Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Vitamins for Children?

Do you recommend a multivitamin for children?

Answer (Published 12/8/2014)

Updated on 9/8/2014

Yes, I do think that children should take vitamins, mostly because so many kids don't eat enough fruits and vegetables and because so often, their diets are full of processed and refined foods. However, vitamin supplements shouldn't be substitutes for whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Energy - If you are a parent or grandparent, you know that energy is vital to keeping up with the kids. Find out what foods and supplements can keep you energized - naturally! Join the Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online plan today and get 14 days free!

Start early to teach your children to enjoy healthy food by involving them in its preparation. In my book, "The Healthy Kitchen," Rosie Daley and I give a number of ideas for recipes and snacks that kids will like. Also, try to discourage your children from eating too much fast food, processed food, sugar and caffeine (in cola and other soft drinks). There's no harm in the occasional ice cream, pizza or candy bar in the context of a well-balanced diet, but try to encourage snacking on healthier foods - fresh or dried fruit, a small handful of raw, unsalted nuts such as cashews and walnuts, a piece of flavorful, natural cheese or a piece of dark chocolate.

As far as supplements are concerned, I recommend giving children a complete antioxidant formula as well as multiminerals. One good choice is the pediatric formula of InVite For Kids Multivitamin & Mineral Formula made by Mariposa Botanicals.

My colleague Russell Greenfield, M.D., co-author of "Healthy Child, Whole Child," recommends waiting until children are at least four years old before giving them vitamin or mineral supplements. He reminds me that it isn't always easy to find a good child's multivitamin that isn't made with sugar OR artificial colorings. Russ cautions that children between the ages of four and 12 should get no more than 50% of the adult RDA of the major vitamins and minerals, especially the fat-soluble ones (A,D,E, and K), from supplements. After age 12, kids can safely take the adult dosage.

Be sure to keep the vitamins out of the reach of young children - because some supplements for kids taste and look like candy, there is a danger of overdosing, especially when supplements contain iron.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here