athomeparentingwithJoFrost2017 - 109
According to Margaret
Rayman, professor of
nutritional medicine at
the University of Surrey,
vitamins can certainly be
beneﬁcial for children
if they are fussy eaters and do not eat
a good range of foods.
'For a child who can't tolerate milk or
dairy products, for example, a multivitamin and mineral supplement
containing iodine would be important
as it is required for brain development,'
says Prof Rayman.
'If the child does not eat ﬁsh, a ﬁsh oil
supplement would be good. A vitamin
D supplement is also recommended by
paediatric groups, especially for breastfed
infants, who may need vitamin D drops
from one month of age if their mother
didn't take this vitamin when pregnant.'
As a nutritional therapist
and a mother of two boys,
Laura Southern has seen
ﬁrst-hand how vitamins
can play an important part
in youngsters' nutrition.
'I treat a lot of children (from babies to
teens) at my London Food Therapy clinic,
and a recurrent theme is fussy eating and
refusing food groups,' says Laura.
'There are lots of reasons for this,
ranging from psychological problems, to
nutrient deﬁciencies (often low zinc can
result in fussy eating).
'It does depend on the age of the
child as to how we deal with them.
It's common for a toddler to refuse
certain foods and although
usually not harmful, it can be
distressing for the parents.
'However when it's a
teenage girl cutting out all
Giving vitamins to
sorts of food groups, it's more
a child may seem
concerning. Also, when a child
have beneﬁts for
is cutting out food groups they
some parents but
a child, especially
are often ﬁlling up on highly
there seems to be
in countries like
processed sugar foods. These
no reason not to.
are termed "anti nutrients"
And as far as TV doctor Dr Ellie
the UK that lack
- they use up more vitamins
Cannon is concerned, vitamins
in the body's processing of
are beneﬁcial for kids.
parents need to
them than they provide.
'The government recommends
'The right nutrition in early
all children from six months to
make an effort
childhood, and again during
ﬁve years gets a daily vitamin
to ensure their
puberty, is vitally important
supplement with at least vitamins
children eat their
and numerous studies show
A, C and D in it,' says the GP,
what the child eats growing
mother of two and author of
up can have consequences
Keep Calm: The New Mum's
of fruit and veg.'
in later life. For this reason,
Manual (£12.99, Vermilion).
I always suggest to parents
'These vitamins are vital for
their children should take
growth and development and
vitamins and minerals. The dose will
cannot always be sourced from a child's
be dependent on the size and age of the
diet, particularly in fussy eaters,' she says.
child, and I'll often have speciﬁc vitamin
'Beyond ﬁve years, I think it's a good safety
recommendations for a particular child.'
net. Vitamins are vital for many body
functions and it's reassuring for parents to
know their children are getting everything
they need in terms of nutrition. There
aren't really any downsides.'
WORDS: SUE COHEN, IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES, FOR STOCKISTS: SEE PG 177
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