How can you make sure your kids and teens are nutritionally balanced and ready for the present as well as their future? The answer is in being proactive — learn about the nutrients and multivitamins that your kids and teens need on a daily basis. Here are some handy tips to build a healthy foundation. Know Your Children, Teens and Nutrients Studies show that many adult conditions including heart disease, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes often result from nutrition imbalances in childhood. Take it one meal at a time and focus on balancing what’s on their plates.
- Give them the nutrients they need. Good health and development relies on the broad spectrum of nutrients derived from a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables. Plus, the sooner kids learn to love a wide variety of nutrient-rich, whole foods, the better off they’ll be for life. If that doesn’t sound like what your child is eating, supplements may help.
- Know the ABCs. Children literally need the ABCs: vitamin A, the B vitamins, vitamins C and vitamin D — and don’t forget “E” for EFAs (essential fatty acids)!
- Think about whether their food is helpful or harmful. Artificial preservatives, flavors, colors and sweeteners do nothing good for a child’s health, and most processed foods are nutrient-poor.
Multivitamins for Every Day The American Medical Association recommends that every person take a multivitamin daily. A balanced healthy diet can provide all necessary nutrients; yet all too often that’s not what we eat. Here are some questions and pointers to think about while choosing multivitamins for your kids and teens.
- Is my child’s multivitamin age specific? Each age group has special nutrient requirements and nutritional needs change as children grow, so look for multivitamins targeted to specific ages.
- Remember, it’s the nutrients they need, not artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. There are plenty of fun-shaped and –colored multis to choose from that don’t include those unnecessary additives.
- Can multivitamins make kids smarter? Research shows modest non-verbal-intelligence improvement in certain populations of children.