Do children need to take multi-vitamins? Dr Goh Siok Ying, Paediatrician, helps to answer some commonly asked questions.
When is the best time to give them to my child?
Multivitamins can be given anytime of the day. However, certain vitamins are better given with some foods to aid in their absorption.
How do I know if my child needs supplements?
In general, if your child has a balanced diet, and is not a fussy eater, multivitamins are not necessary. However, if your child is very selective about the kinds of foods he eats, he may require supplements depending on what his food habits are like. For example, if your child refuses to drink milk, some calcium and vitamin D supplements may help build stronger bones.
In certain medical conditions, supplements may be required too. Your doctor will advise you if this is needed.
What are the things I should look out for when buying supplement for my kids?
In general, buy supplements from reputable brands to ensure the quality of the supplements you give to your child. Also, read the labels to know exactly what you are giving your child. Do not try to give several supplements at the same time, as certain vitamins may be present in different brands of supplements you are giving, and this may lead to overdose as some vitamins tend to be stored and accumulated in the body.
When in doubt, do check with your healthcare professional before giving any supplements.
Dr Dr Goh Siok Ying
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine
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