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Elizabeth Pantley
Parenting Expert

How to Tell if Your Toddler Needs Vitamin Supplements

How to tell which type, if any, is best for your child.

Toddlers should eat a balanced diet: about three-fourths to one cup of fruits and veggies, one-fourth cup of grains and three tablespoons of meat (or another protein) per day. If your toddler isn’t eating that much on an almost regular basis, or is skipping certain food groups all together, it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about a multivitamin. Your pediatrician can also help you decide what vitamin, or form, is most appropriate for your child. (Kids’ vitamins come in all kinds of forms: from liquids to chewables to gummy vitamins.)

Many toddlers—even good eaters—take an iron supplement because iron intake tends to drop off during the toddler years. As babies, many toddlers ate iron-fortified cereals or drank iron-fortified formula. It can be hard for young kids to meet their daily iron intake when they switch over to cow’s milk and table food. Talk to your doctor about iron supplementation; he or she will let you know if they think it’s necessary for your child.

Some parents choose fiber supplements but they’re actually rarely needed. Toddlers can (and should) get their fiber intake from eating raw fruits and veggies, so serve some at every meal. If your child becomes constipated, increase his or her fruit intake by serving fruit as a dessert after dinner and as a bedtime snack.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Healthy Recipes for One-Year-Olds

How to Grocery Shop for Your Toddler

Advice for Healthy Toddler Eating