CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - You see them on the store shelves and in the ads on TV touting the benefits of giving your child a daily multi vitamin.
According to Pediatrician Dr. Benji Rodgers with Sweetgrass Pediatrics, ideally kids should get their vitamins from a balanced, healthy diet.
“Regular vitamins for a child who is developing well, growing and eating well with no medical troubles does not really need it,” says Rodgers.
Rodgers says kids should be eating balanced meals with plenty of fresh fruits and leafy, green vegetables.
Kids should also get things like protein and whole grains, but he says that can be hard especially if you have a picky eater.
“The beautiful thing about our bodies is we actually store vitamins pretty good. So kind of mixing up foods and making it fun for the picky eater. Let them go shopping with you and go to the farmer’s market with you,” says Rodgers.
He says most kids don't need a daily multi vitamin.
However, infants have different nutrient needs and in some cases may require certain supplements such as vitamin D. Lately, Probiotics are all the rage in health foods.
People use them to regulate their digestive systems.
Rodgers says fermented and aged foods like yogurt and cottage cheese all contain probiotics and are nicer than having to give your child the pill or powder form.
“Probiotics are one of the things that seem to be beneficial for health,” says Rodgers.
Melatonin supplements are a popular treatment for children who have trouble falling asleep.
Rodgers says some research suggests that melatonin can help treat children with these issues in the short term but, it’s best to try lifestyle changes.
“The best thing for sleep is good sleep hygiene. The same bedtime, not having electronics an hour before going to sleep," says Rodgers.
Rodgers says before you give your child any supplements it’s always important to talk to your child’s pediatrician first to see if they would be a good candidate to take them.