Vitamin advice for your children
Vitamins A, C & D for babies, toddlers & children
In the past few years we have been flooded by recommendations for our children’s diet: things like how too much sugar, fat, and salt can be bad for them. We know how important eating a healthy and balanced diet is, but we’re sometimes forgetting to think about extra vitamins.
Children need some extra vitamins to grow and thrive and each specific one is important for their diet.
At Boots we have vitamin experts who can help you navigate through all the advice and help you choose the right vitamin for your children. They have compiled the advice below.
The UK government recommends that all children take a daily vitamin D supplement,* and that all children from six months to five years old also take a daily vitamin A and C supplement.
Vitamin D promotes healthy teeth and bone development in children.
The latest nationwide nutrition survey demonstrated that six percent of children have low levels of vitamin D. This means that one child in every class is at increased risk of poor bone development (aged four to 10).
Vitamin D can be obtained from direct sunlight on the body, that’s why it’s known as the sunshine vitamin. Only small amounts are found in food such as oily fish, eggs, red meat and milk.
Vitamin D is important as it helps absorb calcium, so it is essential for strong healthy bones. This is particularly important in early childhood when growing bones develop.
Vitamin A & Vitamin C
From six months to five years old, toddlers and children’s diets change but it's sometimes hard to know whether they're getting all the nutrients they need. That’s why the UK government recommends that parents give their children two other important vitamins in addition to vitamin D: vitamin A and vitamin C.
Vitamin A is needed for healthy vision as well as healthy skin. It supports the immune system and normal iron metabolism.
Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and increases the absorption of iron. It supports energy release and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It also contributes to the normal formation of collagen in the body which then maintains healthy skin, gums, teeth, bones and cartilage.
How to choose the right vitamin?
Boots can help take the mystery out of choosing which vitamins and minerals are right for your family. Whether your children prefer liquid vitamins, gummies, drops or chewable tablets, Boots has a great range of vitamins for kids.
The simplest way to ensure your child gets all these essential vitamins is to find a vitamin product which contains vitamins A, C and D and look at what levels they contain.
Vitamin A and C levels may vary (see below), but remember that the most important level to look out for is vitamin D, as you can't get enough vitamin D from the diet. Government advice from 2016 on how much vitamin D to give your child has been released, so while the market catches up make sure to look for dosages up to 10 mcg.
We’ve put together this simple guide that helps you to find how much vitamin D the UK government say you should give your child through supplementation:
|0-12 months||8.5 mcg - 10 mcg||All year round (unless infant is on 500 ml of formula milk which already contains vitamin D)|
|1-4 years old||10 mcg||All year round|
|5-17 years old||10 mcg||Winter and autumn months|
|Children from ethnic minorities with dark skin||10 mcg||All year round|
For vitamin A and C, there are no specific recommended levels for these two vitamins, but below are the latest nutritional estimates of how much each age group needs from all food sources:*
|Vitamin C(mg/day)||Vitamin A(mcg/day)|
|0-1 male or female||25||350|
|1-6 male or female||30||400|
|7-10 male or female||30||500|
|11-14 male or female||35||600|
*Nutrition Requirements – British Nutrition Foundation.
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