Everywhere you look whether it’s Google, Instagram, tv commercials… There’s a lot of fear mongering about nutrients. What’s the solution we see all the time? Multivitamins. I’d like to present you with a number of considerations to help you determine if your child needs one.

First, here are some facts:

  • Gummy vitamins are not regulated by the FDA
  • A recent report found 80% of gummy vitamins tested did not have the same amounts of vitamins/minerals stated on the label
  • Many gummy vitamins contain added colors and sugars (not all)
  • Due to the sticky nature of gummy vitamins, they increase the risk of cavities
veggies

Let’s address another question: Does my child NEED a multivitamin?
The answer is usually “no”

Parents feel the need to “cover their bases” to ensure their child is getting enough. If your child is eating a wide variety of foods, it’s very unlikely you need a supplement.

If you’re offering a wide variety of food and your child isn’t eating them – it’s time to talk to you pediatrician or preferably a pediatric dietitian to get an evaluation.

If you or your child are low in a certain vitamin or mineral (as diagnosed by your doctor), it’s best to only supplement that nutrient to avoid toxicity and unnecessary high intake of other nutrients.

The last point I wanted to make was that gummy vitamins look like candy. It’s simply not a good idea to teach children that anything remotely close to a medication is fun or candy-like.

If your doctor or dietitian does recommend a supplement, choose a liquid or even a chewable and explain to your child what it actually is. This simultaneously builds trust and models the cautionary behavior parents want when it comes to medicines/drugs.

The take home messages are:

  • Children very rarely require a multivitamin supplement
  • Gummy vitamins aren’t regulated by the FDA
  • Food first (before supplements) is the best policy
    • Focus on providing a variety of nutrient-dense foods
    • Eat the same foods as your child
    • Eat together and model the behavior you want
  • If your child has a diagnosed deficiency and requires supplementation, supplement that vitamin/mineral only and opt for a chewable or liquid version
    • Explain to your child what it is (medicine)

I sure hope this helps! Save or pin this post for easy future access.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gummy-vitamins
https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-overdose-gummy-vitamins-6000.html

Want to feel confident knowing you have some simple, kind phrases up your sleeve to reduce your stress and frustrations at mealtimes? Get started below. Start minimizing mealtime meltdowns and stop fighting with your child so you can enjoy mealtimes again.


Thalia

Hi, I'm Thalia the Dietitian. I help parents raise healthy, intuitive eaters and foster healthy food relationships with their children. I'm an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist. I teach nutrition to college students, author higher education materials to accompany textbooks that engages students, and I'm mum to two little ladies (and a retired guide dog lab.)

2 Comments

Melinda · December 10, 2019 at 6:30 pm

So helpful, thank you! When I was around 5, I climbed up onto the counter and ate about half a bottle of Flinstone vitamins because they tasted good. So, I will not be doing that with my kiddos. However, prenatal gummy vitamins were a lifesaver for me while pregnant – I was so sick that I couldn’t keep any other vitamins down.

    Thalia · December 10, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Melinda, that’s definitely a time when something like a gummy vitamin is applicable!

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