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When a Vitamin Supplement May Help

Kids and teens need vitamins and minerals to keep their body healthy. For example, vitamin D keeps their teeth and bones strong, and vitamin C helps them heal and fight off infections.

Healthy snacks and meals are the best way for children and adolescents to receive all the vital nutrients they need. If your child has a well-balanced diet based on the MyPlate recommendations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then he or she may not need a supplement.

If your child has an alternative diet such as vegetarianism or veganism, a vitamin supplement may be a consideration. Before deciding, be sure to consult with your child’s doctor. Follow label instructions about serving size and dosage instructions. Stick to dosage recommendations to avoid problems.

“Giving Your Child the Best Nutrition.” American Academy of Family Physicians, Am. Fam. Physician. 2006 Nov 1;74(9):1533-1534 www.aafp.org/afp/2006/1101/p1533.html. Accessed 2013.

“Chapter 4: Foods and Nutrients to Increase.” Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Agriculture, January 31, 2011. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/PolicyDoc.pdf. Accessed 2013.

“Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D.” National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, January 24, 2011. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 2013.

“Vitamin C.” American Cancer Society, January 16, 2013. www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/vitamin-c. Accessed 2013.

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