Multivitamins for Kids?

Deciding whether or not children should take multivitamins can be difficult. Well-reasoned arguments are made in favor of taking them and against taking them. Here are several examples:

YESNO
Processed foods are stripped of essential nutrients, so children need multivitamins to make up for the nutrition gap.Most foods, even macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets, are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals.
Multivitamins prevent diseases.Excess vitamins can be toxic and make your child sick.
Extra vitamins and minerals help reduce stress.Stress can be addressed without supplements.
Brains function better with additional vitamins and minerals.Regular exercise and rest have more impact on brain function than vitamins or minerals.
Multivitamins provide energy.A healthy sleep schedule and diet should provide plenty of energy.

Our Take

No, multivitamins aren’t necessary for children unless they have a food allergy, renal disease, or other medical condition that prevents them from eating a full, balanced diet. “We always want vitamins and minerals to come from food — it’s the way our bodies absorb vitamins best,” says Mikie Rangel, a clinical dietitian at Children’s.

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