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I am a firm believer in the power of holistic medicine, natural therapies, and supplementing with herbal/natural remedies to optimize your overall health. I personally use natural supplements for digestive aides, central nervous system support, and sleep. I’m concerned, however, that giving younger kids natural supplements may put too much on their developing systems? Are products like elderberry for immune boosting and choline for focus safe for kids to take?
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We started to take supplements as soon as our pediatrician gave us the go-signal. I was very hesitant at first but eventually, I've come to realize that my kids' doctor won't be prescribing anything that might harm them. While both my girls are breastfed, my son was not, so I lean on giving him added nutrition that we cannot find in formula milk.
I respect parents who choose not to give supplements, as long as you are giving the right kind of food for your kids. But, please contact your health care provider if you need to and avoid self-medicating.
If you are more into the holistic approach, you would know what is best and what is not. Research is a very important part of the deal, especially since we are talking about kids. There are some herbal supplements that are not allowed for kids of a certain age, and for sure, you would know more about them.
As they say, your child, your rules.
I think it is a good idea to consult with a doctor, pediatrician or pediatric naturopath before beginning a child on any new supplements. Are there any particular vitamins or minerals that you feel your children might need more of that they aren't getting from their diet?
We always chat with our pediatrician before taking supplements and follow the label. My kids (5 and 7) have been taking a gummy multivitamin daily, and that is OK with our doctor. We also use elderberry when it's cold and flu season. I think it helps.
We have not tried more specific supplements like melatonin, but I do know a lot of families who have used it before with success. I agree, I think it might be a lot for their developing systems. But, sometimes I feel like their stubborn food habits do create a lack in some areas. And, as mentioned below, yes to vitamin D! We live in the northern hemisphere where vitamin D is recommended for just about everyone.
I would consult with your doctor about supplements. Also, follow the instructions on the bottle for age and dosing.
Through diet, kids get pretty much what they need as far as vitamins and nutrients. Unless your child is cutting out an entire food category or on a restrictive diet (like vegan), they are ingesting all they need.
However, some studies show that children are deficient in Vitamin D due to the amount of sunscreen that we use. So a children's vitamin D supplement or multi-vitamin for kids should not hurt.
I have seen elderberry supplements for kids, and we have used them during illness to boost the immune system. However, I am not sure if it is safe for long-term use.
Since supplements are not regulated by any safety or medical organization, I hesitate to give children an array of supplements for prolonged use.