Should your kids really be taking vitamins?

When I was young, I really liked taking multi-vitamins. Do you remember those Flinstones-shaped ones? I would always more than happily take them, even when I was a teen, but apparently I was one of the few teens who would still take their vitamins. A new study has found that the kids who should be taking their vitamins are actually lacking while the ones who are probably getting enough vitamins from food are probably also taking their multi-vitamins in pill form, and then getting too much of a good thing. 


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I've always read that vitamin supplements are good to fill-in if your diet is lacking, which is why it makes sense to especially make sure that your kids are having all of their vitamins, but the research has "found that between the ages of nine and 18 many [kids] had low levels of certain vitamins and minerals, and few took supplements, while younger kids had adequate levels of nutrients and were possibly getting too much of some vitamins and minerals." 

It turns out that most kids under eight actually get the nutrition they need from the food they ate while the older kids aren't getting enough. The most surprising thing, though, is that more than a third of the children failed to get enough calcium and vitamin D but had too much iron, vitamin A, zinc and folate. 

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I was definitely a teen who still loved to take her vitamins but, as it turns out, I was probably one of the few. It's interesting to find out that we seem to be making sure to keep up the vitamin regimen with younger children but not older kids. Clearly, though, it should really be the opposite. I think, even though I'm all grown up now, I'll be taking a multi-vitamin again, too. After all, if I only got adequate nutrition as a child, then why not?

Do you give your kids vitamins, even as they get older? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via jennypdx/flickr

Topics: child rearing  healthy kids