Children’s vitamins do not replace fruits, vegetables

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Many parents worry that their children are not getting enough nutrition at mealtimes.

Tough food and commodity prices are driving parents more to turn to daily supplements to ensure their children get vitamins and minerals, survey from CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan finds necessary for a healthy diet.

The survey reports that 3 out of 5 parents say it is difficult to get their child to eat a balanced diet. Half of the parents declare that their child regularly takes a food supplement.

“If a child doesn’t get enough healthy food, we know it can lead to more frequent illnesses, longer recovery, more likelihood of hospitalization,” said Dr. Bergen Nelson, associate professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “It’s also associated with developmental delays, behavioral problems, and academic problems.”

Pediatricians have reported excessive weight gain in children during the pandemic.

“When I see patients, many patients have significantly increased their weight,” said Dr. Helene Felman, a pediatrician at Banner University Medical Center. “Rates of increased body mass index or obesity have doubled during the pandemic.”

Felman says she now doubles down on the importance of a balanced diet with her patients.

“Try to have as many fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet as possible,” Felman advised.

According to the Mayo Clinic, children ages 2 to 13 should eat one to two cups of fruit a day and one to three and a half cups of vegetables.

Parents are encouraged to set an example for their children by eating fruits and vegetables themselves.

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