As a plant-based nutritionist, I have many parents asking me about vitamin B12 for kids.
Should kids be supplemented with vitamin b12? How much? How often should parents give vitamin B12 to kids?
I will cover all this as well as my recommendations for brands of vitamin B12 for kids in this blog post.
This blogpost is not to be used for medical advice. If you are worried your child is deficient or unsure about something please speak with your family doctor or a chemist.
Should you supplement children with B12?
First of all, if your child is raised on a vegan, plant-based either fully or most of the time then yes you need to supplement with b12.
Or maybe your child is a bit fussy and rarely eats meats then you might also need to supplement with vitamin B12.
All plant-eaters need to supplement with vitamin with B12.
How much Vitamin B12 for kids?
Based on the Australian nutrition guidelines, the recommended daily intake or vitamin b12 for kids is as follow:
- ages 1-3 years = 0.9 mcg
- ages 4-8 years = 1.2 mcg
- ages 9-13years = 1.8mcg
This number might look very difficult to interpret for parents. Especially as the dosing of vitamin b12 on supplements looks a bit different with high RDI% usually. This is why Vitamin B12 recommendations may look a little confusing at first.
You’ll notice in the chart above the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) is much lower than the recommended dose for a supplement. This is because the body does not absorb B12 well. In fact, we only absorb a small percentage of the B12 we ingest. For this reason, the actual amount one needs to take as a supplement is quite a bit higher than the RDI.
The actual recommended dose of supplement for vitamin B12 for kids is:
ages 1-15 years = 50 mcg daily or 500 mcg once a week
Also, note that some plant milk are already fortified with vitamin B12 so it might not be necessary to supplement.
This is the case if your child drinks enough fortified plant milk each day. As such he or she might not need a vitamin b12 supplement on top of that. Or you could top up once a week or fortnight with a b12 supplement if necessary.
Getting too much vitamin B12 is not a cause for concern. However, deficiencies can have severe results on children’s health and development.
Which vitamin B12 supplements to give to children?
I recommend a B12 spray for kids. It is easier to give it that way. I have used the Garden of Life b12 raspberry spray since the twins were born personally.
This vitamin B12 for kids gummy supplement is also great!
As well as MaryRuth Organics, Vegan B Complex Liquid Drops.
For other nutrition articles, regarding children’s and vegan nutrition check out these other blog posts: