Does my toddler need to take vitamins?
That depends -- is your toddler eating a balanced diet most of the time? Toddlers should eat about three-fourths to one cup of fruits and veggies, one-fourth cup of grains and three tablespoons of meat (or another protein) per day. If your toddler isn’t eating that much on an almost regular basis, or is skipping certain food groups all together, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about a multivitamin. Your healthcare provider can also help you decide what vitamin, or form, is most appropriate for your child. (Kids’ vitamins come in all kinds of forms: from liquids to chewables to gummy vitamins.)
Many toddlers -- even good eaters -- take an iron supplement because iron intake tends to drop off during the toddler years. As babies, many toddlers ate iron-fortified cereals or drank iron-fortified formula. It can be hard for young kids to meet their daily iron intake when they switch over to cow’s milk and table food. Talk to your doctor about iron supplementation; he’ll let you know if he thinks it’s necessary for your child.
Some parents choose fiber supplements but they’re rarely needed. Toddlers can (and should) get their fiber intake from eating raw fruits and veggies, so serve some at every meal. If your child becomes constipated, increase his fruit intake by serving fruit as a dessert after dinner and as a bedtime snack.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Healthy Recipes for One-Year-Olds
How to Grocery Shop for Your Toddler
Advice for Healthy Toddler Eating