritional needs, others wonder if is it actually safe to give supplement medicines to children? Here, we have done a bit of research to understand whether it is safe or not. Before going ahead let us tell you that you can surely include nutritional supplements into your child’s diet to prevent the deficiency but there are a few things that need to be kept in mind.
Here is a guide of nutritional supplements that will help your child to get adequate nutrition and prevent any deficiency from Aman Puri, Founder, Steadfast Nutrition.
Do Children require Supplements?
We can include health supplements in kid’s diets as children are very fussy eaters. Most of the children have problems in terms of eating as they do not take a well balanced diet and hence parents are concerned about their proper growth and development. This is when it becomes very important to add some supportive nutrition in their diet. When it comes to vitamins and minerals they are very important for their development in the initial years.
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Specially for children who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, they can be given a supplement of vitamin B12 as this vitamin is majorly found in animal-based food. Children who suffer from celiac disease should not be given gluten or gluten containing grains and hence they are also at a risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. Children with poor appetite or ones that consume a lot of sugary beverages are also at a high risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle disorders, health issues like high BMI obesity and juvenile diabetes. This is when they can require supplementation.
What Supplements Can A Child Take?
Nutrient supplements such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, Vitamin A and Vitamin B are some of the very important micronutrients when it comes to the development of bones, teeth and muscles. They also help to provide energy to the kids as they are highly active during their childhood.
Apart from these supplements other things that children over the age of 5 years can consume are-
- Power actives- These can be included in their diet which will take care of their protein needs and is absolutely safe for kids who are above the age of 5 years. These can be included into their diet in the form of shakes and smoothies to complete the protein requirement.
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- Peanut Butter- They can also include peanut butter into their diet.
- Snergy- This is a supplementation given to kids in order to replenish their lost electrolytes. Whenever the child returns after a physical activity, rather than giving them a sugar laden high energy drink, it is better to give them synergy as it has electrolytes that will help to make up for the sodium and potassium lost while sweating and includes vitamins such as B6, B12 and it takes care of hydration levels and lost carbs from a child’s diet.
Cynergy is an instant energy source which can prevent dehydration, muscle cramps and boost up a child’s performance, reduce inflammation caused due to physical activity.
Parents should always consult a specialist in order to see what supplements can be safely included in the child’s diet. If the child is able to follow a balanced diet then there is no requirement of including supplementation. A balanced diet comprises dairy products, fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, nuts, seeds, eggs and poultry fish in case of a non vegetarian child as it would help in their overall development. If that is not possible then the child’s diet needs to get checked in terms of the safe amount of supplementation that can be consumed. This dosage depends upon a child's age.
With inputs from Aman Puri, Founder, Steadfast Nutrition