Just like adults do, children can largely benefit from taking supplements too. Supplements are a great way to boost your health by adding important nutrients to the body.
A lot of brands of supplements are tailored to the child’s consumption. This makes it more friendly to them to consume while ensuring there aren’t any substances that can be too harsh.
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Do keep in mind that it’s called supplements for a reason. They are to supplement a diet and in no case should they replace normal food and drink. They need to be consumed alongside healthy diet and lifestyle.
Top Supplements for Children to Take
Depending on personal health, diet, and personal requirements, some supplements work better than others. You just need to know which ones to give to your child and how to incorporate them to their current lifestyle.
But in general, you need to consider these 5 top supplements for your children.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in children in the UAE. The risks of having vitamin D deficiency are reducing bone mineral density, muscle function, and intestinal calcium absorption rate.
The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight. Foods that contain vitamin D are fish like tuna, salmon, cod, and mackerel. Dairy products such as eggs, cheese, and milk also contain vitamin D.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps the bodies immune system to strengthen against harmful bacteria that can lead to illness or viruses.
Deficiency of vitamin C can increase the risk of infections as well as reduce the bodies ability to absorb iron. Natural sources of vitamin C are fruits such as orange, lemon, pineapple, and apple.
Most adults do not get adequate amounts of fiber in their diet. Unfortunately, children are following in their parent’s footsteps. Constipation is a very common problem in children because of fiber deficiency. Kids need fiber to help keep their digestive system in tip-top shape and prevent constipation.
The best sources of fiber are whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Encourage children to have fruit rather than ready-made fruit juices. Switch to whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole grain bread.
Calcium is one of the most common deficiencies in children. As children get older, their choices of drink increases such as soda and juice as opposed to milk.
Calcium is important for developing bone strength and health. The best source of calcium is dairy products such as milk and cheese. If your child is intolerant to these foods, then taking calcium supplements are highly recommended.
Iron is important especially in children as it promotes growth and development. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia in children. Symptoms of iron deficiency in children are commonly weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite and poor concentration.
Foods rich in iron are red meat, nuts, vegetables, seeds and dates, lentils, soya beans.
How to Take Children’ Supplements?
Supplements can be consumed either in liquid or tablet form. As most children may struggle to swallow large tablets, many child-based supplements will also provide liquid versions. This can either mixed with a liquid drink or taken with a spoon.
As every supplement is different in terms of its purpose and how they can be consumed, the instruction panel on intake and consumption will differ from each and every product.
It’s important to always read each label and instruction because too much, too little or at the wrong time intake can bring a negative effect.
If your child doesn’t like taking the specific supplement because of taste or texture, try mixing it with food or drinks. You can sneak it in or mix it with another food that has a stronger flavor profile. That way, they may not even notice they even had it.
Does My Child Need Supplements?
Supplement intakes for children really depend on your child’s condition. Supplements are only extra boosts to add to you or your child’s health and it’s important to be aware that just because supplements are available to your child, doesn’t necessarily mean they have to take them.
If your child doesn’t have any health issues and lives a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise, he may not need to take extra supplements. Children who are most likely to need supplements are:
- Kids who aren’t eating enough or meals with macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Kids with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or digestive problems, especially if they’re taking medications. Make sure your child takes prescribed medication with medical advice before adding supplements.
- Kids who eat too much junk food including processed or fast foods.
- Kids who are on a vegan and who may not be getting nutrients from foods they are restricted from.
Speak with your child’s doctor, dietician or health expert if you’re unsure whether your child needs to take supplements or not. If your child has a deficiency or has a health complication, chances are their doctor will recommend supplements.
If your child is completely healthy, they may advise against certain supplements. Whether you’re unsure or just curious about supplements for your child, speaking with their doctor is the safest approach you can take.
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