Q: My two year old rejects all vitamins. We have tried 4 different kinds in 3 different forms (chewable, gummy, and liquid). I'm scared to mix it with food for fear she will then reject the food. She eats well rounded meals now and I don't want to jeopardize that. Is the vitamin really that important if she eats well and gets enough vitamin D? And if so, any suggestions on what I can mix it with?
A: According to current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrient needs for most healthy Americans, including children aged 2 and older, should be met first and foremost from nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Current research suggests that for most healthy Americans, a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement is unlikely to provide health benefits or prevent against chronic disease. Of course you should certainly check with your child’s pediatrician and a registered dietitian to see if supplementation is warranted (if she has food allergies or intolerances, for example). If it is, I’d definitely recommend liquid or another form that doesn’t pose a choking hazard. You can try offering it up in favorite foods or beverages; even if she doesn’t accept it at first, she may after several exposures. If your child seems to eat healthfully, continue to feed her a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages from all the basic food groups throughout the day—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas—mashed of course to avoid choking), lean meats, fish, poultry, beef, and eggs. (The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) recommends waiting until the age of 3 or beyond to introduce certain foods including peanuts, peanut butter, tree nuts, fish, and seafood.)
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