Vitamins are essential for healthy growth and development.
But babies and toddlers don’t always get enough of vitamins A and C in their diets - especially those who are fussy eaters! It's extremely common for toddlers to develop fussy eating habits, even those who were not fussy during weaning.
It’s also difficult for babies, toddlers and adults alike to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone, and most of us in the UK don’t spend enough time outside in direct sunlight to get enough either.
Parents may be thinking, does my child actually need vitamin supplements, or can I make sure they get all the nutrients they need through diet alone? We've got the low-down on vitamins for babies and toddlers below!
What vitamins do babies and toddlers need?
I spy with my little eye... beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A) is great for helping develop your little one's eyesight so they can see better in the dark. It keeps their skin healthy, too!
Vitamin A helps to support the immune system to keep your baby healthy.
Great food sources of vitamin A include:
Mamamade meals that are sources of beta-carotene (vitamin A):
Vitamin C is great for supporting your little one’s immune system and can also help them to absorb iron, boosting the impact of other nutrients.
🍋 Did you know that a great little trick for helping to improve your child’s nutrient intake is squeezing lemon in their food? The vitamin C acts as an iron absorption booster! We use this sneaky little nutrition hack at Mamamade HQ (and At Home with The Barons! 🤫)
Sources of vitamin C include:
Mamamade meals that are sources of vitamin C:
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight - so if the sun is shining, get your little one outside to soak up some of that vitamin D!
Remember to make sure your little one wears a hat, apply on lots of sunscreen to any exposed areas to protect their skin and keep them well hydrated.
Food sources of vitamin D include:
Mamamade meals that are sources of vitamin D:
So those are the key vitamins your little one needs and where they're found, but how can you make sure they get enough in their diet?
Babies Aged 0-6 months
The NHS recommends that all breastfed babies are given a daily vitamin D drops from birth, regardless of whether the breastfeeding parent is already taking vitamin D supplements or not.
If your baby is formula-fed then you won’t need to give them any additional supplements, as formula is fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients.
Before 6 months, your baby doesn't usually need any additional supplements and gets all of their nutrients from their usual milk.
Babies & Toddlers Aged 6+ Months
You'll want to think more broadly about vitamins and nutrition when you start weaning, usually at around 6 months.
The Department of Health recommends that all children aged 6 months to 5 years are given supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day. These supplements can be bought over the counter from pharmacies, usually in the form of vitamin drops which can be placed on your child's tongue, or mixed into food or drink (so they're none the wiser...).
It's true that if your toddler eats a healthy, well-balanced diet then he or she may not need to take a supplement. However, it is very common for toddlers to go through a fussy eating stage - we've been there too!
The fussy eating stage can mean their diet just isn't balanced no matter how hard you try as a parent. Giving a toddler supplements when their eating habits change may give parents peace of mind that they're still getting enough nutrients while going through this phase.
Mamamade meals are jam-packed with nutrients to help support your little one's growth and development. We work with expert nutritionists to create recipes with superfood ingredients you won't find on the supermarket shelves.
Our meals are made with fresh ingredients and flash-frozen to lock in nutrients so you know your baby or toddler is only getting the very best! Let us take care on your weaning journey with free delivery to your door.