Parent Tips

Do children need to take nutritional supplements?

Source: Senior Dietitian, Ng Yiu Fun

Many parents ask me, “Does my child need to take supplements?” For example, would fish oil or DHA be better for him? I have children myself, and I don’t let them take any supplements. But some parents say, “Is it really smarter to take supplements?”

In fact, if you have a balanced diet, you don’t need any supplements. Why? For example, if you take too much fish oil, it will have an excessive blood-thinning effect, and you will easily bleed out. So we say that if you take too much fish oil, it may not be good for your child.

We may have to figure out how to add a little bit of fish to our food. For example, if he doesn’t like eating fish, we can dip the fish in batter and bake it to make it feel crispy and tasty. Or when cooking spaghetti, you can add some crustaceans, such as clams, which are easy for children to absorb. Also, simple foods such as seaweed have ingredients that make them smarter.

As for the parents, they may think that if they take more calcium supplements, their children will grow taller. This is also not necessary, because if you take too many calcium tablets, it will be very easy to give him kidney stones. We can let children drink milk, tofu, or soy milk to help them absorb calcium without the need for special supplements.

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