KIDS, TWEENS, AND TEENS

Amazing Wellness - - FAMILY HEALTH GUIDE -

Multivitamin/min­eral. Be­cause kids need so many nu­tri­ents, it’s best to choose a well-de­signed, whole-foods multi. Chil­dren un­der the age of 13 should take a for­mula de­signed for kids. Teens can take half the dose of most adult for­mu­las. Mul­tis don’t usu­ally con­tain enough D or bone-sup­port­ing min­er­als, so ad­di­tional sup­ple­men­ta­tion is prob­a­bly nec­es­sary. Ad­di­tion­ally, men­stru­at­ing girls need ex­tra iron, around 15 mg per day.

Vi­ta­min D. It’s crit­i­cal for build­ing strong bones and sup­port­ing im­mune health, and may help pre­vent de­pres­sion dur­ing win­ter months. Many kids are de­fi­cient, es­pe­cially since the bulk of their days dur­ing the school year are spent in­side, so sup­ple­ments are im­por­tant. Rec­om­mended dosages range from 500 to 2,000 IU per day.

Zinc. This trace min­eral is crit­i­cal for growth and healthy im­mune func­tion, and for sex­ual de­vel­op­ment at pu­berty. If your child doesn’t eat meat or seafood, he or she may need sup­ple­ments. Rec­om­mended doses range from 4 to 11 mg of zinc per day, de­pend­ing on age.

Bone sup­ple­ments. If your kids and teens don’t eat dairy or lots of veg­eta­bles, make sure they get the nu­tri­ents they need for strong teeth and bones. Kids 1 to 3 need 700 mg of cal­cium a day; kids 4 to 8 need 1,000 mg, and those 9 and up need 1,300 mg. Look for a cal­cium sup­ple­ment that in­cludes these amounts, along with mag­ne­sium, vi­ta­min K, and vi­ta­min D, if your kid’s not get­ting enough from other sources.

Omega-3s. Es­pe­cially im­por­tant for kids and teens, omega- 3s may im­prove ADHD symp­toms in kids un­der 12. They’re also es­sen­tial for re­duc­ing di­a­betes risk, im­prov­ing asthma symp­toms, and pro­tect­ing against de­pres­sion. Rec­om­mended doses range from 300 to 1,000 mg per day; be sure you choose a high-qual­ity for­mula that’s tested for im­pu­ri­ties.

Pro­bi­otics. Healthy bac­te­ria are im­por­tant for gut health and im­mu­nity, and can also help re­duce food sen­si­tiv­i­ties, pro­tect against al­ler­gies and asthma, and im­prove im­mu­nity. For lit­tle kids, look for for­mu­las specif­i­cally de­signed for younger ages; tweens and teens can take adult pro­bi­otics. Look for those with a broad spec­trum of strains; typ­i­cal doses range from 1 to 10 billion.

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