Should picky eaters take vitamins?

My daughter will be 2 years old next month. She doesn’t eat very well. However, she does drink plenty of milk and juice. Should I give her vitamins? If so, what kind would you suggest?

Getting a 2-year-old to eat well can be a challenge. Foods she likes one day she won’t touch the next. Many children will only eat a few foods. Continue to offer your daughter a wide variety of foods, even if she has rejected them the last 25 times. And don’t be a short-order cook. Making multiple foods at each meal almost never works.

Try to decrease the amount of milk and juice your daughter drinks. She might be filling up with liquids, which she can drink quickly, and therefore doesn’t have to keep sitting still to eat. Limit her fluids to 20 to 30 ounces a day, and try not to give more than eight ounces of juice. Don’t let her drink within an hour before meals or during the meal.

For children who just don’t seem to get their fruits and veggies, a chewable multivitamin with minerals is helpful. Most of those in the grocery store or drugstore are similar. Read the label to be sure you get no more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of any vitamin, and be sure there is iron in the product you buy. For children who don’t get enough dairy products, look for some added calcium, too.

In the end, there is no substitute for a balanced diet, but the vitamins will round out the rough edges until the picky-eater stage passes.

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