Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Myth: My child needs a daily multivitamin to be covered nutritionally.

Answer: BUSTED!

Children who are growing normally do not need multivitamins. Eating a healthy balanced diet can provide all the nutrients most children need. While many young children are picky eaters, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have nutritional deficiencies. Many common foods are fortified with important nutrients, so your child may be getting more vitamins and minerals than you think.

If your child is a finicky eater, encourage (but don’t force) him or her to try a few bites of new, different, nutritious foods at every meal. It’s normal for kids to be introduced to a food 10 or more times before they feel comfortable trying it. Don’t give up after the first or second try! Additional tips can be found at

children's multivitamins
Talk with your child's doctor if you are concerned about whether your child is getting the recommended level of vitamins and minerals. If your child's doctor recommends a multivitamin, choose one that is designed for your child's age group and doesn't provide more than 100 percent of the Daily Value of vitamins and minerals. In addition, keep multivitamins out of your child's reach and make it clear that they aren't candy.

For more information on feeding young children, visit

Contributor: Damaris Karanja, MA, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Louis County, University of Missouri Extension,

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