Does your child intake less breastmilk or formula feed? Is he a preterm baby or had low weight at birth? Does your baby suffer from a chronic health condition that affects his ability to eat? If these are some doubts that plague your mind, then you have come to the right place. Multivitamins are the answer that you have been searching for.
What are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are a combination of different vitamins and minerals that serve as a nutritional back up. There are few conventional multivitamins such as Becosules, Rudimin, Supradyn and Zincovit. Multivitamins are used for treating and preventing low levels of vitamins and minerals. Basically these are supplements replenish deficiencies of the same in the body.
When should I give Multivitamin to my baby?
Poor appetite, transition from liquid to solid food diet or unhealthy food choices can lower the nutrient count in your baby. Your little one needs 40 plus nutrients each day for his development and growth. Multivitamins are a ‘YES’ in this case.
These multivitamin supplements come in different forms such as syrup, drops and tablets. You must consult your paediatrician before giving multivitamins to your baby. Syrup or drops are highly recommended whereas tablets are rarely prescribed for infants. The frequency of dose per day depends on the percentage of nutrient deficiency your child is affected with.
Your baby needs a wide range of nutrients for overall health development. Getting insufficient amount of nutrients through food can lead to problems with physical and mental development. Your baby’s requirements advances at different stages of development. This also depends on whether they are breastfed or bottlefed. There are a few important vitamins and minerals that are mandatory for your baby’s diet in the initial years of their life.
What does a multivitamin contain?
This fat-soluble vitamin promotes vision, helps in maintains healthy skin, supports immune system and helps in producing red blood cells. Carrot, spinach, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, sweet potato and dairy products contain major portions of Vitamin A.
Water soluble vitamin, plays an important role in cell metabolism. It further has 8 cofactors or generally coenzymes for key metabolic processes and are known as Vitamin B complexes.
Vitamin B1- Thiamine
Helps in your baby’s overall brain development, assists in digestion, boosts immunity and aids in the development of healthy heart. Main sources of thiamine are nuts, oranges, oats, poultry, meat,legumes and seeds.
Vitamin B2- Riboflavin
Assists in the formation of lining of digestive tract, produces red blood cells, helps in the maintenance of healthy skin and hair, formation of nails and boosts immunity. Good sources of riboflavin are dairy products, mushrooms, spinach, meat and green vegetables.
Vitamin B3- Niacin
Helps in proper functioning of fats and sugars in body, assists in the development of healthy heart, reduces itching and inflammations. Niacin rich foods are peanuts, meat, fish, mushrooms, green peas, mustard seeds, sprouts and soy products.
Vitamin B5- Pantothenic acid
Supports development of nervous system, enhances immune functions and assists mental growth. Widely found in animal meat, green vegetables, legumes and poultry.
Vitamin B6- Pyridoxine
Boosts immune system, prevents infections, keeps eye healthy, helps in the development of nervous system. Bran, nuts, sunflower seeds, fish, meat, dry fruits, bananas, spinach are rich in pyridoxine.
It is important for production of energy, metabolism, developing healthy heart and nervous system. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal meat for example meat, poultry and low fat dairy like cheese, milk, soy products, yogurt and fortified food.
Helps in metabolism, supports nervous system, provides skin nourishment and forms a proper lining of internal organs. Fish, chicken, peanuts, white bread, soy products and dairy products are rich in biotin content.
Acts as an oxygen carrier, functions cell growth, assists metabolism and helps in digestion. Lady finger, broccoli, sprouts, citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of folate.
This fat-soluble vitamin is needed to absorb calcium for building strong bones and immunity. Main sources of Vitamin D are seafood and egg yolk. For Vegetarian parents should opt for giving fortified cereal and milk rich in Vitamin D. Sunlight itself is a good source of Vitamin D. Body produces Vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight. To get enough Vitamin D body needs direct sunlight. Your baby’s skin must be bare and sunscreen free to trap enough sunlight for ten minutes each day.
Strengthens immunity and assists good and clear flow of blood through the blood vessels. Main sources of Vitamin E are vegetable oils like sunflower oil and palm oil, nuts, spinach, sweet potato and sunflower seeds.
Necessary for overall growth, repairs body and connective tissues, helps in the absorption of iron, helps in healing wounds and maintenance of cartilages,bones and tissues. Major portions are found in pepper, broccoli, cabbage, kiwi, citrus fruits.
Essential for the production of red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body. Good sources of iron are beans, peas, fortified cereals, spinach, dry fruits and soy milk.
It forms the building blocks of bones and teeth for your baby. Main sources of calcium are raw milk, cheese, orange, yogurt, almonds and green leafy vegetables.
Acts as antioxidants, helps in proper functioning of immune system, assists in proper metabolism, improves digestion and helps in the maintenance of body tissues. Mainly found in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, garlic, cereals, meat, poultry, peas, soyabeans and sprouts.
Foodstuff high in fibre tend to have rich content of vitamin E ,vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Essentially, all multivitamins serve the same purpose but some of the content accounts different in different medicines. Stated below are some conventional multivitamin syrups along with their content amalgam.
Different brands of multivitamins available
- Becosules Syrup
Contains salts that belong to Vitamin B family such as Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), D-Panthenol (Vitamin B5) and Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1).
- Rudimin Syrup
It contains combination of Copper, Zinc, Potassium and salts from the Vitamin B family, such as D-Panthenol (Vitamin B5) , Folic Acid, L-Glutamic Acid, L-Lysine and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).
- Supradyn Syrup
Belongs to Vitamin family and consists of different vitamins such as Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide), Vitamin B5 (Dexpanthenol), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol), Vitamin E (Tocopherol Acetate).
- Zincovit Syrup
Its active ingredients are Carbohydrate, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Potassium Iodide, Iodine along with salts from Vitamin family such as D-Panthenol-Vitamin B5, L-Lysine, Nicotinamide-Vitamin B3, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin E.
Note – Multivitamins are quite a certain thing and especially if your baby is a fussy eater. Giving these multivitamins can prevent your baby from health problems that may cause trouble in the long run.
Benefits of including Multivitamins in baby’s diet
- Produces antibodies
- Increases calcium and phosphorus absorption for strong bones
- Produces haemoglobin
- Helps metabolism
- Repairs damaged tissues
- Prevents vitamin-mineral deficiency
- Kills fungus, bacteria and microorganisms
- Formation of blood cells
- Strengthens connective tissues
- Preventing dehydration
- Treats skin disorders
- Prevents severe diarrhoea
Multivitamins generally don’t show side effects when taken in amounts directed by your paedatrician.
Side effects of giving multivitamins to your baby
- Tummy upsets
- Difficulty in breathing
There are no common side effects noticed, seeking expert care at the earliest would help the cause. These multivitamins can be beneficial, if your baby is a preterm baby or is suffering from certain metabolic disorders. A healthy term baby may not require these supplements as they are good on birth weight and get all their nourishment through exclusive breastfeeding.
Note – You must not forcefully give these multivitamin drops if your baby’s nutritional needs are being satisfied by the food itself. Consult your paediatrician to know whether your baby is facing nutrient deficiency or not. Any reaction when starting the multivitamin drops could indicate an allergic response. Therefore to clarify, it would be best to consult with your medical professional for a better idea and possible change in the prescription.
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Happy Parenting 😀