Supplements for Babies & Toddlers

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

Yesterday I wrote about making baby food; today I am writing about what supplements a baby should have. I do get quite a few questions regarding this topic, and even yesterday, someone emailed me a question about vitamins for their toddler. Here is my take on giving supplements to infants and toddlers. Nursing infants under the age of 6 months should be supplemented with vitamin D3. I have written about this before. If they are nursing well, and are having regular bowel movements, this is the only supplement they need. As a nursing mom, your own diet should consist of fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains... plus GOOD FATS!! Once solids are introduced, nursing usually is curtailed a bit. Bowel movements can become more difficult especially with iron-fortified cereals. I suggest adding a quarter teaspoon of essential fatty acid (Nordic Naturals DHA Jr.) to the cereal to help with bowel movements. Plus it is very important for brain and eye development. If you formula feed, then you may notice that many formulas have DHA added to them. If your 6-month-plus baby is eating a colorful array of fruits and veggies, as well as iron rich foods (cereals, meats, beans and legumes), then no other supplement should be necessary. At 1 to 2 years, children tend to become very very picky! This is when children decide to eat only yellow foods for weeks on end. Or refuse to taste anything new. This is when a good quality multivitamin comes into place. There are some great liquid, gummy and chewable versions for children with minimal sugar. My son prefers Natures Plus Animal Parade vitamins. They are made with whole foods and are low in sugar. I also continue to give essential fatty acids and vitamin D3. One supplement that can be given at any age and is particularly important if your little one has been on antibiotics is acidophilus. This beneficial bacteria plays an important role in digestion, B-vitamin formation, as well as strengthening the immune system. It can be given every day in a powder version, added to breast milk or juice, but also comes in a chewable version from Pathway. If you would like to know more about supplements for your baby, contact us at 1-800-869-9159.