Should my kids be eating vitamins?

Patient

Q: I recently read that less than a third of the children in the U.S. take vitamins. Do you think more of them should? What’s the downside of not taking vitamins if kids are getting a balanced diet?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question.  When it comes to the health of our children, parents often are more concerned than their own health.
It is also easy to be confused.  Every month a new article appears that makes us feel like bad parents if our children our not receiving enough of miracle vitamin "X" or brain booster "y".  Unfortunately, the general public is not trained to identify if the data is derived from a well conducted study or a poorly conducted study.  The majority of studies related to dietary supplementation in children and adults are poorly conducted and conclusions should not be applied to the general population.
The best advise is to maintain a well balanced diet in accordance with the national food guide.  For otherwise healthy children, vitamin supplementaion is not necessary.

Related Q&A

Q: For about 5 days now I have been experiencing an burning sensation in my left ankle. At times I will feel it in both ...

Q: Hi Guys, I have been looking for answers for the last 3 years on this problem- but have failed at every...

Q: For a few months now, I have experience an odd but mild burning sensation in my groin and upper thigh area. I thought...

Q: I just took too much metronidazole by accident. is there anything I can take to dissipate the antibiotic? I just took...

Q: How long does it take in general to recover from Stevens Johnson syndrome? I had it in July. It was much worse in the...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews