Q. Does every child need to take a children’s multivitamin? Do the popular multivitamins have everything my child needs?
A. This is a great question that pediatricians are asked almost daily. The average child who eats fruits, vegetables and meats on a regular basis probably doesn’t need to take a multivitamin every day. A healthy child also needs to be consuming some form of dairy product to assure that they are getting adequate amounts of calcium. Children often become picky eaters at ages 18-24 months due to a slower growth period. This is often when I recommend that moms start giving a multivitamin. Vitamin drops, chewable vitamins or gummy vitamins are great options. The gummy vitamins seem to be easiest to get little ones to take. I would continue to recommend multivitamins throughout childhood for the child who does not eat a balanced diet. Also, the child who is borderline anemic can often be given a daily multivitamin with iron to help correct their anemia in a palatable form. No multivitamin will meet all of your child’s needs, but the popular ones on the market seem to do a pretty good job. There is no substitute for a well-balanced diet, and this should continue to be the goal of all parents for their children.
Timothy Gunter, M.D.
Galen Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
1651 Gunbarrel Rd., Suite 302
Chattanooga, TN 37421