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Vitamins Important Part of Child's Diet

Getting Enough

Here's what you can do to make sure your child gets all the vitamins a he or she needs:

  • Make sure he or she is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes the foods and servings recommended in the USDA's new MyPlate food guidance system. For a list of the vitamins and minerals in commonly eaten foods, click here.
  • If you want "nutritional insurance," make sure your child eats more nutrient-dense foods (especially grain products, fruits vegetables, and legumes) and fewer empty calories in high-sugar and/or high fat snacks. For some ideas for helping your child eat more fruits and vegetables, click here.
  • For athletes who limit their calorie intake because they compete in sports that emphasize leanness for enhanced performance (distance runners, lightweight crew, wrestlers) or for appearance (gymnasts, dancers, figure skaters, divers) are at risk for nutritional deficiencies and may benefit from a vitamin/mineral supplement supplying 100% of the RDA or AI.
  • If your child is consistently unable to incorporate certain foods into the diet, is chronically on a very-low calorie diet, is a vegetarian, or has malabsorption problems, a one-a-day multivitamin and multi-mineral (100% of the RDA) is prudent to ensure adequate intake of micronutrients.
  • If your child does not fall into one of these categories and is consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet, most experts agree that there is no harm in taking a simple vitamin/mineral supplement, provided it does not exceed 100% of the RDA or AI for nutrients (although there is no evidence that such supplementation is beneficial, either). If you do decide to have your child take a vitamin supplement, look for:
  • Products with USP (United States Pharmacopeia) on the label, which means that the manufacturer is legally responsible to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for meeting USP dissolution standards for how well the supplement dissolves and that the supplement has undergone a battery of other tests as well - for disintegration, strength (potency), and purity
  • Nationally known food and drug manufacturers who are more likely to make their products under tight manufacturing controls.



Revised June 20, 2011





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