Are Supplements For Children A Waste Of Money?

Supermarkets and chemists often stock their shelves with many different types of supplements. As they have become more popular some have even been targeted at children. With chewable, sweet-flavoured, colourful options available, companies are doing everything they can to promote the idea of children taking supplements. But are supplements really necessary at that age?

It seems that many parents think so. A recent study suggested around 50 percent of young people have taken supplements at some point, and the trend is actually increasing across the world. But scientists and nutrition experts would disagree that supplements are a requirement in the lives of children.

The issue is still relatively controversial as studies have provided inconsistent results. But in general there is very little solid evidence that suggests taking supplements would be beneficial to a child’s wellbeing. Most of the time children should be able to get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy diet. Fortified milks, cereals and of course fruit and vegetables play a vital role in ensuring children get the right nutrients.

Vitamin deficiencies in children are actually extremely rare. They tend to happen when a child is experiencing a lengthy illness or develops an allergy to a certain kinds of food. Perhaps the only relatively common deficiency is vitamin D. This is because we get our main supply of vitamin D from the sun’s rays. When the skin is covered in sun cream it negates the ability to absorb vitamin D.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately reach for a vitamin D pill to counteract this. Instead introduce your child to extra sunlight (but not too much!) Also consider adding extra foods to their diet that are high in vitamin D like fish or fortified cereals.

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