Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Dec 2014

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28 Hudson Valley Parent ■ December 2014 By MALIA JACOBSON A daily multivitamin is a healthy basic for adults and kids alike, right? Maybe not. Late last year, the journal Annals of Internal Medicine deemed multi- vitaminz and mineral supplements a massive money drain that don't deliver promised health benefi ts. Though the supplement indus- try is robust — Americans spend nearly $27 billion on supplements annually — doctors and researchers aren't sold on the value of vitamins. According to Josh Boughton, the natural product director at the Vil- lage Apothecary with three locations in the mid-Hudson Valley, "The vitamin and supplement industry is not regulated, like foods are. That makes it diffi cult for parents to make decisions on which vitamins are viable for their children." Per a 2009 study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, most kids and teens who pop a daily vitamin probably don't need one because they get adequate nutrition from their diet. The same study found that kids with nutritional defi - ciencies are the least likely to take a supplement. This leaves confused parents hold- ing the bag — or, in this case, the bottle of brightly colored chewables. The diet defense As it turns out, deciding whether kids need a daily pill isn't simple. If your child eats a varied diet that includes a few servings of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and plen- ty of whole grains, a multivitamin probably isn't necessary, says Raufi a Payman, supervisor of Outpatient Nutrition & Education at Northern Dutchess Hospital. "Make sure they eat plenty of leafy green vegetables," says Pay- man. She also suggests adding fi sh to your children's diet, especially oily fi sh like salmon, plus nuts and seeds, and cereals fortifi ed with vitamin D. "Believe it or not, avocados are also a great source of vitamin D," says Payman. Laughingly, Payman says that if your family eats out three or more days a week, your children probably need supplemental vitamins. "Vitamin D is important to chil- dren's growth," says Payman. "Kids don't get enough vitamin D from the sun for two reasons: one, we live in the north and during the fall and winter seasons we are exposed to less sun because of shorter days, and two, kids spend more time indoors playing computer games rather than going outside." Stuart Tashman, MD, a pediatri- cian at Middletown Medical agrees. "Almost every patient I test is vitamin D defi cient," says Tashman. "It's a rarity when I fi nd a child who is not. Let's admit it, most kids are horrible eaters." The doctor rec- ommends Tri-Vi-Sol or D-Sol, even for babies who are nursing. "I start kids as newborns on this vitamin D regiment. Although it is true there is vitamin D in breast milk, it is not enough." After six months, he suggests Poly-Vi-Sol, which includes vitamins A, C and D. Research agrees with Tashman's assessment. The American Acade- my of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU (international units) per day for babies and 600 IU for children over the age of one. When talking about supplements, Tashman says that many regions in our area do not have fl uoridated wa- ter. If that be the case, he suggests using Poly-Vi-Flor, which comes both Though food-based nutrition is ideal, it's not possible or practical for all kids all the time. Vitamins or not? Keeping kids healthy

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