Ensuring Proper Nutrition for Children: A Guide to Supplements and Nutrient-Dense Foods

Children have increased nutrient needs to support their growth and development, but ensuring your child is getting proper nutrition can be challenging. Children’s diets should consist of a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. While obtaining nutrients directly from healthy foods is ideal, supplements can help fill gaps in your child’s diet to support their physical and mental health.

When selecting supplements, it is important to look for ones that are specifically designed for children, as these will be tailored to meet their unique nutritional needs. While it is important to make sure your child is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals, it is also important to be mindful of supplement ingredients. Avoid supplements with added sugar, artificial ingredients, and fillers as these can be unhealthy for your child. Additionally, talk to your healthcare provider before giving your child any supplements, as it is important to make sure the supplement is safe for your child’s age and health status.

boy standing near dock

In addition to selecting a supplement that is tailored to your child’s needs, it is important to ensure that it is of high quality. Look for supplements that are third-party tested and verified to ensure they are free of contaminants and contain the stated ingredients at the stated amounts. Doing your research on the manufacturer is also important, as you want to make sure they adhere to good manufacturing practices and use high-quality ingredients. Finally, make sure that the supplement you select is age-appropriate and has a flavor your child will enjoy. Taking all of these factors into consideration will help you find the best supplement for your child.


The following are some of the top ingredients I recommend for supporting children’s health. 


Magnesium is used by every cell and contributes to more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Among its many functions, magnesium helps repair DNA and regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency may also lead to increased anxiety and sleep restlessness in children. Research suggests that supplementing with magnesium reduces hyperactivity in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and may help improve learning and memory. 

  • Fizzy Mag™ from Little DaVinci
  • Magnesium + P-5-P from EuroMedica (children 6+)

Omega-3 Fatty acids

As essential fatty acids, omega-3s are necessary for brain and heart health.  Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, and nuts and seeds (e.g., chia, flax, walnuts).  Studies suggest that the omega-3s found in fish, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can improve brain function and mood.  Furthermore, supplementing with omega-3s may improve vocabulary and listening comprehension.  If your child isn’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from their diet, adding a supplement may be beneficial.

  • Kids Cod Liver Oil Lemon from Carlson Labs
  • ProOmega Junior Strawberry 500mg from Nordic Naturals 
  • Nordic Omega-3 Fishies/Tutti Frutti from Nordic Naturals 

My older daughter started taking DHA when she was 3 years old and my 1-year-old is already taking these and loves them!

Children’s DHA™ Gummies by Nordic Naturals


Probiotics may be helpful in easing a number of common digestive issues in children, such as colic, constipation, and diarrhea.  Probiotics are available as drops for infants and in chewable or gummy form for older kids. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii are two strains that have shown promising effects in preventing diarrhea associated with antibiotic use and treating acute gastrointestinal inflammation that may cause diarrhea and vomiting. Check the label for the strains that fit your child’s digestive needs. 

  • Ther-Biotic For Babies from Probiotic Klaire Labs
  • Ther-Biotic Children’s Chewable Probiotic from Klaire Labs
  • HMF Child Chewable from Seroyal/Genestra

Vitamin D

Commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is synthesized when the skin absorbs UVB rays from the sun.  Vitamin D functions as a hormone and is essential for several bodily functions, such as maintaining strong bones and teeth, supporting a healthy immune system, and regulating the nervous system.  Bone development is accelerated during childhood, making adequate vitamin D intake especially important. Additionally, research suggests that vitamin D therapy may be beneficial for children with rickets, chronic kidney disease, and cystic fibrosis. In particular, kids who live in northern regions or spend little time in the sun may need to supplement with vitamin D to meet daily needs.

Recommended daily allowances for vitamin D:

  • Infant (0 to 12 months): 400 IU (10 mcg) 
  • Children (1–12 years): 600 IU (15 mcg)
  • Teens (13–18 years): 600 IU (15 mcg)

Recommended Supplements:

MetaKids™ D3 Liquid from Metagenics

Vitamin D3 Baby Drops from Nordic Naturals


Providing your child with a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement can help ensure they are meeting their daily nutrient needs. Multivitamins contain essential nutrients for children’s health, including vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as the minerals iodine, iron, and zinc. In addition to improving nutrition status, multivitamins may also improve brain function in healthy children. Multivitamins are often formulated to provide necessary nutrients based on life stage, so be sure to choose a multivitamin specific to your child’s age group. 

For the younger kids – chewable with no sugar as the gummies get stuck in their teeth and cause cavities.

Zero Sugar Multivitamin Gummies

Childrens Chewable Multivitamins Dr. Mercola (no sugar, tart taste)