Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should multivitamin supplements be taken by infants and toddlers?"
Should infants and toddlers be on multivitamin supplements? My brother insists on it for his kids and I have a baby on the way. Are they important to take, and are they safe?
Most pediatricians and doctors agree that there is a place for multi-vitamins and food supplements, but that most children eating a healthy and well-rounded diet do not need them. I recommend you discuss this issue with your doctor, as children with special needs or concerns, or problems with eating a normal diet, may need some help. Most immediately relevant to you, the best thing that you can do for your child's health is to be healthy yourself. You, as a pregnant soon-to-be mother, should be taking a multi-vitamin, however. One of the best things that you can do for your impending arrival is to make sure and take care of your own health. Regular pre-natal care, avoidance of alcohol or tobacco, and adequate nutrition are all a part of appropriate and excellent care, and should continue after birth. Even after your baby is born, taking care of these things will help your child to be well in the future, as a healthy mother is one of the best things a new baby can have. Then, please at least consider breast feeding, as there is a large amount of research demonstrating the value of this. Finally, work closely with your pediatrician to make sure that your child is receiving the nutrition that he or she needs as he or she continues to grow.
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