Children’s vitamins drops: types, benefits, dosages and FAQs

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Children's vitamins drops: types, benefits, dosages and FAQs

Getting a balanced level of vitamins is important for to a child's development. A healthy, rounded diet will normally ensure a child receives the vitamins they need. However, a perfect diet isn't always an option. Supplements can be used to help bridge the gap between a healthy diet and meeting the recommended intake.

In this guide:

Which vitamins do children need?

It is essential that children get the vitamins they needto ensure a healthy body.A balanced diet provides most of the vitamins required; however, supplements can help ensure the recommended daily intake is met (see below for more information).

The main vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy child are:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin D
  • omega-3
  • zinc
  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

In this section, we will look at each of these key vitamins and minerals, including their uses and the main food source of each.

Vitamins for children: functions and key sources

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Type of vitamin

Main function

Key sources

Vitamin A

  • Helps maintain normal vision
  • Helps maintain the normal function of the immune systems
  • Helps keep skin healthy
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Milk and yoghurt

Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a catch-all term for many types of vitamins, including:

  • thiamine (B1) — helps break down and release energy from food
  • riboflavin (B2) — helps keep skin, eyes and nervous system healthy
  • niacin (B3) — helps release energy from food
  • pantothenic acid > — has several functions including energy release from food
  • vitamin B6 — helps the body use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food
  • biotin (b7) —helps the body break down fat

key sources: found in a wide range of foods

  • folate and folic acid — helps the body form healthy red blood cells
  • vitamin B12 — helps a normal function of the nervous system
  • Peas
  • Eggs
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Milk
  • Rice
  • Fish
  • Wheat flour
  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Porridge
  • Pork
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

Vitamin C

  • Helps maintain a normal functioning immune system
  • Helps improve iron absorption
  • Helps protect cells
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants

Vitamin D

  • Contributes to the normal function of the immune system
  • Can help support healthy bones and teeth
  • Supports normal growth of a child's bones
  • Oily fish — such as salmon, sardines and herring
  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks

Omega-3

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps prevent irregular heartbeats
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Oily fish — such as salmon, sardines and herring
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Seeds and nuts

Zinc

  • Helps a functioning immune system
  • Helps wound healing
  • Helps the breakdown of carbohydrates
  • Whole-grain products
  • Milk products
  • Poultry

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

  • Contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function
  • Helps maintenance of normal vision
  • Helps the development of vision for infants up to 12 months
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Can children take vitamin supplements?

Yes.

While most children should be able to get their vitamin requirements met through a balanced diet, it can be difficult for anyone to have a truly balanced diet. This is where supplements can help.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are designed to bridge the nutritional gap. It They will provides the nutrients we need to ensure a healthy, happy child.

Are vitamin supplements safe?

As long as you are considerate with dosages, vitamin supplements are very safe.

If you are concerned that your child is deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral, contact your GP. They can help with any dietary concerns and recommend the right supplements.

What is a balanced diet for kids?

Having a healthy, balanced diet is very important for children to grow, learn and play well. Developing children need a variety of foods everyday to ensure they get all the nutrients and vitamins they need.

The table below can help you understand what food your child (over the age of 5) needs. To find out more, visit the Health Service Executive .

Types of food and the recommended servings per day for children over 5

Type of food

Servings per day

Vegetables, salad and fruit

5 – 7

Wholemeal cereals and bread, potatoes, pasta and rice

3 – 5

Milk, yoghurt and cheese

3

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts

2

Fats, spreads and oils

Very small amounts

This is a complex list which may seem overly optimistic. It will be difficult to ensure the correct amount of servings everyday — some kids can be fussy eaters, some meals can be hard to cook.

Prolonged lack of the right servings can lead to vitamin deficiencies.

What are the signs of vitamin deficiency in children?

A mixture of vitamins, minerals and fatty acidsnutrients are required in a rounded diet. The symptoms of deficiency vary between each vitamin, mineral or fatty acid. In the table below you will find some common symptoms for different deficiencies.

Be aware that many of these symptoms can have multiple causes, some completely harmless. If you are concerned about that your child suffering is from a vitamin deficiency, contact your family GP. They will be able to assess your child and recommend the appropriate steps moving forward.

Vitamins and the signs of deficiency

Vitamin /mineral/fatty acid

Sign(s) of deficiency

Vitamin A

  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Dry eyes
  • Night blindness
  • Delayed growth
  • Repeated throat and chest infections
  • Poor wound healing

Vitamin B12

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Delay in growth
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability
  • Lack of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

Vitamin C

  • Rough, bumpy skin
  • Irritable
  • Easily bruised skin
  • Fatigue

Vitamin D

  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Repeat illnesses
  • Dental deformities
  • Impaired growth
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skeletal deformities (e.g. rickets)

Iron

  • Behavioural problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Repeat infections
  • Breathlessness
  • Increase sweating
  • Impaired growth
  • Strange food cravings (e.g. dirt)

Calcium

  • Weak and brittle nails
  • Muscle cramps
  • Easy fracturing of the bones
  • Numbness/tingling in hands, feet or face

Zinc

  • Appetite loss
  • Impaired growth
  • Repeated infections
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Poor wound healing

Omega 3

  • Dry skin and hair
  • Soft or brittle nails
  • Rough patches of skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Mood swings
  • Poor sleep quality

Benefits of vitamin supplements

If you are concerned about your child' diet, there are many benefits to including vitamin supplements. The benefit is dictated by the type of vitamin/mineral supplement you take.

Some example benefits include:

  • Help and support normal growth and development of your child's bones (vitamin D)
  • Maintenance of normal vision (vitamin A)
  • Help and support your child's immune system (vitamin D)
  • Help reduce fatigue and tiredness (folic acid and B12)
  • Increase iron absorption (Vitamin C)
  • Help maintain normal brain function (Docosahexaenoic acid)

Types of supplement forms and shapes

Supplements come in several different forms. Some are more appropriate for children than others. In this section, we will look at the pros and cons of the main forms of supplements.

Liquid/drops

Liquids and drops are one of the most popular choices of vitamin intake due to their ease and effectiveness. They are particularly useful for children, as they are easy to take and pose no choking threat.

Pros

Best multivitamin drop for kids:

roche

Natures Aid multivitamin drops

A carefully balanced formula that combines 9 essential vitamins with a great orange taste.

Main benefits:

  • No added sugars, colours or flavourings
  • Great taste
  • Help maintain your child's healthy growth
  • Price: €11.30

Click here to visit the roduct page

Powder

Powder is an excellent form of supplement for children. They It can be mixed with liquids like water to create a tasty drink that is full of vitamins.

Pros

  • Can be mixed with other liquids — or even other foods such as yoghurts
  • Easy to use
  • Enjoyable taste

Best powder supplement for kids:

roche

Natures Aid Kidz Pro-5

Contains 8-strain live bacteria for a healthy gut.

Main benefits:

  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Tasty blackcurrant flavour
  • Can be mixed with yoghurts or cereal
  • €14.10

Click here to visit the roduct page

Gummies + chewables

Gummies and chewable tablets are designed to make the vitamins seem like a sweet. You should take note that they are usually made from gelatine or fruit pectin. Gelatine contains collagen from animal body parts. If you have any concerns over animal-based products, ensure you purchase gummies made from fruit pectin.

Pros

  • Like a sweet
  • Easier for kids to enjoy than pills

Cons

  • Can be a choking hazard
  • Added sugar
  • Can be made from animal products
  • May contain artificial food colouring, preservatives and fillers
  • One of the least effective ways for

Pills + tablets

Pills and tablet are a very common form of supplement. Many adults take some kind of pill and tablet over their lives, as either medicine or supplement. However, they can be less appropriate for children. Pills and tablets can be difficult to swallow and can even cause choking.

Pros

  • A common form of supplement
  • Convenient to carry around

Cons

  • Difficult to swallow
  • Can cause choking
  • Not appropriate for children

Dosages and Time

Ensuring your child has a healthy diet means balancing the right number of vitamins to give them. Too little and your child will be deficient, too much can risk an overdose (depending on the type of vitamins).

In this section, you will find information on:

  • the daily recommended number of vitamins a child should receive and
  • the best times to take vitamins

How much of a vitamin should I give my child?

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Vitamin

Age (years)

Gender

Daily recommended number*

A (µg/day)

1  – 3

Male/female

400 

4  – 6

Male/female

400

7  – 10

Male/female

500

11  – 14

Male/female

600 

15–18

Male

700

Female

600

B12 (µg/day)

1  – 3

Male/female

0.5

4  – 6

Male/female

0.8

7  – 10

Male/female

1.0

11  – 14

Male/female

1.2

15  – 18

Male/female

1.5

C (mg/day)

1  – 3

Male/female

30

4  – 6

Male/female

30

7  – 10

Male/female

30

11–14

Male/female

35

15  – 18

Male/female

40

D (µg/day)

5 – 13 years

Male/female

5

14 – 18 years

Male

5

Female

5

Iron (mg/day)

5 – 13 years

Male/female

8 – 11 

14 – 18 years

Male

7

Female

10

Calcium (mg/day)

5 – 13 years

Male/female

800 – 1300

14 – 18 years

Male

1300

Female

1300

 

*According to the scientific recommendation for healthy eating guidelines in Ireland .

When is the best time to take vitamins?

In general, it matters very little on the time you take vitamins. So long as you are taking the supplements daily, they will be effective. Some people find it easier to remember taking them when part of a routine. Try incorporating vitamin supplements into a morning routine or just before bed routine.

Best products

In this section, we will look at the best vitamin supplement products for kids.

Best vitamin C supplement for kids:

Vitamin C Drops

Natures Aid vitamin C drops

Vitamin C drops designed for all children from breastfed babies to toddlers

Main benefits:

  • No artificial colours
  • No preservatives
  • Sugar-free
  • €7.00

Click here to visit the roduct page

Best vitamin D supplement for kids:

Vitamin C Drops

Natures Aid vitamin D drops

Designed to help boost your child’s vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth.

Main benefits:

  • Free From: Artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, lactose, yeast & gluten
  • Designed for children
  • Suitable for newborn to 5 years
  • €9.85

Click here to visit the roduct page

Best vitamin omega-3 supplement for kids:

Omega-3 Drops

Natures Aid Kidz omega-3 drops

Contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA with a natural lemon flavour.

Main benefits:

  • Sugar-free
  • Suitable for ages 6+
  • no artificial flavours, preservatives or colours
  • €14.10

Click here to visit the roduct page

FAQs

Should breastfed children take vitamin D supplements?

Yes, as well as the mother. According to Unicef :

“A new-born baby's vitamin D status depends on their mother's vitamin D status during pregnancy and recommendations remain that all pregnant women should take a supplement of 10µg/day during pregnancy and continue to take this when breastfeeding. The amount of vitamin D in the mother's breastmilk will depend on her vitamin D intake and vitamin D stores; therefore, as a precaution, it is now suggested that breastfed babies be given additional vitamin D as well as their mother.”

What causes vitamin D deficiency in children?

Humans get most of their vitamin D from sunlight. Any babies or children living in the northern hemisphere are vulnerable to low vitamin D levels. This is due increased indoor living in a country with limited sunlight.

There are infant groups who have been shown to be at increased risk:

  • Babies born in winter months
  • Babies who wear concealing clothing that prevents skin exposure to sunlight
  • Babies who spend a lot of times indoor or use high-factor sun screams
  • Babies of mothers with gestation diabetes

Can adults take children's multivitamins?

Children's vitamins are designed to help fill in any gaps in your child's diet. Any adult taking a child's vitamin won't be harmed. However, if you are taking them on a regular basis, you may not be getting the full number of vitamins you need.

Adults and children require different amounts of vitamins. If you feel that your diet is not well-balanced, you should discuss your options with your doctor. They will be able to recommend the right types of vitamins based on your age, gender and needs.

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