Are Vitamin C Supplements Necessary
It is always best to get your nutrients from food rather than supplements.
Fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, are good sources. Foods naturally rich in vitamin C include:
- Raw red peppers: 95 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Orange juice: 90 mg per 3/4-cup serving
- Orange: 70 mg per one medium fruit
- Kiwi: 64 mg per one medium fruit
- Raw green peppers: 60 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Cooked broccoli: 51 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Strawberries: 49 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Cooked Brussels sprouts: 48 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Tomato juice: 33 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Cantaloupe: 29 mg per 1/2-cup serving
If you don’t get enough vitamin C from what you eat, a supplement can help get you to the right levels.
How To Ensure Your Child Is Getting Enough Nutrients
To ensure children are getting adequate amounts of nutrients so that they dont need supplements, make an effort to include a variety of nutritious foods in their diet.
Incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and dairy products into meals and snacks will likely provide enough vitamins and minerals.
To help your kid eat more produce, continually introduce new veggies and fruits prepared in different and tasty ways.
A healthy diet for kids should also limit added sugars and highly processed foods and focus on whole fruits over fruit juice.
However, if you feel that your child is not getting proper nutrition through diet alone, supplements can be a safe and effective method to deliver the nutrients children need.
Consult your childs pediatrician or a registered dietitian if youre concerned about your childs nutritional intake.
Tolerable Upper Intake Level
The Food and Nutrition Board has also set tolerable upper intake levels, or ULs, of vitamin C for each children’s age group. The UL is the maximum amount a child can consume of the nutrient daily without experiencing potentially harmful side effects. Adolescents should not exceed 1,800 milligrams per day, and children between 9 and 13 should have no more than 1,200 milligrams. Between the ages of 4 and 8, children should not have over 650 milligrams. These totals include vitamin C obtained from supplements and food sources combined.
You May Like: How Much Vitamin Should I Take Daily
Vitamin C Supports Immune System Health
Your childs immune system is their inbuilt defense mechanism against unwanted bugs and germs.
One of vitamin Cs best-known functions is its role in supporting healthy immune system function and maintaining immune system health.
Did you know that vitamin C may also reduce the duration of a common cold and relieve the severity of its symptoms?
Vitamin C Is An Antioxidant
As an antioxidant, vitamin C reduces free radicals formed in the body, and helps prevent them from damaging your childs healthy body cells.
Free radicals may cause damage to cell membranes and other structures while antioxidants are compounds that can neutralise these free radicals, helping to counteract the effects .
Recommended Reading: How Much Vitamin D3 Is Safe
Do Kids Need Vitamin Supplements
In general, kids who eat a healthy, balanced diet dont need vitamin supplements.
However, infants have different nutrient needs than children and may require certain supplements, such as vitamin D for breastfed babies .
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans dont recommend supplements over and above the recommended dietary allowances for healthy children older than 1 year who eat a balanced diet.
- follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
- have a condition that affects the absorption of or increases the need for nutrients, such as celiac disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, or inflammatory bowel disease
- have had a surgery that impacts the intestines or stomach
- are extremely picky eaters and struggle to eat a variety of foods
In particular, kids who eat plant-based diets may be at risk of deficiencies in calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D especially if they eat few or no animal products .
Vegan diets can be particularly dangerous for children if certain nutrients such as vitamin B12, which is found naturally in animal foods are not replaced through supplements or fortified foods.
Failing to replace these nutrients in childrens diets can lead to serious consequences, such as abnormal growth and developmental delays .
How To Make Sure Theyre Getting Enough
Because vitamin C is found in lots of scrummy everyday fruits and veg that toddlers love, its quite easy to make it part of their diet. Oranges, kiwis and berries contain lots of vitamin C goodness, and tasty vegetables like peppers and broccoli have it in bundles too.
Your toddler probably loves the taste of most foods but some days they might not feel in the mood for trying new things. When this happens, there are lots of fun ways to help them get the vitamin C they need.
Some mums make mealtimes more fun by making funny patterns, pictures and shapes on the plate or you could play guess the food by asking your toddler to shut their eyes and sniff, lick and prod the food. Its surprising how inventive you can become and your toddler will love joining in!
Because your toddlers body cant store vitamin C, they have to get the right amount every day. Regular fruity treats, smoothies and fruit drinks are a great way of making sure your baby gets enough.
You May Like: What Prenatal Vitamins To Take In First Trimester
Does Your Child Need A Multivitamin
The American Academy of Pediatrics position on vitamins for children is that kids who are receiving a well-balanced diet do not need vitamin supplementation over and above the recommended dietary allowances . In fact, research has found that many children who take multivitamins likely dont medically need themShaikh U, Byrd RS, Auinger P. Vitamin and mineral supplement use by children and adolescents in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: relationship with nutrition, food security, physical activity, and health care access. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 163:150-7. .
Additionally, consuming higher than recommended doses of certain vitamins and nutrients can be harmfulthe Linus Pauling Institute, a molecular nutrition research institute at Oregon State University, notes that some childrens multivitamins contain the upper limit of some micronutrients, which refers to the highest level of daily intake of a specific nutrient likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects. Another challenge, according to the institute, is that the daily values listed on many supplement labels do not reflect current RDA recommendations.
Why Do People Take Vitamin C
Studies have shown that vitamin C may reduce the odds of getting a cold, but only in specific groups in extreme circumstances, such as soldiers in subarctic environments, skiers, and marathon runners. Studies have not found solid evidence that vitamin C helps prevent or treat colds in average situations.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant benefits are also unclear. While some studies of vitamin C supplements have been promising, they have not found solid evidence that vitamin C supplements help with cancer, stroke, asthma, and many other diseases. Some evidence suggests that vitamin C may be helpful in people who have high cholesterol and in preventing cataracts, but more studies are needed to prove these effects.
Data on vitamin C and heart disease are mixed. Some studies show an association between low levels of vitamin C and heart disease risk, yet many studies have linked the use of vitamin C supplements with an increased risk of heart disease.
Studies have shown that dietary rather than supplemental sources of vitamin C are more effective in keeping blood pressure in check.
A substantial number of Americans may have low intake levels of vitamin C due to the inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables. The proven and effective use of vitamin C is for treating vitamin C deficiency and conditions that result from it, like scurvy.
Vitamin C also seems to help the body absorb the mineral iron.
Read Also: What Vitamins Help Suppress Appetite
How To Choose A Childrens Multivitamin
The multivitamin that will be most effective is the one that your child will actually take. Look for fun flavors in a chewable format, but make sure your child understands these are vitaminsnot candyand keep them in child-proof containers.
I recommend liquid or chewable vitamins for my families since they are thought to be more shelf-stable than gummy vitamins and lower in sugar, says Dr. Burgert.
Key nutrients in particular that your child might benefit from include vitamin D and iron opt for formulas without added sugars, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavorings or preservatives. Additionally, check to see if the multivitamin has been third-party testedthis can provide reassurance of the quality of the product and that its free from certain contaminants.
How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much For My Child
A. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for children ranges from 25 to 75 mg daily. However, the maximum daily amount is between 650 and 1,200 mg. If the child is between 9 and 13, they shouldnt take more than 1,200 mg, while children between the ages of 4 and 8 should take no more than 650 mg.
Read Also: What Vitamins Should A 26 Female Take
Fortifying The Immune System
Vitamin C is typically associated with its positive effect on the immune system. Vitamin C will not treat or cure a common cold, but it can help the body in its quest to naturally protect itself against invaders that mean to do harm.
Children tend to find germs just about everywhere they go. Little ones are still learning the importance of proper hygiene habits, and toddlers often place things in their mouths to explore the world.
Working on germ-free habits with your child is essential, and fortifying their immune system with vitamin C will help support your efforts.
Which Form Of Vitamin C Is Best For Children
Sodium ascorbate is the best form to use for vitamin C therapy. It is easier on the stomach than ascorbic acid. Powdered form with no fillers is preferred. Tablets for children usually contain artificial sweeteners and colors which are counterproductive.
Overdoing vitamin C causes loose stools, though this is quite temporary. Inadequate vitamin C means that the illness will not improve as quickly.
Have you used vitamin C for your child? Please send us some feedback!
You May Like: What Happens If Vitamin B12 Is Low
So Should You Be Reaching For Vitamin C Supplements
After reviewing the literature, I think that that if youve a healthy child who eats a variety of fruit and vegetables then its probably not necessary. But if youve a child who gets colds they cant seem to shake or becomes very unwell with them, then its worthwhile boosting their diet with vitamin C rich foods or trying a supplement. There is currently no clear evidence that vitamin C supplementation prevents or treats coronavirus.
If youre choosing to give a supplement please be careful not to exceed the recommended dose for age on the packaging and never the upper tolerable limit unless specifically prescribed.
If youve found this interesting or helpful please share it and subscribe to my newsletter
Functions Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in various foods.ii As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is a remarkably versatile nutrient, though its most well-known function is helping to support the immune system. In the body, vitamin C works as an antioxidant and helps to protect our cells from free radicals and the damage they cause.ii,iii The wonderful thing about vitamin C is that it can do more for the body than just support the immune system. In fact, vitamin C plays a role in:ii,iii
- Healthy skin and bones, collagen, cartilage, and blood vessels which are important for your childs growth and development.
- Neurotransmitters these are super important as they help to signal important chemicals to the brain.
- Carnitine this chemical helps to support the movement and breakdown of fatty acids that then generate energy for the body.
Don’t Miss: How Many Vitamin C Packets A Day
Could Your Child Have Too Much Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which means that if your child has too much they usually just wee it out. That being said, high doses of supplements can definitely cause problems. The most common is tummy pains and diarrhoea but it can also cause kidney stones. The upper tolerable limit in the chart below is the maximum dose that children seem to be able to tolerate before side effects and complications. Be aware though that this is only a guide and children can have bad effects on smaller doses or even tolerate higher doses that may have been prescribed. Its always best to start on a low dose and slowly work up under the care of your healthcare provider.
Vitamin C Dosage For Kids
The amount of vitamin C your child needs has been determined by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and is based on the recommended dietary allowance .
The vitamin C dosage for a child is based on age, not gender as in adults:
- The daily requirement of vitamin C for infants 0 to 6 months: 40 milligrams
- The daily requirement of vitamin C for infants 7 to 12 months: 50 milligrams
- The daily requirement of vitamin C for kids 1 to 3 years: 15 milligrams
- The daily requirement of vitamin C for kids 4 to 8 years: 25 milligrams
- The daily requirement of vitamin C for kids 9 to 13 years: 45 milligrams
The daily requirement of vitamin C for infants is based on the mean intake of the vitamin in healthy breastfed babies.
Once the teenage years hit, your childs vitamin C needs differ based on gender. Teen girls need 65 milligrams a day, while teen boys need 75 milligrams a day. The recommendations are similar for adults, with men requiring 90 milligrams a day and women 75 milligrams.
Don’t Miss: How Much Vitamin C Should You Have Daily
Helping Your Child Stay Healthy
Hiya is here with the answer to all your picky eating woes. Our vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, non-GMO childrens multivitamin was designed with picky eaters in mind.
We work with pediatricians to determine what vitamins and minerals were underrepresented in the average American childs diet.* Through that, we at Hiya Health have created a junk-free chewable multivitamin designed for children…and their taste buds.
Why You Shouldnt Give Emergen
There is no evidence to support that high levels of Vitamin C or immune-boosting products such as Emergen -C help a child avoid the common cold. These supplements may provide up to 5X the recommended intake of Vitamin C for children.
Starting to include Vitamin C intake after symptoms arise does nothing to decrease the severity or duration of a cold.
You May Like: What Is The Best Vitamin Supplement For Arthritis
What Can I Do To Prevent My Child From Getting Sick
A balanced intake of nutrients is important to overall health and adequate intake of Vitamin C does support immune function. Instead of focusing on supplements like Emergen-C for your child, seek to provide enough Vitamin C through a balanced diet. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit have high levels, as well as bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, and broccoli.
Overdose Is Possible But Unlikely
While it’s highly unlikely, a child can receive an overdose of vitamin C if she takes a “megadose” of a vitamin supplement that greatly exceeds the tolerable upper intake level for her age. An overdose can result in illness symptoms, but it is not toxic and does not require emergency care. In most cases, you do not have to worry about your child overdosing on vitamin C because the body does not store the vitamin. Even if your child receives a high dose of vitamin C through foods and juices and takes a supplement containing vitamin C, she will likely flush out the extra vitamin C when she urinates.
Don’t Miss: How Much Vitamin D Should We Take Daily
Good Sources Of Vitamin C For Toddlers
Since vitamin C isnt made by the body, kids get it from the foods they eat. Fortunately, vitamin C is found in a variety of toddler-friendly choices, such as:
- Kiwi: 75 mg in ½ cup
- Broccoli: 50 mg in ½ cup cooked
- Navel orange segments: 48 mg in ½ cup
- Yellow bell pepper: 47 mg in 5 strips
- Brussels sprouts: 48 mg in ½ cup cooked
- Strawberries: 42 mg in ½ cup
- Grape tomatoes: 20 mg in ½ cup
- Avocado: 23 mg in 1 cup mashed
Nature Made Kids First Vitamin C Gummies 110ct
- Helps support the immune system
- Contains an 110-day supply of Nature Made Vitamin C Gummies, 110 gummies per bottle
- Children ages 4-18 years, chew one gummy daily
- No artificial flavors – natural fruit flavors. No synthetic dyes – color derived from natural source.
- No high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners, gluten free
- From the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Vitamin & Supplement Brand.
Don’t Miss: What Vitamins Should I Take To Clear Up My Skin
Which Vitamin C For Kids Is Best
Vitamin C is important for your childs good health and development. If your child isnt getting enough vitamin C from food, consider a supplement. And to ensure your child makes taking their vitamin C supplement a part of their routine, choose a great-tasting option like Doctors Finest Vitamin C Gummies for Kids that theyll enjoy taking.