responsibilities and knowing what toddler vitamins you should be giving to your child is one of them. Nutrition is crucial in ensuring your little one gets a good start to a happy and healthy life. There are seemingly hundreds of vitamins and probiotics on the market labeled for babies and toddlers, but not all are created equal. Many of the supplements you see on the shelf are not even necessary for your child’s health. Before adding supplements to your toddler’s diet, always be sure to consult your trusted pediatric services. Read on to learn more about essential vitamins and probiotics for your toddler.

Are Vitamins for Toddlers Necessary?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, healthy children who receive a well-balanced diet don’t need vitamin supplementation over the recommended daily allowances. They also warn about overdosing your toddler on certain fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, and D, which can be toxic to your little one.

Generally, the best place for your child to get her nutrients is from her diet. If you’re unsure if your baby is getting a well-balanced diet, talk to your pediatrician for guidance. It’s easy to add nutrients to your child’s diet with smoothies packed with nutrient-dense foods like berries and broccoli.

However, baby multivitamins can act as a nutritional safety net for your child, especially if she follows a restrictive diet or is a picky eater. Adding these immune boosters for toddlers into your child’s diet will ensure that she’s getting proper nutrition no matter what she is or isn’t eating.

How to Choose Toddler Vitamins

Mother Hand Giving Spoon With Vitamin K or Vitamin D.

Be aware that the FDA does not approve any supplements, including vitamins for toddlers. For this reason, it’s essential that you research and find a brand that you trust, then discuss with your child’s pediatrician before adding any new supplements into her diet. When deciding which brand to buy, consider the following things:

  • Third-party testing. A quality brand will have this testing done and supply the information to you. Doing this proves that their vitamins are what they say they are.
  • The Recommended Daily Allowance. Some supplements can have more than five times the RDA of certain vitamins and minerals, which can be dangerous. Look for toddler vitamins with 100% RDA or less, and make sure the RDA is specifically measured for children, not adults.
  • Serving Size. This can vary widely between brands, so make sure to look at this closely. Make sure the vitamin is specifically formulated for toddlers. If you’re unsure, bring it into your baby’s next pediatric appointment to ask their opinion.
  • Ingredients. Avoid baby multivitamins that use fillers, dyes, preservatives, and artificial flavors. These ingredients aren’t good for anyone of any age, let alone your little one.
  • Beware of vitamin gummies for kids. These can easily be confused with candy by your toddler and might increase her chance of overdosing. Make sure you have a place out of reach of children that you can store supplements in.

What Supplements Does My Toddler Need?

Your little one can benefit from getting the following nutrients in their diet, either naturally or through supplements:

  • Vitamin A. This vitamin promotes strong development and helps bones and muscles grow and repair themselves through your little one’s growth spurts. Vitamin A can be found in milk, cheese, eggs, and orange fruits.
  • Vitamin B. There are eight total B vitamins, but the most important ones for your toddler are B2, B3, B6, and B12. These nutrients have various responsibilities, including helping with blood circulation, metabolism, and maintaining energy levels. B vitamins can be found in sources like chicken and fish, as well as in nuts, beans, milk, and eggs.
  • Vitamin C. Known as one of the most important immune boosters for toddlers, vitamin C can also be toxic if overdosed on, which is a risk if you buy vitamin gummies for kids that can be mistaken as candy. This vitamin can be found in citrus fruits and other fruits like watermelon, kiwi, and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin D. This is a vitamin that toddlers are likely to lack along with calcium. Vitamin D works with calcium to keep muscles and bones strong. It also plays a big role as one of the most important immune boosters for toddlers. Without this vitamin, your child’s body will have trouble absorbing calcium. Since baby multivitamins can have too much of this nutrient, the best source of Vitamin D is exposure to sunlight.
  • Calcium. Essential for bone health, this mineral is critical during early life stages when toddlers are at their clumsiest and prone to falling. Calcium can be found in fortified juices and dairy products.
  • Iron. This mineral helps transport red blood cells throughout the body, and lacking it can cause anemia in your baby. Iron can be found in leafy greens and red meats.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids promote brain and cardiovascular health in your little one. They can be found in fish oils and certain seeds like flaxseed.
  • Probiotics. These friendly gut bacteria help to support a healthy digestive tract and also act as immune boosters. Probiotics can be found in yogurt and certain fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut.

How to Boost Your Child’s Immune System

Top View Wide Angle Sleeping Newborn Baby Lies in a Crib Arms and Legs Outstretched

While vitamin gummies for kids can help keep your toddler’s immune system strong, there are other ways you can help boost your little one’s immune system without using vitamins for toddlers. To tackle seasonal illnesses before they even appear, focus on:

  • Sleep. Don’t overlook this vital aspect of keeping your toddler healthy. Getting the recommended 11-14 hours of sleep per day will help your little one’s immune system stay strong. If you struggle with getting your child to sleep enough, try moving bedtime earlier or creating a more concrete bedtime routine.
  • Hand washing. Babies love sticking their hands in their mouths. If their hands are full of germs, it’s a sure-fire way for them to get sick. To teach your little one proper hand hygiene, try singing a song with her for a set amount of time to make sure she’s cleaning her hands thoroughly.
  • Flue shots. Even if your toddler is too young to get the shot herself, you can help prevent her from getting sick by keeping yourself up to date on your flu vaccine.

If your little one is already sick and you want to help soothe her sore throat, you can try giving her elderberry and honey tea. Note that honey is not safe for babies under the age of one. Always ask your pediatrician before making herbal tea for your toddler.

The Bottom Line

Vitamins and probiotics are critical to keeping your little one healthy. If you don’t think your toddler is getting enough of one or more of these nutrients in her diet, it may be a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about multivitamins.

Do you have questions about toddler vitamins and your child? At Children’s Medical Center of South Florida, our experienced and compassionate pediatric healthcare providers can guide you in the right direction. Call today or make an appointment online to schedule an appointment to discuss essential vitamins and probiotics for your little one.