Parents hope they’re doing the best things for their children. This is true from the day the child is born until they grow up and move out of their parents’ home. One topic parents may feel unsure about concerns the use of supplements in toddlers. They want to make certain their child is getting the proper nutrients but they’re unsure of the best way to accomplish this.
Babies don’t have a choice of what they eat. However, once that baby becomes a toddler all bets are off! They begin to learn what they like and they’ll be sure to let you know. Since many toddlers become fussy eaters, parents consider using supplements to be sure their children are getting the right nutrients for growth and health.
If your toddler is very picky in what they eat, asking only for a handful of food items, giving your toddler a vitamin and mineral supplement may be a good idea. Toddlers need vitamin A, C and D which probably aren’t provided for in large enough quantities in your toddler’s favorite foods. Your toddler also needs several of the B vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium for health, as well as 16 grams of protein each day.
Offer your toddler new foods at least twenty times before deciding they don’t like it. It is also important not to give your toddler too much food at a time. They have small stomachs so they can’t handle a lot of food at one meal.
Rather than expecting your child to eat as much as you, provide six small meals a day. Don’t give them more than one tablespoon of each food for each year of their age. Let them explore new foods with all of their senses and keep outside distractions to a minimum.
It is important for toddlers to learn to eat what everyone else in the family is eating. Be sure to provide your child with a balanced diet of foods, whether they always eat what’s offered or not. Expect your child to eat the foods offered rather than preparing something different for them.
However, if your child simply will not eat the foods which will provide the vitamins and minerals they need, find a good multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement specifically formulated for toddlers. There are many options to choose from: chewable, powdered and liquid. Try the different options to find the one your child will take but be very careful not to overdose your child.
While it would be best for toddlers to get all of their required nutrients for health and growth from the foods they eat, it may not be possible for every toddler. In these cases where a child is obviously malnourished or failing to thrive, supplements in toddlers may be warranted. Before choosing to supplement, however, be sure to talk with your toddler’s pediatrician and follow their recommendations.
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