Are dietary supplements for children useful?
According to scientific research, the quality of our food has declined dramatically since the 1940s. Nowadays, food sometimes has less than half of the original content of vitamins and minerals. [1,2]
No wonder that food supplements are becoming more and more popular in Germany as well. Meanwhile, there are several nutritional supplements for children on the health market. But are these remedies really necessary?
Or is the usual diet sufficient to supply our offspring with all the important nutrients??
Food supplements for children – what nutrients are present in them?
Food supplements for children contain essential vitamins and minerals.
In addition, some products contain omega-3 fatty acids and other biomolecules such as choline. Why do the manufacturers use this special nutrient composition??
The needs of children are weighted differently than those of adults. In order for healthy, strong bones to form, sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D3 are needed.
Valuable nutrients play a major role not only in the physical but also in the mental development of children.
In the first years of life Zinc, iron, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D3 and choline crucial to the development of the brain.[4,5]
Numerous scientific research papers indicate that an undersupply of vitamins and minerals in children can lead to illnesses and conspicuous behavior.
In order to give the little ones a good start in life from the very beginning, parents should make sure that they receive an optimal supply of nutrients.
Some children are extremely picky about food. Stubbornly refuse to eat healthy vegetables and fruit.
In addition, they often also reject food supplements in the form of tablets, capsules or drops.
Constantly having to force children to eat is no fun for parents and can have a detrimental effect on children’s development.
A simple solution is offered by wowtamins KIDS Complete.
The 100% vegan product contains essential vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids packed in delicious fruit gums.
With daily consumption, our little ones voluntarily absorb the valuable nutrients and can be introduced to balanced meals at the same time.
Children do not need nutritional supplements if they eat a wholesome diet
Experts agree: children who eat a healthy and varied diet do not need additional vitamins and minerals.
What does varied and healthy mean? The German Nutrition Society (DGE) provides numerous hints and tips to ensure a balanced diet for children and adolescents.
According to this, our offspring should eat 5 children’s hands of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
Milk or cheese and the use of whole grains provide further intake of necessary nutrients.
To meet the need for vital omega-3 fatty acids, fish should be eaten once or twice a week.
Furthermore, the DGE recommends to strongly limit the consumption of sweets. Meat and eggs should only be on the menu from time to time.
A healthy, varied diet means no convenience foods, no processed foods such as frozen pizza or fast food, no products made from white flour, rarely chocolate; instead, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products and fish!
Hand on heart: Who can keep up this kind of diet with his offspring in the long run??
What is the nutritional situation of German children??
In the early 2000s, renowned research institutes looked at the dietary intake of children in Germany.
The results were published under the names VELS study (Consumption study to determine the food intake of infants and young children) and EsKiMo study (nutrition study as KiGGS module) published.
The evaluation of the VELS study showed that the average boys and girls from 1 to 4 years of age do not get the required amounts of Folic acid, thiamine, vitamin E, iron and iodine feeds.
In the age group from 6 to 11 years, German children on average do not reach the recommended values for Vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin D, iodine and calcium.
Why is that?? The two research papers also answer this question: Our children do not consume enough fruit and vegetables. In addition fish comes much too rarely on the plate.
When is a food supplement worthwhile with children?
Healthy children who eat a whole, varied diet that includes regular vegetables, fruits, fish and dairy products do not need additional nutrients.
On the other hand, those who are picky and like only certain foods, easily fall into an undersupply.
A Chinese study of 937 healthy children between 3 and 7 years of age was able to prove this connection.
Those participants who ate hardly any whole grains, vegetables and fish had significantly lower body weight after two years in a direct age comparison than children with a balanced diet.
In addition to fruit, vegetable, and fish avoiders, a dietary supplement is also worthwhile for vegetarian or vegan diets.
The same applies to children, who are less able to absorb vitamins and minerals. This mainly affects patients with Celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
If our little ones eat a healthy and balanced diet, they can easily cover their requirements for vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids through their food.
Dietary supplements for children may be useful in those:
- who rarely eat fruit, vegetables and fish,
- their nutrient intake is impaired,
- with a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Those who want to support their child with a vitamin and mineral supplement should make sure that all important nutrients are present in the correct dose.