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Ask a Pediatrician: 10 Questions & Answers About Your Child's Health

As we parents already know, visiting your pediatrician regularly is a crucial part of your child's health.  Whether you’re visiting the pediatrician for a well-child checkup or a medical concern, it is always wise to use the appointment as an opportunity to ask whatever nagging questions about your child’s health to have stored up!
 
Many parents admit they don't always ask as many questions as they want when they visit the pediatrician. Some parents feel they are bothering the doctor, taking up too much time and others simply forget to ask their questions before the appointment ends. No good!
 
Don’t ever stress about the time it takes to ask extra questions. Your pediatrician is used to it, trust me. And a good pediatrician will be happy to answer your questions, no matter your child's age. Parents of newborns aren’t the only ones with lots of questions about their child's health and development! You will have questions for life, so keep calm and organize your thoughts by writing down your questions and concerns ahead of time.
Your pediatrician will play an important role in your child's life for many years, so get comfortable parents! The best way to learn about your child's growth, development and behavior is to talk to your doc.
 
Last month, we asked our Picky Parents what questions they want to ask their pediatrician on social media. We put together the top ten questions and chatted with pediatrician Dr. Toni Egolum of Gallatin Children's Clinic, PC to get you your answers!
Ask a Pediatrician

What vitamins does my kid really need?

(TE) : Generally speaking, a child who is getting a healthy, well-balanced diet technically does not NEED to take vitamins. But if your child has a vitamin deficiency, medical condition, is on a restricted diet or is a super picky eater, then extra supplementation might be necessary. Once they are at the toddler ages, vitamin D and iron are the 2 most important. Most kids in the US don't get enough of these and adults, that's why everything is fortified with these 2 nutrients.
Always speak to your child's pediatrician before giving your child any vitamins! Renzo's Vitamins has a clean line of no-sugar products designed to cover all your child's nutritional needs.

Does my child need probiotics?

(TE) : Probiotics can be very beneficial, I even recommend for newborns at times. But if your child is having live culture yogurts or other natural probiotics then taking an additional supplement is not necessary. But if your child is taking a lot of antibiotics or they have a lot of gut issues, then yes. Renzo's will be launching their Yummy Tummy Probiotic this year, which I'm excited to try!
 

Recommendations for raising vegetarian and/or vegan kids?

(TE) : The biggest concern about vegan and vegetarian diets for kids is that they won't get enough protein or iron which can lead to health issues. My only concern with a vegan diet is vitamin B12 as you only find it in animal products like poultry, meat, eggs, fish and milk so you would have to take a vitamin B12 supplement to get it. There is no plant source that has it. Vegetarians don't have this issue because they will still do other sources just not meats. Most beans, peas and their derivatives like tofu and chickpeas are a good source of protein for both vegans and vegetarians. If kids are Picky Eaters, this could also be an issue with iron levels. Make sure your child's iron levels are monitored and if needed, supplement with an iron supplement like Renzo's Iron Strong.

Do you have any tips to help create a healthy relationship with sugar?

(TE) : Sugar is everywhere and nearly unavoidable in US diet. Ideally, you would only offer fruit as a natural source of sugar instead of other processed sugar options - but easier said than done! The best advice I can give as a parent is not to use sugar and sugary treats as a reward. Make it an occasional treat, not a regular part of their meals. Also, remember vitamins are supposed to help your kids, so the sugary ones aren't always the best option.

What are the best ways to increase your kid's appetite?  

(TE) : You can do kids' drinks like Pediasure, Ensure, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast, or toddler formula to help kids with low appetite. Two of any of those supplements a day for 8 weeks stimulates appetite, I have to be doing that with my own child and it's working. The other option is medication - but that should be a last resort. 

Picky eater tips? 

(TE) : Just continue to offer a variety of foods, it's a phase! They need to see you eating healthy too, so make it a family affair. If their go-to meals are still only chicken nuggets and pizza, kids might benefit from a wholesome multivitamin like Renzo's Picky Eater Multi.  

Immune system boosters? 

(TE) : You want to make sure you are getting enough vitamin C and zinc. The best source is directly from food but they have kid's vitamin brands that make these, like the Multi here. Elderberry is also good for boosting the immune system naturally.

How can we make sure our child is getting enough iron? 

(TE): So this isn't publicized much because we prepare most of our meats in an unhealthy way. Humans absorb iron best from red meats like beef or organ meats like liver. But if that is not a diet choice for your family, green leafy veggies like spinach, quinoa, legumes are fine. Shellfish are also a good source. These are foods not all kids like, so if needed and your doctor approves, an iron supplement should do the trick. Iron supplements tend to cause tummy troubles but Renzo's iron is gentle on the tummy and is combined with Vitamin C which supports iron absorption. 

What's the difference between folic acid and methylfolate and which is the right type my kid needs?

(TE) : Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 found in foods - such as lemons, spinach, and liver. Folic acid is a synthetic form of B9 - most commonly found in store-bought supplements and fortified foods. Methylated folic acid, or methylfolate, is the methylated form of synthetic folic acid and is recommended for individuals with the MTHFR gene mutation. Renzo's Multi here uses methylated folate which means it's safe for all kids!

What are the best supplements for ADD/ADHD? 

(TE) : DHA has been found to help, you want to eat it performed. Good sources are fatty fish like salmon, you also get a small amount from eggs, but not that much. It's actually the algae in their food chain that produce the DHA not the fish directly, so if you're thinking vegan you would have to do the over the counter vitamins which I think get it from the algae directly but you'd have to check with the manufacturer.
 
Have more questions? Join #TeamRenzos and ask your pediatrician questions on our Facebook or Instagram page!
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