Should Children And Teenagers Take A Daily Multivitamin?

Michelle Bailey, M.D, Duke

Question: Should children and teenagers take a daily multivitamin?

Answer:Many parents may wonder if children and teenagers need a daily multivitamin. Studies show that the most commonly used dietary supplement for children are multivitamins and multiminerals, such as vitamin D.

In general, it's best for the nutrients your child needs to come from their diet. Offering your child a whole foods diet that's low in fast foods and processed and packaged foods tend to be best.

When you think your child is not getting adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, or doesn't have enough variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet, a multivitamin may be helpful.

There are certain multiminerals that are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. One of those is vitamin D. It's recommended that all healthy children take in at least 400 international units of vitamin D per day. Again, this is best done through the diet, but if you feel that your child may not be getting it enough, talk to your child's health care provider. They can help you find an appropriate supplement over the counter.

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