Doctor's Answers (1)
Many parents are concerned when their children tend to avoid certain food items. These children are known as “picky eaters”, but this does not always correlate to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Before considering supplementing the child’ diet with a multivitamin tablet, it will be important to seek a medical opinion to see if the child has a nutritional deficiency.
For children with restricted diets like those with allergies, intolerances and vegan or plant-based diets, nutritional deficiency is more commonly seen.
The main nutrients that a child needs for healthy development are vitamins A, B, C and D, iron, calcium and folic acid. Iron helps with oxygen flow, vitamin D is crucial for healthy bones and helps with absorption of calcium.
It will be wise if a parent can visit www.tinyurl.com/VitForKids for the exact amount that the child needs.
Some studies have linked picky eating in childhood to low intakes of micronutrients like iron and zinc. Interestingly, the results showed that blood levels of these minerals were not significantly different in picky compared to non-picky eaters.
The risks of consuming too many vitamins include megadosing, which can result in toxic symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache and malaise. An important point to keep in mind is that fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) tend to remain in the body longer and can cause adverse effects on the liver and kidneys.