Doctors say most children don’t need vitamin supplements

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DENVER -- Vitamins and supplements are a more than $30 billion a year industry.

And they're not made just for adults. Many companies have been making vitamins for children for decades. But do children really need to take them?

According to some doctors, not necessarily.

"Healthy children who eat a normal well balanced diet do not need vitamins. Now that exception is kind of a big one and that is vitamin D. And what we know is that most children here in the US do not meet their RDA for Vitamin D," pediatrician Dr. Denise Nakos said.

That "recommended daily alloweance" of vitamin D for children is 600 international units a day. That's the equivalent of 32 ounces, or four cups of fortified milk or four servings of fortified dairy products like yogurt or cheese.

"Since most children aren't getting that amount of milk- calcium is also part of that- so we also do recommend a calcium supplement along with the vitamin D."

One more word of caution for parents regarding vitamins made for children. "The only issue would be that you are putting that out of reach like any other medicine - because they do - they look and they taste like candy. Especially the gummies."

There are other circumstances where doctors do say vitamins for kids are a good idea.

If your child is a finicky eater who is not getting enough nutrition elsewhere, or particularly active children who are playing physically demanding sports and may need extra supplements.