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Although children benefit from the same sort of nutritious diet as adults, and need the same vitamins and minerals as adults, the exact amounts vary by age.
Nutrients that help the normal development of their bones as they grow are especially important.
Children’s vitamin needs also vary from when they are babies, through to toddlers, older children, and teenagers.
Babies who are breastfeeding may need somewhat different vitamins to those who are not, and children who are growing quite quickly could need different supplements to older teenagers.
It is recommended that children over six months and under six years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C, and D on a daily basis.
Babies that are being breastfed are recommended a daily vitamin D supplement from birth, even if the mother is taking such supplements.
Some 8.5 to 10 micrograms are recommended from birth through to their first birthday. Always consult a doctor or healthcare professional before choosing food supplement.
However, babies that are consuming more than half a litre of infant formula may not need additional supplements, as such formulas are typically also fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients.
Vitamin D is obtained through sunlight and supplements are often recommended all year round.
Also, children under five should not be out in the sun too long in hot weather, and if they are, they should be covered up to protect their skin from sun burn.
Vitamin A is important for babies and children in this age group for supporting the normal function of their immune system, for the maintenance of normal vision, and normal skin.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark green vegetables such as spinach are great sources of beta carotene which can be converted into Vitamin A by the body.
Vitamin C is important for the normal function of the immune system. It also helps their body to absorb iron.
Older children are still growing fast and often need similar vitamins as when they were younger, but in different amounts.
Calcium is needed for normal growth and development of bone in children.
This age group tends to have higher energy needs.
Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood and to the maintenance of normal bones and skin.
For teenage girls it is important that they get enough iron. Iron contributes to normal cognitive function and to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
For all their energy and their rapid growth, teens need vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and pantothenic acid which contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism.
Finally, vitamin A is also important for the maintenance of normal vision and contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
We provide vitamins in various combinations, flavours, and formats, including capsules, chewable gummy types, tablets, formula, and drinkables.
We stock vitamins for teenage girls and separately for boys.
The formulas of these supplements contain pantothenic acid to support their normal mental performance.
In both cases, the teenagers can take one tablet and one capsule a day with their main meal, and should swallow it whole with water or a cold drink. Do not exceed the recommended intake.
As we grow and change, so do our body’s requirements.
What a toddler needs is very different to the needs of an adult, and the stress puberty can put on teenage bodies presents a whole host of other challenges.
Children’s vitamins are formulated to support the changing bodies and minds of our small people, as they grow.
A multivitamin is a must if your child has special dietary requirements or is particularly veggie-averse, but even those children who enjoy a healthy, balanced diet can benefit from a vitamin supplement.
The UK government recommends that all children aged between 6 months and 5 years should be given vitamins A, C and D every day to support healthy growth.
This might be achieved through a fortified milk or via a multivitamin for infants.
The stress of exams and extracurricular activities combined with constantly changing bodies means most teens need an extra injection of energy through vitamins C, B6 and B12.
Vitamin D for teens is a must too, aiding the immune system of kids who are in constant contact with bugs, while supporting healthy growing bones and muscles.
With so many children’s vitamins out there, it can be hard to know which contains the vital vits your little (or not so little) one needs.
A children’s vitamin D is recommended by many national health agencies and the NHS recommends a supplement for all ages.
Vital for healthy growth, our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. In darker months, it can be hard to get enough and children who spend a lot of time inside may require vitamin D supplements year-round.
Vitamins A and C are also important, involved as they are in immunity and even healthy vision.
And while iron is not always added to kids' multivitamins (too much can make us ill) it is wise to choose a children’s multivitamin with iron if your child is vegetarian or a picky eater.
It is most important to select a multivitamin targeted to children or, even better, to choose one specific to your child’s age range. This ensures the supplement is tailor-made for their needs.
Select a well-known brand - Holland & Barrett children’s vitamins, Wellkid multivitamin and Vitabiotics children’s vitamins are all good choices – to ensure well-researched quality.
For younger children or those who cannot or will not swallow tablets, there is a wide range of chewable flavoured vitamins that make getting a daily dose of vits a treat.
Liquid multivitamins that can be administered on a spoon or via a syringe are also available, as are effervescent sachets, which dissolve into water to make a tasty fizzy drink.
Young children may also be persuaded by a favourite character. Choose Paw Patrol, Spongebob Squarepants or Peppa Pig multivitamins packaged in bright bottles for their RDA of fun.