Which multivitamin products are good for children?
The vacations are still far away, but you feel significant fatigue in your child. You are thinking of giving him a multivitamin, but don’t know where to turn? All the answers are in the following article.
What is a multivitamin syrup?
A multivitamin product is a concentrated source of nutrients, i.e., vitamins and/or minerals. The objective is to support and complete a varied and balanced diet. A multivitamin will help maintain adequate nutrient intakes.
When children are the target audience, multivitamins are mainly in syrup form. This makes it easier to take them every day and avoids the risk of choking.
Why does my child need a nutritional intake?
The pace of a child’s life is demanding. Between chasing around the schoolyard and discovering the world, a child consumes a lot of energy! It is therefore essential to offer them a diet rich in diversity and in sufficient quantity to ensure their growth. Even if a varied and balanced diet should be enough to provide the body with what it needs for proper growth and development, it may not be enough. Children with multiple food allergies, poor appetite, or unbalanced diets may be lacking in certain nutrients.
Moreover, adopting a varied and balanced diet is not always easy. The latest food survey conducted in Belgium shows that only 35% of young children (3-5 years old) respect the specific recommendations for their age regarding the consumption of vegetables, i.e., between 100g and 150g of vegetables per day. Similarly, 64% of young children (3-5 years) meet the recommendations for fruit consumption, i.e., they consume 100 to 200 grams of fruit daily or 1 to 2 fruits per day.
Is a multivitamin for adults suitable for children?
Multivitamins are food supplements that contain several vitamins in the same product. Therefore, they respect nutritional dosages specifically adapted to the public for which they are intended.
The European and national health authorities recommend target daily intakes for all vitamins and minerals for different populations (women, men, children, …). These recommendations also consider the intake from the diet. They are established to guarantee good growth at any age.
According to the discoveries and/or scientific studies, these intakes are reviewed and adapted. Depending on lifestyle, diet, daily activity, and body type, needs vary. The recommendations are therefore not exact figures and are based on average values.
In view of the above points, European and national authorities establish dosages to be respected, especially for children. Some vitamins present a risk of toxicity in case of excess. It is therefore important to respect the dosage indicated as well as the recommendations of the treating physician or pediatrician. Similarly, it is advisable not to consume several food supplements at the same time to avoid any problem of overdose.
The major vitamins for the good development of the child
Vitamin D is a so-called “fat-soluble” vitamin. This means that the body can store it in fatty tissue. It is therefore essential to respect the dosage to avoid toxicity due to an excess. The body can manufacture vitamin D by simple exposure to the sun at a rate of a quarter of an hour to half an hour per day. Vitamin D contributes to good muscle function. It also allows a good absorption and use of calcium necessary for bone growth.
Depending on where you live, sunshine is not always sufficient. Therefore it is essential to ensure a good dietary intake by consuming foods of animal origin. Fatty fish such as salmon or egg yolk are interesting sources. For children (boys and girls) up to the age of 10 years, the recommendations are of the order of 10 µg daily. The latest Belgian food consumption survey shows that the average intake of vitamin D from food for children aged 3 to 5 years is 3.30 µg per day and 3.35 µg per day for those aged 6 to 9 years.
Vitamin C is one of the best-known and most popular vitamins. This vitamin is also known as ascorbic acid. In terms of health benefits, it reduces fatigue while contributing to normal energy metabolism. It also allows a good functioning of the immune system. This vitamin is particularly present in blackcurrants, raw red peppers, and kiwi fruit.
About the standards defined in terms of reference intake for 3-5-year-olds, food provides sufficient vitamin C for 51% of this age group, mainly through the consumption of fruit and vegetables.
The importance of synergies
Synergy is an important concept in nutrition. As seen previously, nothing can replace a varied and balanced diet. A portion of food is indeed rich in a multitude of nutrients, but also in compounds beneficial to the body such as fiber. The term “synergy” comes from Greek and means “working together”. This means that vitamins and minerals will help each other to gain efficiency.
A multivitamin syrup works and meets this objective. By combining different vitamins into one product, the effects and effectiveness will be increased. The dietary supplement will then be closer to what happens in food. It is therefore always preferable to prefer syrups that combine several nutrients to promote a multi-axis approach.
Childhood is an important period of growth both physiologically and psychologically. For healthy development, the child must have a varied and balanced diet. The latter will provide vitamins and minerals necessary for the good development of the body. For each nutrient, the health authorities recommend daily quantities, established according to age, gender, and the specific needs of the body. Thus, a product intended for adults will not necessarily make sense for children, because the dosages will not be adapted, and excess can sometimes present a risk of toxicity.
- A multivitamin syrup is a concentrated source of vitamins
- The objective is to support and complement a varied and balanced diet
- Specific dosages are established for children to better meet their needs
- Vitamins C and D are among the important vitamins for children
- Synergistic syrups where vitamins work together are to be favored for a better nutritional approach
- Officede la naissance et de l’enfance, guide pratique pour l’alimentation des enfants dans les mileiux d’accueil, édition 2019
- De Ridder et al., Enquête de consommation alimentaire 2014-2015, Institut scientifique de santé publique, 2016
- Be-sup, Mythe ou réalité, 33 allégations souvent entendues, 2021
- Kids nature photo created by wirestock “https://www.freepik.com/photos/kids-nature”
- Little baby photo created by freepik “https://www.freepik.com/photos/little-baby”
- Happy family familia photo created by senivpetro “https://www.freepik.com/photos/happy-family-familia”
- Kids eating photo created by gpointstudio “https://www.freepik.com/photos/kids-eating”