Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."
Question: My daughter is two years old, should I put her on a multivitamin or is that appropriate for only older children? - Donna A.
Answer: Vitamins are supplements used when the diet doesn't contain enough of the
essential nutrients needed. There is controversy as to whether anyone that
has a complete diet should take them.
Certain vitamins are essential for growth and development, especially during
the first few years when brain development is at it's peak. At the end of
the 2nd year of life, the brain is approx. two-thirds the size of an adult.
If your toddler is one of those picky eaters bypassing veggies for example,
you may want to supplement with a multivitamin. Remember that certain
vitamins such as A D E and K are what are known as fat soluble vitamins.
Because of their nature, they tend to get stored in the liver and other body
tissues. Over time, this can cause side effects. ( Too much of a good thing)!
If you are not sure if your child is getting enough vitamins in his diet,
speak to your pediatrician. There are nutritionists that can help you
decide. Also, there are numerous books that you can purchase which can help
you determine whether or not your child is in need of vitamins.
Remember not to expect a toddler to sit down and eat three large meals a day.
You may think he eats like a bird. Get a pencil and paper and one day write
down everything he eats for the day. Most days you'll find that he eats a
fairly balanced diet if given a variety of foods to choose from. It's amazing
that children will consume the majority of foods that their body needs. Let
them choose, with your guidance of course!
Also see: Does Strep Throat lead to Scarlet's Fever?
Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
Ask Dr. Betti your questions
This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.