Most of us parents know that children need proper nutrition in order to grow and thrive. The problem is that many children don’t get enough of the vital vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet.
Before you start feeling all the mom (or dad) guilt about your toddler’s diet consisting only of hotdogs and macaroni and cheese because they flat out refuse to eat anything else, keep in mind that it’s completely normal for toddlers to be picky. In fact, it’s expected.
However, we still want to make sure our kids are getting the nutrients they need, so many parents are looking to find a kids multivitamin that can help fill the gap. Proper nutrition supports healthy growth and develpment and a strong immune system - which is more important than ever these days!
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the nutritional needs of toddlers and then reveal to you my list of the best vitamins for toddlers immune systems so that you can choose one that best suits your child and his or her needs.
Can Vitamins Boost a Toddlers Immune System?
Let’s all address the elephant in the room right now, because we’re all thinking the same thing: is there a vitamin I can give my child(ren) to help boost their immune systems and fight off COVID-19?
If that’s the question that brought you here, you’re in good company, because I hit Google with the same question not too long ago. My two toddlers are picky. They for sure don’t get enough fruits and veggies into their diet on a daily basis, despite my best efforts, and I want to make sure they’re healthy. Particularly since my son just started back at preschool recently.
According to studies, 97.5% of children will be healthy if they have the proper nutrients in their diet. I spent hours pouring over research on the latest in vitamins, minerals, and the gap in toddler nutrition as well as the link between nutrition and immunity.
I’ll preface this by saying, there is no know drug/vitmain/supplement that can prevent COVID-19, the flu, or any other virus or bug that will inevitably make its way around this cold and flu season. However, proper nutrients can help boost our kids immune systems so that their bodies can create the cells needed to defend it against invading pathogens.
Keeping your child’s immune system healthy year-yound is the key to preventing infection and disease. You can do this by making healthy lifestyle choices for them. These choices include proper nutrition, ample sleep, and adequate exercise. These are the three most important keys to a healthy, thriving immune system.
But when there are holes in those, there is research showing that supplementing your children with certain vitamins and minerals can help improve their immune response and protect them against illness.
What Essential Nutrients Do Toddlers Need?
Kids need their nutrients, but which ones? Here’s a list of the most essential vitamins and minerals for toddlers, kids, and teens:
Vitamin A - Important for healthy skin and normal growth. It can also be helpful when it comes to vision and tissue repair. It’s natrually found in fruits and vegetables that are yellow or orange , dairy products, and liver.
Vitamin B - This vitamin helps the body to produce red blood cells and also assists with metabolic activities. It’s found in red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, soy, whole grains, and enriched breads and cereals.
Vitamin C - This is the body’s natural healing tool used to fight off infection and boost the immune system. It also helps to strengthen tissues, muscles, and skin. It’s found in citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, and brussels sprouts.
Vitamin D - Helps the body form and maintain strong teeth and bones while assisting with with the absorption of key minerals like calcium. Vitamin D is found in fortified dairy products and fish oils, it’s also naturally available frm the sun.
Iron - This contributes to the product of blood and to the building of muscles. Meats like beef, turkey, fish, beans, and fortified breads and cereals are great sources.
Calcium - Similar to Vitamin D, Calcium is vital to the development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. Calcium defficiency can affect your child’s growth and development and can lead to weak, fragile bones. Calcium is found in low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and some vegetables like broccoli.
Top 3 Best Vitamins for Toddlers Immune System
While there really are no formulas that are going to pinpoint and promote immune health solely, the addition of key vitamins and nutrients in conjunction with a healthy toddler diet and lifestyle can help support all around health and a functioning immune system.
I did tons of research into vitamins for kids and discovered that they are certainly not all made equally. Unfortunately, many multivitamins formulated for kids are nothing more than glorified gummy bears. However, there are some dedicated D2C (direct to consumer) nutrition brands that are changing the face of toddler vitamins and nutrition.
I chose the three best toddlers vitamins for immune system based on my research and personal recommendations.
Vitamins per day
$15 / bottle - Reg: $30 (50% off first order)
$25.95 / bottle
$32 / bottle ($27 subscribe & Save)
1. Hiya Health
These are the vitamins that I use for my own children. They are completely sugar-free, chewable vitamins that are made entirely from fruits, vegetables, and 15 essential vitamins and nutrients. You can subscribe to a Hiya subscription and have your children’s vitamins delivered on auto-pilot to your door each month. They use fun, sustainable packaging, and send refills in recyclable pouches, so no need to worry about dozens of plastic bottles piling up in our landfills. Hiya is a great brand with great intentions and they have created a unique, superior product.
This is another brand that I am incredibly impressed with. First Day is similar to Hiya in that they are natural vitamins, fortified with only the most essential nutrients for kids, based on scientific research. However, the main difference is that First Day Vitamins come in gummy-form (which some kids won’t eat anything but!) and they do have a small amount of sugar (2 grams compared to 8-10 grams in competitors). Again, you can subscribe to have these vitamins delivered to your door each month, saving you money, time, and the environment thanks to their similar recycled pouch concept.
Last, but not least, Mary Ruth Organics offers a wonderful, sugar-free multivitamin for kids that’s designed to support overall health as well as immune function. With 14 essential vitamins and minerals, this formula has everything your kids need to stay healthy and fill their nutritional gaps and nothing they don’t. Mary Ruth’s is one of my favorite vitamin brands as you can get supplements for the whole family, for a variety of different specific reasons.
The Bottom Line
If you’re worried about the state of your child’s immune system or their overall health because they don’t get all their nutrients in each day, you can feel confident knowing that there are toddler vitamins available that can help support your child and their nutritional needs.
Vitamins aren’t for every child, and the nutritional needs of children vary depending on certain factors and lifestyles, so be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a supplement regime and to make sure you’re getting the right fit for child. All three options that made my list we chosen because they are made by brands that care about proper nutrients and take a scientific approach to creating a safe, effective multivitamin.
Take a look at my brand reviews for each of these products and decide for yourself which one fits best with your familie’s needs and preferences.
Stay well, Mommas!