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Are you giving your child supplements?

It is advisable to give a vitamin supplement until your little one is five years old. It is important that the supplement you give them contains Vitamins D, C and A.

Vitamin D only occurs naturally in a few foods, such as oily fish and eggs. It is also added to some foods, such as fat spreads and breakfast cereals. The best source of vitamin D is summer sunlight on our skin, and of course you know we don’t get very much of that!!

Vitamin C is important for your child's general health and their immune system. It can also help their body absorb iron. You will be going to lots of baby groups, swimming and meeting up with friends, it is a really good idea to give their immune system a boost, to try to prevent them from picking up lots of colds and sickness bugs.

Vitamin A is important for babies and young children, and some may not be getting enough. It strengthens their immune system, can help their vision in dim light, and maintains healthy skin.

These vitamins are especially important if your child is a fussy eater, as they won’t be getting enough of these vitamins in their diet.

If your child is still drinking 500mls, which converts to around a pint of infant formula milk, they will not need the vitamins, as the formula is already fortified with the important vitamins for growth and development, but as you start to introduce solid foods they will naturally start to cut down the amount of milk they are drinking, on favour of filling up on food, and this is what we need them to do, as food is more important to growth and development after six months then milk is.

For babies who are breastfed it is advised that they should have additional supplements form birth, as well as Mum taking them too, to make sure that they are both getting enough.

You can get these vitamins in the form of drops, which makes them very easy to give to your child, you can add them to their food, such as their cereal in the morning, or stir them into their yoghurt at lunchtime.

The body will absorb all the vitamins that it needs, and you will have peace of mind that your child is nicely topped up!

If you have any questions about this, you can contact your local pharmacist, GP or Health Visitor.