Children can be picky, and this isn’t exactly news. More often than not, it’s difficult to make children eat “yucky” green vegetables they adamantly refuse to get anywhere close to their mouths.
Therefore the findings of the National Poll on Children’s Health by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital don’t come as a surprise.
Namely, the survey that examined eating and supplement-taking habits of children aged 1–10 reported that three out of five parents face problems with their child’s diet.
The problems included:
- Picky eating (35%)
- The child not eating enough fruits and vegetables (31%)
- The child not getting enough vitamins and minerals (13%)
- The child not eating enough fiber (9%)
To compensate for the resulting unbalanced diet, 51% of parents give their children dietary supplements.
Though 52% of parents reported their children ate a well-balanced diet, 58% admitted it’s difficult to make children want to eat healthy. And nearly half of the participants (47%) agreed this was also expensive.
The high price tag is also possibly the reason why members of lower-income households (<$50,000) are less likely to give their children nutritional supplements than members of higher-income households (>$100,000).
Overall, 52% of parents gave their children supplements regularly:
- Multivitamins (78%)
- Probiotics (45%)
- Specific vitamins (44%)
- Minerals (25%)
- Omega-3 supplements (22%)
As many as 80% of parents who give supplements to their children report using products specifically tailored to children’s needs. And 43% discussed introducing supplements into their child’s diet with a pediatrician.
All in all, children need a balanced diet to grow, appropriately develop, be healthy, and perform well at school.
While the best way to achieve this is by giving your child a plethora of healthy foods, there’s no harm in occasionally trying to overcome your child’s pickiness and fill in the nutritional gaps with dietary supplements.