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There are lots of nutritional food supplements that (arguably) makes our children

  1. Stronger
  2. Sharper
  3. Taller

Me and my mom are having a difference of opinion here. She tells me not to give them. She argues "The lesser chemicals, the stronger our boy will be". But I think its better to give him those. Most parents are feeding kids supplements anyway.

What is the best for my child?

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Please explain the statement "Most children are using them anyway." I don't think most children go to the drugstore and buy vitamins and supplements. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Dec 4 '11 at 10:19
    
updated the post... –  naveen Dec 4 '11 at 12:11
    
Given you are from India, do you have a strict vegetarian diet? Most people can get everything they need from a healthy diet but vegetarians can have a harder job, especially if their kids do not eat well. –  dave Dec 4 '11 at 19:07
    
we follow a non-vegetarian diet... –  naveen Dec 5 '11 at 16:19
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Supplements are especially useful in two situations:

  1. Your child suffers from a medical inability to produce a particular important substance.
  2. You know that the food you can provide is missing a particular important substance.

I would only use supplements if any of the above apply (or similar conditions I have missed). If none of these apply, then your child is getting enough nutrition to live a healthy life and does not need supplements.

Giving supplements anyway would indicate that you have particular wishes for the development of the child. If there is a concern over the artificial or chemical nature of the supplements, you should investigate what natural sources you could use instead. Do your own research, or consult your pediatrician.

Adjusting the meals to include the desired natural sources would probably be safer and preferable, but not always possible.

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thanks. i understand it better after 18 months :) –  naveen Jun 24 '13 at 18:47
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If you are feeding your child milk, cereal, or any processed food you are likely already feeding them supplements and chemicals.

ALso, technically, all food is of a chemical nature. Life is a series of chemical reactions. So saying something as "chemicals" and therefore "bad" is not all that helpful.

What is important is to understand which foods and supplements lead to a healthy diet and provide those.

For example, it is nearly impossible to get enough Omega-3 without having a very high fatty-fish diet. The key with this is you want to have a balance of Omega-3 with Omega-6, and most of our diets are very high in Omega-6. So taking Omega-3 makes sense.

Vitamin-D is also a big one - especially if you live far from the equator. Unless you are willing to sit outside with your shirt off 1/2 hour a day, you are not getting enough. If you drink milk it is widely supplemented, otherwise, you should take some.

So, those are some arguments for individual supplements (the ones I think are most important). There are many more arguments for other individual ones, and you'd have to learn about them individually to understand whether they might be good for your child or not. There is no blanket answer to "are supplements good to take?".

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Regarding "chemicals=bad" I think the asker meant "artificial=bad". –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Dec 27 '11 at 20:21
1  
Quite possibly, but my point applies to both. Many supplements are derived from natural sources. Many food items labelled "natural" are highly processed. It's not "natural" to live indoors or sleep on beds. My point was that these kind of knee-jerk reactions are unhelpful if you want to understand what you can do to improve your health. –  Emma McCreary Jan 10 '12 at 1:40
    
"outside with your shirt off for half an hour" is an exaggeration. 15 minutes with your hands and face exposed is enough, even north of 40. The problem is that in the dead of winter, in places where it gets truly cold, few of us spend 15 minutes outside with our faces and hands exposed, never mind more of us. –  Chrys Jul 4 '13 at 14:48
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