During the first few years of your child’s life, giving them the right nutrients is key to supporting their physical development.
However, many children are picky eaters – especially when they first start eating solid foods – so giving them a balanced diet can be tough.
Fortunately, many dietary supplements are designed for children, and you can easily find vitamins for 1 year olds with all the nutrients they need.
However, dietary supplements are not suitable for all children, and your baby may not need additional supplements to get enough vitamins and minerals in their diet. Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs, and they may benefit from supplementing with other nutrients – like vitamin D –commonly lacking in the American diet.
Most children get all the vitamins they need from their diet (especially if you feed them a balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and veg), but you may want to consider baby vitamins for 1 year old children if they have a health condition. For example, premature babies and those on restricted diets (such as a vegan diet) may need additional nutrients for healthy physical development.
Table of Contents
- Does a 1-Year-Old Baby Need Vitamins?
- Our Picks of the Top Vitamins for 1 Year Olds
- What Vitamins and Minerals Should I Give My Baby or Toddler?
- Vitamin and Mineral Precautions for Children
- How to Choose Vitamins for Kids
Does a 1-Year-Old Baby Need Vitamins?
Children usually get all the nutrients they need from their diet through breast milk, formula or baby food. Unfortunately, some children suffer from vitamin deficiencies caused by a restricted diet or medical issue, so you may be wondering how to choose the best vitamins for 1 year old and how to tell if your child needs dietary supplements.
While research shows that a 1-year-old can get most of their essential nutrients through their diet, they may benefit from taking vitamin supplements to address common deficiencies. For example, many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which can affect the development of healthy bones, so you should consider taking a vitamin D supplement when breastfeeding or giving your toddler vitamins.
Also, many young kids do not get enough fiber in their diets (often because they are fussy eaters), but there’s an easy way to get them to eat more fiber; fiber gummy supplements.
Our Picks of the Top Vitamins for 1 Year Olds
A growing child needs a wide variety of nutrients for physical development, and while most kids get these through their diet and lifestyle, sometimes you need to supplement their intake. Here are our recommendations for the top 5 children’s vitamins that should look for when picking vitamins for 1 year old kids:
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 contributes to the healthy development of neurological function and the immune system, and most babies get sufficient amounts through breastmilk. However, if the mother is deficient in vitamin B12 or chooses to use baby formula, you may need to use B12 vitamins for 12 months when your child moves to solid food.
2. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that supports the growth and function of infants’ brains and eyes and is usually present in healthy mothers, so supplementation may not be necessary. However, omega-3 acids are essential for neurological health, so you may want to include fish oil or omega-3 supplements with other vitamins for 1 year old children.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C (also known as Ascorbic Acid) is a powerful antioxidant that supports many biological processes, from supporting your immune system to helping heal wounds. While vitamin C is found in many common foods like citrus fruits, apples, and even potatoes, kids with restricted diets may need to supplement with toddler vitamins containing vitamin C.
This common mineral is essential for brain development and transporting oxygen in your blood, and most babies are born with enough iron stores to last their first year of growth. However, premature birth or a low birth weight (less than 6.5 lbs.) can cause iron deficiencies, so they may need iron supplements for the first 6 months of life.
5. Vitamin D
Due to less time spent outdoors and fewer sources of vitamin D in the Western diet, many Americans are mildly deficient in vitamin D, which can impact babies’ physical development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends mothers supplement breastmilk with at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily, as it is one of the most important children’s vitamins.
What Vitamins and Minerals Should I Give My Baby or Toddler?
Kids need to get plenty of essential nutrients as they grow, especially during early development, so they may benefit from taking dietary supplements, especially if they have a restricted diet or struggle to absorb nutrients. We recommend the following vitamins for one year old children to support their developmental needs:
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, as it helps your body absorb and process calcium, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends vitamin D supplements for all children.
Iron is vital for brain development in children, and iron deficiencies are common in underweight and premature babies, making iron one of the best vitamins for 1 year old children and younger.
B12 is one of the most important toddler vitamins, as it supports the development of the immune system and neurological function, though deficiencies are rare.
A noted antioxidant, vitamin C helps maintain the immune system and overall health whilst helping the body to absorb iron.
Vitamin A supports the immune system and lets kids see in dim light, and it is often added to baby formula to ensure that babies get a healthy amount when growing up.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
DHA supports the healthy development of children’s eyes and brain, meaning it may be worth including DHA with the other vitamins for 12 month old kids listed here.
Vitamin and Mineral Precautions for Children
As a parent, you’re focused on giving your child the best of everything, but more is not always better when it comes to dietary supplements. Generally, healthy children that are physically active and eat a variety of foods should not need additional dietary supplements, so using vitamins for 1 year olds may cause more harm than good.
Certain nutrients (like iron and vitamin D) can build up to toxic levels if you take them in supplements when you don’t need to, causing symptoms like:
- Abdominal Pain
- Liver Issues
- Nerve Problems
While it may seem tempting to use baby vitamins for 1 year old children to ensure they get enough nutrients, you should ask your doctor if supplements are right for your children. Fortunately, most supplements aimed at children (such as melatonin gummies and vitamin supplements) are safe when used responsibly.
How to Choose Vitamins for Kids
With all that being said, if you decide that dietary supplements are right for your children, it can be tough to choose the right ones when there are so many. When searching for the best vitamins for 1 year old, it’s important to consider your child’s nutritional needs and pick a supplement that includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals in reasonable amounts.
Some reliable ground rules for picking safe and effective dietary supplements are:
- Look for quality brands that have been tested by a 3rd
- Choose vitamins designed for kids that don’t exceed the recommended daily doses of nutrients.
However, it can be tough to figure out what nutrients your kids are missing, so we strongly recommend getting medical advice before prescribing vitamins for one year old children. And lastly, pill or capsule-based supplements may not be suitable for young children, so you should use liquid supplements for babies.
Vitamin deficiencies in babies are typically rare, as baby food and formula are enriched with vitamins and breastmilk is designed to provide all the nutrients a growing kid could need. Furthermore, children who eat a balanced diet typically meet all their nutrient needs through food, so most people don’t need supplements to provide enough vitamins for one year old kids to grow up healthy.
And lastly, please consult your family doctor before putting your kids on a new routine of children’s vitamins, as taking more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals can be harmful.