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.

I recently received this e-mail from a concerned mom:

Dear Dr. Manny,

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?


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

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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