Toddlers and supplements

Does my toddler need supplements?



The Government's Food Standards Agency recommends that all children between 6 months and 5 years are given vitamin drops containing vitamins A, C and D.

A healthy balanced diet every day should ensure your toddler is getting enough vitamins in the diet. But, not all toddlers will be eating a good diet or have a healthy appetite, so taking a vitamin supplement can safeguard against any vitamin deficiencies.

If, however, your toddler is drinking more than 500ml formula milk, they’ll be getting the vitamins they need from this formula so they won’t require any extra vitamin supplements. If they are drinking less formula than this, it’s advisable to give them the supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient which is needed for healthy bone growth and development. A lack of vitamin D can lead to a disease called Rickets, where the bones become soft and flexible. Our main source of vitamin D comes from summer sunlight; however we don’t really get enough of it in the UK to make enough for what we need. For most children under the age of 4 it is recommended that they have a supplement containing vitamin D to make sure they are getting enough.

For babies under six months of age the recommended daily amount is 8.5ug/day; for babies over six months it is 7ug/day. You can get vitamin drops which contain vitamin D from most pharmacies, and they are available on the healthy start scheme. If your baby is formula-fed then they won’t need vitamin drops until their milk intake drops below 500ml a day, as formula milk already has vitamin D in it.

Follow on and growing up milks can provide a valuable source for babies and young children over six months of age to complement their weaning diet; as can thirty minutes of non-midday sun exposure on their arms and face (which should never be lead to burning or tanning).

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