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The Importance of Vitamins for Kids

Learn about vitamins for kids and the information you need to know to ensure your child is getting the vitamins he needs for proper growth and development.  

As the vitamin industry grows and its marketing campaigns emerge, many parents are left feeling unsure about what they should do about vitamins, questioning whether their child should be supplemented or not.

In this series, you will learn about the role vitamins play in the growth and development of your child, the desirable food sources for each vitamin, the pros and cons of too much or too little consumption, and the use of supplements.  

fruit is a great source of vitamins for kids

Do Kids Need Vitamins?

Vitamins are essential for the proper growth and development of all children, and most children have no problem meeting their nutrient needs when they eat a diet that represents all food groups.  

Vitamins don’t provide your child with energy (they are calorie-free), but they do help many body systems and processes function in a normal way.

Classes of Vitamins

There are two different classes of vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) and water-soluble vitamins (B-complex and C).  

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins require fat in the diet to be absorbed, and are also stored in the body’s fat tissue for later use.  

When over-consumption occurs, toxicity can result.  

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, travel through the bloodstream and are excreted in the urine, instead of being stored.  

Due to this, children need to get sources of water-soluble vitamins daily.

A child’s growing body requires both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, in varying amounts, each day.

Fruit provides essential vitamins for kids

Getting Vitamins from Food

Food sources of vitamins are utilized well by the body.

While each food item contains different vitamins in varying amounts, a balanced diet with lots of food groups and a variety of colors is important to assuring adequate intake of all vitamins.

Fruits, vegetables, dairy sources, grains, and animal products are packed with vitamins. In fact, the food groups were formed to cluster certain nutrients together.

For example, dairy products are a good source of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients.

Balancing food groups with a healthy meal plan can yield a vitamin-rich diet for your child.

MyPlate for Americans

Read more about food groups at ChooseMyPlate.org.

However, for a variety of reasons, some children are unable or choose not to eat a wide variety of foods and may be short-cutting their vitamin requirements.

Kids who are picky eaters, kids who eat a lot of processed food, and kids with chronic medical conditions like multiple food allergies are at higher risk for inadequate vitamin intakes.

These children may be candidates for a multi-vitamin supplement.

More about Vitamins for Kids

You can learn more about each vitamin, including food sources to help you improve your child’s nutrient intake below.

Learn my super-simple way of tracking the nutrients your child needs!

Need More Help with Nutrients?

For more information on nutrients and practical ways to address short-comings in the diet, see the following additional resources:

This post was updated in November 2019.

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