In this health video learn the importance of making sure your child gets their daily vitamin intake from their diet.
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Female Speaker: Christine Mosca is a very active nine year old ballerina. Her four year old brother Thomas practices a game he hopes to some day play in the big leagues. Both these children need a lot of energy and some of it comes from vitamins. Richard Mosca: The kids definitely have a lot more energy when they're taking their vitamins with their busy schedules, with their dance and baseball activities. They need it and they feel a lot better when they do take it. Female Speaker: Do all children need vitamins? Not according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Susan Baker: Vitamin supplements are not necessary for every child. Vitamins can be helpful if a child has a chronic disease if for some reason a child's diet is deficient or if a child is a picky eater has an inadequate intake or has some other issue that's of concern in terms of their consumption of adequate vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet. Female Speaker: And that's Thomas. His mom says he only eats what he wants and rarely eats anything that's good for him, despite her best efforts. Wanda Mosca: It upsets me that he does not eat that food but I cannot force it into him and the only way that I can get any healthy nutrients into him is through the vitamins, so for him it's very reassuring. Female Speaker: So, if you think your children are not getting enough nutrients from the food they eat, talk to your pediatrician about which vitamin supplements are best. The most important vitamins for children are A, B, C, D, E and K. Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K can be toxic in large quantities. So you want to be sure you check the dose of these vitamins with the pediatrician. Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and fluoride are also important for growing children, especially calcium. And there is a simple way to make sure your children are getting enough calcium. Dr. Susan Baker: Parents can tell if children are getting enough calcium in their diet by looking at whether or not they're consuming dairy products. Most children need to consume at least three eight-ounce glasses of milk or the equivalent a day. If children can take in that amount of calcium they don't need any supplementation. Female Speaker: Newer American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations also include one type of supplement that might be necessary for breastfed babies. Dr. Susan Baker: Mother's milk is a complete food and babies don't require any additional nutrients until approximately four to six months of age. However, because of our concerns about the development of cancer later in life, babies should not be exposed to direct sunlight. For that reason, they don't get enough vitamin D. Your milk, no matter how much vitamin D you take, will not be adequate for your baby if your baby does not get sunshine. For that reason, your baby should get some extra vitamin D in the form of a supplement. Female Speaker: Prepared infant formula usually contains a vitamin D supplement, so formula-fed babies will not need additional vitamin D. It's best for older children to get their nutrients from food. But Wanda Mosca, a first grade teacher, says most parents and caregivers don't really know what their children are eating. Wanda Mosca: I work with first graders. I see what these kids eat. Their parents send them -- they may send them wonderful foods. The kids don't eat it. They eat the garbage in their lunch.