What Supplements Should Children Take?
Since a sizable percentage of our patient base are babies, toddlers and young children we frequently get asked about supplements. Specifically, parents want to know what supplements their children should take (if any), or does my child need vitamins or other supplements.
Although there are some unique circumstances and special populations that have different needs (raising a child vegan, for example, you’d want to supplement with B-Vitamins, minerals, and potentially iron), most children could benefit from taking certain supplements that fill nutritional gaps or provide nutrients that are difficult to get through one’s diet alone (especially with picky eaters!).
Do all children NEED supplements? Obviously people can survive and thrive in less than optimal environments, but most children do well taking a few staples. Here are a few we commonly recommend:
- Multivitamin. A good chewable multivitamin will go a long way in terms of filling in nutritional deficiencies. Make sure and get a multi with methylated B-vitamins and folate, and plenty of Vit. D.
- Fish Oil. More specifically, EPA and DHA. Some fish oils supplements will claim to have a lot of fish oil per capsule, but have very little of the good stuff (EPA and DHA). Make sure and get an oil that is guaranteed to be mercury free.
- Turmeric. Turmeric (also called curcumin) has a number of benefits, some of which include: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, reduces symptoms from allergies, improves brain health. Additionally, it helps minimize the expression of genes that increase the likelihood of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Genetics plays a role in determining whether or not you have a certain predisposition, but it’s environmental factors that determine whether or not those genes are “turned on” or not. Turmeric and resveratrol help keep these “bad genes” shut off. Look for a liquid version for the kiddos.
- Vit. D. Sometimes you can find a multivitamin with enough Vitamin D, but it’s important for kid’s to be getting enough. If the multi is low in D you might add a Vit. D supplement as well.
There are many good products available, but in our house we use the following:
Phyto Multi for Kid’s, by Metagenics
Cod Liver Oil, by Pharmax
Turmero liquid Turmeric, by Apex
Resvero liquid Resveratrol, by Apex
We make her supplements a treat, and definitely use it as ammo when she’s being difficult or acting up. We’ll say things like, “If you aren’t nice you won’t be able to have your supplements tonight.” She is always excited about taking her supplements.
Dr. Scoppa is a certified craniopath and low force chiropractor that practices in Bellevue, WA. A good portion of his patient population are babies and young children, typically referred by their pediatrician, lactation consultant, or doula.