You’ve heard of nutritional supplements for adults & kids, but are Artificial Vitamins for Babies healthy? Read about it here and make an informed decision.
Here’s a scenario – you’ve just become a mother and you want to give your baby the best care possible. You’re constantly looking for ways to improve how you care for your baby’s hygiene, diet and overall health and safety – because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.
For most parents, diet remains at the top of the mind, especially since there is an overload of information available. Factory-produced baby foods generally lack sufficient nutrients and may contain preservatives that can be harmful. Babies can also be picky eaters, which makes us think of artificial vitamins. But are they healthy? Let’s find out!
Are Artificial Vitamins for Babies Healthy?
Let’s start by understanding what a Vitamin is. A vitamin is a combination of several interdependent components. It contains a main organic nutrient, as well as enzymes, antioxidants and element activators. All this together makeup a vitamin.
Now, we see two kinds of vitamins, roughly called natural and artificial. Natural vitamins are actually ‘whole food vitamins’ that are derived from whole food sources. Artificial or synthetic vitamins are man made, where individual parts are synthesized separately, in high concentrations.
Natural v/s Artificial Vitamins
On the surface, it may appear that natural and artificial vitamins are the same, since the main nutrient is present in both. However, it is a little more complicated than that.
Since the components of artificial vitamins are manufactures separately, they don’t work the same way as whole food vitamins do, with their complex combination of enzymes et al. The components of a Vitamin are dependent upon each other, so separating them as in the case of artificial vitamins may affect how they are absorbed in the body.
What’s more, artificial vitamins often contain the main nutrient in high concentrations, so an overdose of these can be more dangerous than an overconsumption of whole food vitamins.
Artificial vitamins can be useful. They are prescribed by medical professionals to children and adults who have deficiencies that aren’t being met through natural diets.
However, the digestive system of a baby is different from that of a child or adult. Adults and older children have a mucus lining that surrounds the gastrointestinal tract which serves as a barrier to protect the digestive tract from germs or impurities. Babies do not have this lining, due to which their systems are not strong enough to process synthetic vitamins and supplements.
Preventing Deficiencies in Babies
The best and safest way to ensure your baby doesn’t suffer from nutritional deficiencies is to make sure she has a diet that includes an array of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein. Here is a quick guide to some foods that are packed with important vitamins and can prevent deficiencies.
Bananas: Bananas are an ideal first food for babies. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Apples & Oranges: These fruits can be introduced after 6 months of age. They are high in vitamin C and aid iron absorption.
Mangoes: Mangoes can be given to babies after 6 months, and are an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium, copper, and fiber.
Eggs: Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse for babies over the age of 8 months. They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and a variety of other nutrients that promote eye health and optimal brain development.
Dairy: Once your baby has crossed his first birthday, you can introduce dairy. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are high in protein and calcium, essential nutrients for healthy bones, teeth and growth.
In a nutshell, you don’t need artificial vitamins for babies, unless your child’s pediatrician prescribes them. A diet including various fruits and vegetables can fulfill all of your baby’s vitamin and mineral needs.