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Kids and Vitamins - How Much Is Enough?

Most foods these days are fortified so toddlers can easily get vitamins and minerals. However, sufficient nourishment varies from child to child. In most cases, vitamins are needed especially if a toddler is a picky eater, if he is allergic to certain foods or if the child has a medical condition. Health experts agree that kids and vitamins produce healthy results and gives added protection as long as:

  • You only give your toddler a daily dose of supplement (no overdosing or mixing vitamins without a doctor’s prescription).
  • They do not substitute healthy foods. Vitamins must be taken alongside a proper diet (administering good healthy eating habits is a must).
  • Vitamins are taken for the sole purpose of meeting the daily RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of toddlers.

The right dosage of vitamins depends on a toddler’s needs and state of health. Here is a guideline:

Vitamin A

Toddlers from ages 1 to 3 need at least 300 mcg (microgram) of vitamin A each day. Add 100 mcg (400 mcg) for children age 4 to 8 and 9 to 13 year old kids need at least 600 mcg (maximum dosage in a day). Too much intake of vitamin A can threaten a toddler’s health and may cause hazy eyesight, headache, nausea and vomiting. If a toddler still has insufficient vitamin A, doctors recommend loading up on beta-carotene foods like whole-wheat cereals, carrots, potatoes, spinach, egg and milk.

Vitamin B

Different dosage is given for every member of the vitamin B family.

  • Thiamine or vitamin B1 (for proper blood circulation and carbohydrate digestion and prevention of beriberi) – 0.3 mg for 6 to 12 month old toddlers, 0.5 for 1 to 8 year olds, 0.9 for 9 to 13 year olds
  • Riboflavin, B2 (proper conversion of carbohydrate, protein and fats into energy) – 0.5 mg for 1 to 3 year olds, 0.6 for ages 4 to 8 and 1 mg for 9 to 13 year olds
  • Niacin, B3 or B complex (use of fats and proteins, for healthy eyes, hair and skin and proper function of the nervous system) – 6 mg for 1 to 3 year olds, and 8 mg for 4 to 8 year old toddlers
  • B5 (for prevention of chronic diseases) - 2 mg for toddlers ages 1 to 3 and 3 mg for children ages 4 to 8
  • B6 (building hormones, normal brain development) – 0.5 mg for 1 to 3 year old toddlers and 0.6 for 4 to 8 year olds
  • B12 (blood development, normal function of brain and nervous system) – 0.9 for children ages 1 to 3 and 1.2 mg for 4 to 8 year olds

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is integral to your toddler’s development to keep him healthy and strong. It also absorbs iron which restores a young one’s energy and reduces the chance of having anemia. Since vitamin C is water soluble, toddlers are recommended to consume it on an every day basis. 1 to 3 year old toddlers require 15 mg, 4 to 8 year old kids need 25 mg and 9 to 13 year old children need 45 mg. Together with it, foods containing high amounts of vitamin C such as orange, grapefruit, pineapple, broccoli, tomatoes and real fruit juice needs to be eaten regularly.

Vitamin D

Toddlers between the age of 1 and 4 need about 150 mg of vitamin D per day while those between 5 to 10 years old require 200 mg. Foods like cheese, egg, fish, beef and milk should be present in a toddler’s diet to help strengthen vitamin D in a toddler’s body. This provides calcium that is very essential in building strong bones, lowers the risk of getting health complications like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.


Toddlers from ages 2 to 8 require 10 mg each day due to the increase of blood synthesis. For children 9 to 14 years old, they only need 8 mg per day. Since most foods are iron-fortified, it is suggested that children lessen the intake of this tablet and focus on eating cereals, rice, artichokes, green leafy vegetables, red meat, seafood and dried fruits (e.g. berries, raisins, prunes, etc.) instead.

For toddlers who are picky eaters or those who have bad eating habits, it is best to give just one multivitamin each day so they can get complete nourishment in a single tablet and parents do not have to worry about overdosing on a particular vitamin.

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