Flower Mound & Denton



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Does my child need a supplement?

Does my child need a supplement?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: “Supplements may be useful when they fill a specific nutrient gap that can not or is not otherwise being met by the individuals intake of food.”

Does your child:

  • Eat a variety of foods?
  • Have a feeding problem that lasts for several weeks?
  • Have poor dietary habits that affect their intake?
  • Have a food allergy that requires the elimination of an entire food group?
  • Follow a vegan or vegetarian diet?
  • Have a medical condition that affects intake or absorption?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your child might very well need a dietary supplement.

Choosing what and how much to give your child is an individual decision and will depend on their unique needs and nutritional status.

For example, a child with a milk allergy might be able to meet nutrients lost through elimination of this food group by consuming more: fortified milk substitutes, leafy greens, calcium-fortified foods, and other high protein foods such as eggs, meats and legumes. If, however, intake of these other food groups is not high enough, a supplement may be necessary.

When choosing a supplement it is important to consult with your physician and/or a Registered Dietitian for guidance.

Keep the following in mind when giving a supplement to your child:

  • Only give in recommended doses. There is such thing as too much of a good thing.
  • Supplements are not intended to forgo healthy eating. Nothing can replace healthy nutritional habits.
  • Supplements are not candy. Even if they come in fancy shapes, colors and flavors.
  • Enriched and fortified foods may have the same added nutrients that a supplement has.

Real foods contain nutrients that pills can not offer.  When we take a nutrient out of a food and concentrate it in a pill, it’s not the same thing.  Nothing can replace healthy dietary habits.  If you question if your child needs a supplement, consult with a health care professional.