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Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, brings valuable expertise to health information content on primary care pediatrics. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases of children.
He's a Fort Worth, Texas, native, certified as a pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was trained at Washington University's St. Louis Children's Hospital, and in infectious diseases at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1989.
"The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the availability and distribution of information, including health information about children and families," Dr. Hoecker says. "The evolution of the Web has included greater safety, privacy and accuracy over time, making the quality and access to children's health information immediate, practical and useful. I am happy to be a part of this service to patients from a trusted name in medicine, to use and foster all the good the Web has to offer children and their families."
Nutrition basics (31)
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- Fat grams: How to track your dietary fat
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Healthy diets (10)
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Healthy cooking (7)
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Healthy menus and shopping strategies (8)
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- Brominated vegetable oil: Why is BVO in my drink?
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Nutritional supplements (18)
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Multivitamins: Do young children need them?
Should I give multivitamins to my preschooler?
from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
Multivitamins aren't necessary for most healthy children who are growing normally.
Foods are the best source of nutrients. Regular meals and snacks can provide all the nutrients most preschoolers need.
While many young children are picky eaters, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have nutritional deficiencies. Many common foods — including breakfast cereal, milk and orange juice — are fortified with important nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium and iron. So your child may be getting more vitamins and minerals than you think.
Furthermore, multivitamins aren't without some risks. Megadoses of vitamins and minerals can be toxic. In addition, some vitamins and minerals can interact with medications your child may take.
Talk with your child's doctor if you're concerned about whether your child is getting the recommended level of vitamins and minerals. A multivitamin might be helpful for your child if he or she:
- Has failure to thrive
- Has certain chronic diseases or food allergies
- Has a restrictive diet, such as a strict vegan diet
If your child's doctor recommends a multivitamin, choose one that is designed for your child's age group and doesn't provide more than 100 percent of the Daily Value of vitamins and minerals. In addition, keep multivitamins out of your child's reach and make it clear that they aren't candy.Next question
Vitamin D deficiency
- Duryea T, et al. Dietary recommendations for toddlers, preschool, and school-age children. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- A vitamin a day. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/nutrition-fitness/pages/A-Vitamin-a-Day.aspx. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Supplements: Do kids need them? U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/nibbles/supplements.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation in kids. American Medical Association. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?volume=163&issue=2&page=192. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Rochester, Minn. May 17, 2012.