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The Importance of Vitamins for Kids

This post was updated in November 2019.

Learn about vitamins for kids! All the essential information you need to know to ensure your child is getting the vitamins he needs for proper growth and development.  

fruit is a great source of vitamins for kids

As the vitamin industry grows and its marketing campaigns emerge, many parents are left feeling unsure about what they should do about vitamins, questioning whether their child should be supplemented or not.

In this series, you will learn about the role vitamins play in the growth and development of your child, the desirable food sources for each vitamin, the pros and cons of too much or too little consumption, and use of supplements.  

Are Vitamins for Kids Necessary?

Vitamins are essential for the proper growth and development of all children, and most children have no problem meeting their nutrient needs when they eat a diet that represents all food groups.  

Vitamins don’t provide your child with energy (they are calorie-free), but they do help many body systems and processes function in a normal way.

Fruit provides essential vitamins for kids

Types of Vitamins

There are two different classes of vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) and water-soluble vitamins (B-complex and C).  

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins require fat in the diet to be absorbed, and are also stored in the body’s fat tissue for later use.  

When over-consumption occurs, toxicity can result.  

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, travel through the bloodstream and are excreted in the urine, instead of being stored.  

Due to this, children need to get sources of water-soluble vitamins daily.

A child’s growing body requires both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, in varying amounts, each day.

Getting Vitamins from Food

Food sources of vitamins are utilized well by the body.

While each food item contains different vitamins in varying amounts, a balanced diet with lots of food groups and a variety of colors is important to assuring adequate intake of all vitamins.

Fruits, vegetables, dairy sources, grains, and animal products are packed with vitamins.

Balancing food groups with a healthy meal plan can yield a vitamin-rich diet for your child.

MyPlate for Americans

Read more about food groups at ChooseMyPlate.org.

However, for a variety of reasons, some children are unable or choose not to eat a wide variety of foods and may be short-cutting their vitamin requirements.

Kids who are picky eaters, overweight kids who eat a lot of processed food, and kids with chronic medical conditions like multiple food allergies are at higher risk for inadequate vitamin intake.

These children may be candidates for a multi-vitamin supplement.

More about Vitamins for Kids

You can learn more about each vitamin, including food sources to help you improve your child’s intake below.

All about Vitamin A for Kids

All about Viamin C for Kids

All about Vitamin D for Kids

All about Vitamin E for Kids

All about Vitamin K for Kids

All about Vitamin B Complex for Kids

Resources for Parents

For more information on nutrients and practical ways to address short-comings in the diet, see the following additional resources:

Nutrients for Kids, Advanced Guide

The Calcium Handbook for Kids

The ADHD Diet for Kids – online class

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