May 22, 2017

Dr. Gellner: Vitamins for your child? I'll give you the scoop on these supplements on today's Scope. I'm Dr. Cindy Gellner.

Announcer: Keep your kids health and happy, you are now entering The Healthy Kid Zone with Dr. Cindy Gellner on The Scope.

Dr. Gellner: As a pediatrician, I often get asked, "Do I need to give my child a vitamin?" This is an especially common question during the toddler appetite slump years of ages one to five, when they don't eat much or are picky since they're not in a big growth phase, or when they're teenagers and they want to eat junk food over healthy choices.

The short answer is if your child is eating a variety of foods, vitamins are usually not needed because many foods are already fortified in the United States. If they are extremely picky and cut out an entire food group or more, then an age-appropriate vitamin is okay. Remember, these are choking hazards for little ones, and we don't recommend them for under two years old.

As for those supplement drink commercials that say they're recommended by pediatricians for picky eaters, yes, not many of us actually recommend those unless your child has a lot of weight-gain issues. Lots of sugar and fat, a single gummy vitamin a day is a much better option.

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