Choosing a Multi-Vitamin for Your Child
Hallie Rich, a friend of Sprout's who has spent years in the vitamin industry, passed on these helpful tips for finding the right multi-vitamin.
We’re all busy. From the time the alarm clock goes off in the morning until lights out at night, there is hardly a moment to spare. Sacrifices are always made and battles are often surrendered, especially when it comes to food. And even though it’s well documented that good health is supported by a nutrient-rich, healthy diet, it’s not always possible or plausible.
Organic food tends to be more expensive and not always available, our children tend to be picky eaters, and quick & easy snacks and meals prevail most of the time, despite their level of nutritional benefits. Many kids also do not receive a varied diet, preferring the same foods over and over again and trying to get them to try something new and different is a hassle at best.
This is why many parents chose to give their children a daily multivitamin as an insurance policy to fill in the gaps that their diet may be lacking, as well as providing the nutrients a limited diet cannot offer. But which one?
Many pediatric dentists try to steer you away from gummies because of their sugar content and the fact that they may stick to your children’s teeth. Pediatricians tell you to avoid formulas that are lacking or missing essential nutrients. So, where does that leave you?
First, it’s always best to look for one that is a complete product, meaning that it contains both vitamins and minerals. If the label does not mention the word ‘mineral’, it is very possible the product does not contain essential nutrients, like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Without these minerals, the formula is considered by many to be incomplete.
Choosing a good vitamin for your child should also take into account what is NOT in the product as much as what is. Many are full of sugar, allergens or artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives, so read the labels carefully. These ingredients will often be found listed under “additional ingredients”, so pay specific attention to that area.
While you’re looking at the label, be sure to look at the serving size when it comes to nutritional content. Some vitamins are one per day and some require a child to take many a day so make sure to take note. Additionally, some companies get sneaky and only tell you what is in one tablet/gummy even though the serving calls for many per dose. For example, a serving may be 4 gummies but the caloric and sugar content may be listed per gummy.
The last consideration, when talking about a children’s vitamin is always taste and texture, because, no matter how great the vitamin, they’ll do no good if your child won’t take them.
By taking all of this into account, you should be able to finding a multi that works for both you and your child which will help foster healthy habits for a lifetime.
Learn more about Hallie and her favorite supplements here.