It’s estimated that 90 percent of children don’t receive adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals through their daily diets, thanks in large part to variables like extremely picky eaters, issues accessing fresh fruits and vegetables, and busy parental work schedules that make cooking nutritious meals a challenge. Of course, all parents want their children to receive adequate nutrition, and providing a daily multivitamin is a great way to help supplement your child’s intake of vitamins and minerals. Toddlers are not too young to start taking vitamins as long as they can chew thoroughly, and there are several essential vitamins to look for when researching toddlers multivitamins.
Essential Vitamins for Toddlers
While a wide variety of vitamins and minerals are important for toddlers, there are five that are especially important to help your child grow up healthy and strong. These essential vitamins include:
- Calcium: There’s a reason your mother always told you to drink your milk, right? All of that calcium helps to build strong bones, which is the reason why calcium is one of the most essential vitamins your child needs as a toddler. Calcium is not naturally produced by the body, which means we have to get it from other sources, like dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and multivitamins. Adequate calcium is not only essential for bone growth and strength in your toddler’s younger years, it can also be stored in the body long term to promote strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
- Vitamin A: Next on the list is vitamin A, which is critical for healthy brain development in your toddler. Vitamin A helps support good vision and a healthy immune system, and it also helps prevent acne during puberty.
- Vitamin B12: Like calcium, vitamin B12 is also not produced in the body. Vitamin B12 helps to improve the memories of young children, making learning easier, and boost their energy levels. As a bonus, vitamin B12 can also help prevent heart disease as they age. The most common source of vitamin B12 for humans is animal products, so children who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are especially at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that most people are familiar with because of the focus on using it to help boost our immune systems and fight off illness. Vitamin C is critical for strengthening the immune system and helping keep common childhood illnesses like the common cold and other germs that they encounter at daycare, on the playground, and everywhere else they go.
- Vitamin D: Calcium is extremely important for bone health, but our bodies can’t readily absorb it and use it without vitamin D. Vitamin D is critical for bone and brain health, which means it plays a major role in your child’s growth. It can be found in dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and in the ultraviolet light from the sun.
Other Important Vitamins
Of course, the five essential vitamins listed above aren’t the only vitamins your child needs to grow up healthy and strong. Other important vitamins for toddlers include:
- Vitamin E: Supports eyesight, the heart, and the immune system
- Thiamin (B1): Supports concentration, sleep, and general mood
- Riboflavin: Supports eyesight, energy, and cell growth
- Folate (B9): Supports energy and cellular growth
- Biotin (B7): Supports cellular growth and healthy skin
- Pantothenic Acid (B5): Supports energy, sleep, and focus
- Iodine: Supports thyroid function
- Zinc: Supports the immune system and helps with infections, nicks, and cuts
- Selenium: Supports sleep, mood, and inflammation
- Manganese: Supports metabolism and inflammation
It’s possible to find toddlers multivitamins that contain all of the good stuff listed above and none of the added sugar, chemicals, preservatives, toxins, and fillers found in so many children’s gummy vitamins. Keep your eyes peeled for toddlers multivitamins produced from real organic ingredients without added sugar.