10 Truth About Kids and Supplements: What Do They Really Need?
One of the top priorities is our children’s health. All parents wish their children to grow up healthy and without illness. Children often take supplements to balance their nutrition, like adults take vitamins. But what if you’re unsure which supplement to give and how to administer it? Refer to the following article to choose the right supplement for your child.
Do Children Really Need Supplements?
Unlike in the old days, children are more likely to be obese from overeating than from malnutrition or not eating enough. Therefore, it’s common to reduce unnecessary ingredients like sugar. However, if a child is a picky eater, lacks certain nutrients, or has slow growth due to insufficient nutrient intake during their intellectual development, it’s important to correct this imbalance by giving them supplements.
Understanding the Nutrients Needed for Children
If your child is not a fan of milk or is in a constant growth phase, consider supplementing with multivitamins and calcium. If they frequently catch colds or have a weak immune system, vitamin C can be helpful. Omega-3 is beneficial for brain health during adolescence. Suppose your child doesn’t get much sunlight. In that case, you might want to consider supplements containing vitamin D. It’s good to carefully examine what nutrients your child is lacking or over-consuming before choosing a supplement.
Be Careful with Candy and Liquid Types
If no health functional food mark is certified by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, it’s labeled as “candy,” and candy products have almost no nutritional benefits for children. Also, liquid types are more likely to contain synthetic additives as they are challenging to maintain flavor and shelf life compared to tablets, so be careful. It’s also important to check if any ingredients in the supplement can cause allergies in children. Be cautious of ingredients like peach or peanut powder that can trigger allergies.
Check for Natural Substances
Even if it says “natural,” the actual natural substance will likely be contained only in tiny amounts. Never choose a supplement by just looking at the product’s outer packaging! Since it’s a product for children, you should always habitually check the raw material names and amounts listed on the back.
Check the Nutrient Content!
When buying a supplement, be sure to check the amount of nutrients it contains. If the supplement’s content is too high, it may cause side effects. For example, if a child overdoses on fat-soluble vitamins, they can accumulate in the body and lead to adult diseases and various hormonal disorders.
Check the Sugar Content
Children’s health functional foods are usually added with sweetness or fragrance. It’s common to add artificial colors and sugars to suit children’s tastes, making it necessary to check the sugar content. Also, since children’s supplements are often in candy or jelly, they may stick to teeth and not fall off easily, leading to cavities. Therefore, it’s good to practice brushing your teeth after eating.
Is There a Supplement for Height Growth?
Height is known to be primarily influenced by genetics, and there isn’t a specific supplement that can rapidly increase height. However, it’s a fact that even if a child has the potential to grow taller, they may not reach their full height if they are not getting enough nutrition! Nutrients like calcium and vitamin D help with height growth. Bone growth can be hindered if a child is not getting proper nutrition due to picky eating. It’s essential to correct this imbalance by improving dietary habits, and for children with poor appetite, it’s necessary to give them appetite-stimulating supplements.
Can They Take Adult Supplements?
Some people try to give adult supplements to children. However, the nutrients for adults and children differ in quantity and quality. If a child takes an adult vitamin, it can cause side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Children should take vitamins specifically designed for them.
Specific Supplement VS Multivitamin
It’s difficult for children to take multiple supplements like adults. Therefore, choosing a multivitamin containing all the necessary nutrients in one capsule for children’s supplements is convenient. It’s even better if the multivitamin includes vitamin C, manganese, which is involved in bone formation, and vitamin B6, which helps with protein and energy metabolism.
Correct Time and Method of Administration
Children’s supplements are generally best taken before or after meals. It’s best to follow the instructions written for each product, and if you need to take it more than twice a day, carry it in a small container and take it accordingly. You can take it all at once in the morning if there’s no specific time. Regular and consistent intake is crucial.
By. Shin Young Jeon