From bubs to mama and papa, get the whole family sorted.
While we’re all doing our best to live our best life, sometimes we need a little extra help. Even if you’re feeding the family the healthiest food possible (most of the time!) there might be times when an extra boost of vitamins and minerals is required. For that, it pays to know what supplements each member of the family might need and where to get it. Here are some top spots to shop in Hong Kong.
Editor’s note: Make sure you check with your doctor before any member of the family starts taking vitamins and supplements.
Do Children Need Additional Vitamins And Supplements?
If your little one is eating a healthy, balanced diet, then generally they won’t need to take additional vitamins or supplements. However, while exclusively breastfed babies get almost all the nutrients they need, they will need a vitamin D supplement – even if mama is taking one at the same time – for their first year of life. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving a supplement of 400 IU per day of vitamin D from the first few weeks of life, to be continued unless your bubba starts on at least one litre a day of vitamins D fortified formula. Vitamin D aids growth and development of healthy bones and teeth, while other vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin A, B6 (folate) iodine, choline and DHA are all crucial for brain and eye development. For later in life, although a small amount is found in oily fish and eggs, the best source of Vitamin D is safe sunlight exposure.
As your child grows most won’t need to take additional supplements, however, they might need a helping hand if they don’t have a hugely varied diet (some children can be picky eaters!). Think, vitamin A (dairy products, carrots, dark green veggies and sweet potatoes etc.), vitamin C (fruits including oranges and strawberries, and veggies like broccoli) and vitamin D, among others. A child-friendly multivitamin could be a good option unless your doctor has a more specific recommendation but always check with your doctor before starting giving any supplements to youngsters.
Read more: Annabel Karmel’s Essential Guide To Weaning
What Vitamins And Supplements Should The Whole Family Be Taking?
Growing kids need the same vitamins and minerals as their parents, although in much smaller amounts. The US Department Of Health (National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements), has clear recommendations of exactly which vitamins should be taken by each age range and how much (from birth right through to grandma and grandpa’s!). Children’s supplements, like vitamin D drops or multi-vitamin, are a good start – although, if you’re trying the gummy variety be careful not to let your growing guy or gal over indulge (as tempting as they might be!) and keep an eye on the sugar content.
For the mama of the house, vitamin and supplement needs will vary depending on what stage of motherhood you’re in. Pre- and during pregnancy, you’ll need to keep an eye on your nutritional needs. Prenatal vitamins are a must for mamas to be, so be sure to chat with your midwife or gynaecologist. While breastfeeding, or postnatal, there are also things to include in your diet for optimal breastmilk, and then there are the daily recommended supplements that women generally should take. A good multivitamin should see you through for the other times in your life to keep iron, calcium and other important vitamins and minerals in check.
For dad, a daily multi-vitamin is also a great idea. If you’re trying to conceive, there are some specific supplements that might boost your chances. According to doctor Sherry Ross (gynaecologist and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period.) men can increase their chances of healthy sperm by having sufficient B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium. She points out that Zinc is helpful in maintaining normal testosterone levels while selenium has been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects and improving low sperm counts.
Where To Get Vitamins And Supplements For The Whole Family In Hong Kong
Vitamin And Supplement Stores In Hong Kong
Fanda is a great local favourite for health care products, over the counter medicine, prescriptions, vitamins and supplements, perfumes and more. With stores over in TST and Central, ask the helpful staff to point you in the right direction for what you need.
Fanda Central, G/F World Wide House, 19 Des Vouex Road, Central, Hong Kong
Socking a huge range of supplements and vitamins across the board, you’ll be spoilt for choice! This well-known brand is located all over Hong Kong and has sections for kids development, women’s health, men’s health and more.
Here you’ll find plenty of vitamins and supplements for all the family. From baby DHA, and vitamin D3 drops as a supplement for children aged 6 months or above (there are even vegetarian versions), to a selection of brands for parents, including GNC and Caltrate.
This store has a small selection of vitamins on its website, but it also has stock in the Mong Kok and Causeway Bay stores. Here you’ll find probiotics, vitamin D drops and multivitamins for the kids, mama and papa along with a wide range of other supplements.
oGreen, Mong Kok – Room 1703, 17/F, Omega Plaza, 32 Dundas Street
Also, dotted all over Hong Kong are plenty of local pharmacies and dispensaries. While we can’t vouch for all of them, it’s definitely worth heading in to see what you can find as many will also stock a wide range of baby-friendly (and mama-friendly) options.
Online Vitamin And Supplements Delivery To Hong Kong
For a wider range of vitamins and supplements, the internet is your friend. You can order directly from these sites, which all deliver to Hong Kong:
The Doctor’s surgery
Note that if you’re using insurance to go private, your package mostly probably won’t cover vitamin supplement prescriptions (even the all-singing, all-dancing covers) so always check with your provider first.
If you’re specifically looking for pre- and postnatal vitamins, take a look at our guide to Pregnancy Nutrition: Where To Get Prenatal Vitamins In Hong Kong. Here you’ll find recommendations on what you might need and what to shop.