All children need to get enough of vitamins A, C and D in their diet. However this isn’t always possible – especially with vitamin D, which we mainly get from sunlight rather than food. This is why the government have recommended that all children from 6 months to 5 years be given daily vitamin supplements. (Always read the label, make sure your child’s intake doesn’t exceed the recommended dose and never give children more than one supplement at any given time.)
Here are the main vitamins children need in their daily life:
Vitamin A is essential for young children, as it supports their immune system, boosts their vision and keeps their skin healthy. As well as supplements, you can up their intake with foods such as carrots, dairy products, sweet potatoes, dark green vegetables and mangoes.
It’s vital that your child gets enough vitamin C to support their general health and immunity. Vitamin C can also help their bodies absorb iron – a mineral essential for healthy growth and development.
Good sources of Vitamin C include fruits like oranges, kiwi fruit, tomatoes and strawberries, together with vegetables like broccoli and peppers.
Vitamin D is one vitamin that children can struggle to get adequate amounts of from just the foods they eat. It is important they have enough as it helps their body absorb essential minerals calcium and phosphate, which are key for building healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
While you can find it in foods such as oily fish and eggs, our main source of Vitamin D is from the sun. However too much sunlight exposure can be harmful, resulting in skin redness and burning at the very least. (UV protection such as SPF and sunhats should always be worn.) That’s why vitamin D supplements are the best way for children to get their daily Vitamin D fix (and should still be taken even if they are spending time in the sun).
It is also recommended that babies who are breastfed from birth take vitamin D drops whether or not you're taking these supplements yourself (speak to your health visitor on where to get them), while bottle-fed babies should get adequate amounts of all vitamins from their formula.
The best children’s vitamin supplements …
From newborn to 5 years:
Healthy Start Children’s Vitamin Drops contain three essential vitamins (Vitamins A, C and D) and can be mixed with a little milk or fruit juice, or taken directly from a spoon. These drops can also be accessed as part of the government’s Healthy Start Scheme for low-income households.
NB: Always consult your health visitor before giving your baby any supplements. Bottle-fed newborns can get adequate vitamins from their formula.
From 3-7 years:
Vitabiotics WellKid Peppa Pig Multi-Vits are a fun way for your little ones to get their daily dose of Vitamins A, C and D. Featuring a delicious natural strawberry flavour, even the fussiest little eaters will enjoy them!