Should Babies Be Given Vitamin Supplements?
Various supplement products for children today are already widely sold in the market. These products, which are generally in the form of multivitamins, are claimed to have various benefits, ranging from increasing endurance to maximizing brain growth. Then, can babies be given vitamin supplements?
Supplements Only Complement Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies in the Body
The function of supplements, both vitamins, and minerals are actually only to complement (if any) vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body. Therefore, vitamin supplements cannot be used as a substitute for natural vitamins (sourced from food). As is known, one type of food has a combination of various types of vitamins and other substances (such as minerals, key nutrients, and antioxidants) that are needed by the body. For example, citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and calcium. Meanwhile, eggs are high in protein, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin B.
When is the Right Time to Give Vitamin Supplements to Children?
Vitamins for infants and children can be given if they really need it. However, if your little one's appetite is quite broad and the daily menu is complete, vitamin supplements are not really needed. Your little one is said to need a vitamin supplement if:
- Not getting enough vitamin intake. For example, experiencing impaired nutrient absorption or picky eater (narrow appetite).
- In a sick condition, where the body needs more nutrients than usual. Children who are sick tend to eat less so that their nutritional intake (including vitamins) is reduced. That way your little one's body needs to be helped with vitamin supplements.
- Just recovering from illness also makes your little one need vitamin supplements. However, when the child's health condition is getting better, the supplementation should be reduced or stopped when the child is completely healthy and his appetite returns to normal.
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