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Dr Manny's Notes

Does your kid need a multivitamin?

Many young kids are picky eaters, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t getting the nutrients they need to grow.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of, recently received this e-mail from a concerned mom:

Q: My 5-year-old son is a picky eater, and I’m worried he isn’t getting enough vitamins. Should he be taking a multivitamin?

A: Many common ‘kid-friendly’ foods, like breakfast cereal, milk and orange juice, are fortified with important nutrients, such as vitamin D and calcium, Alvarez said.

And since children don’t need large amounts of vitamins and minerals, your child may already be getting a sufficient amount.

But it’s still a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician if you have concerns.

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A multivitamin might be appropriate for your child if he or she:
*Has an eating disorder

*Has been diagnosed with failure to thrive

*Doesn’t eat regular or well-balanced meals

*Doesn’t get enough vitamin D through diet or sun exposure

*Has certain chronic diseases or food allergies

*Has a restrictive diet, such as vegan or vegetarian

Keep in mind that certain vitamins and minerals can interact with medications that your child may be taking, and that ‘mega-doses’ of these supplements can be toxic.

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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor. Click here more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit for more.