Vitamin supplements in young children
Babies who are breastfed - Breastfed babies between 0-6 months should be given a daily vitamin D supplement from birth, whether or not the mother is taking a supplement containing vitamin D herself. This is a precaution and is due to a breastfed baby being reliant on the mother’s vitamin D status.
Babies who are formula-fed - Babies 0-6 months who are drinking >500ml of formula do not require any vitamin supplements (as formula milk is fortified with vitamins).
6 months to 5 years
The Department of Health recommends all children aged 6 months to five years are given a vitamin supplement containing vitamins A, C and D every day (unless they are drinking > 500ml of infant formula per day, as formula is already fortified with certain nutrients).
Some parents/carers are eligible to receive free vitamin supplements as part of the Healthy Start Scheme (Under 18 years and pregnant, or in receipt of certain allowances/credit). Parents/carers who are eligible for Healthy Start can also receive a pre-paid card to spend on milk, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula.
You can find out who is eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme online.
If parents/carers aren’t eligible to receive Healthy Start vitamins, it is recommended they speak to a pharmacist for advice on which supplement is best for their child.
Children following a vegetarian or vegan diet may also need supplements – check with a dietitian about this.