Safe vitamins for families

A reader recently asked me advice on children’s vitamins. I got thinking about how most parents pick vitamins for their children. We head to the grocery store and check out the different kinds. We purchase the one that might be on sale, or with the cute label so the kids will like it or just go with the brand that’s been around forever. It rarely crosses our minds that a little chewable tablet might do more harm than good for our child.

We have to remember that not all vitamins are created equal and that most of the vitamins made today are made, not with natural ingredients, but with synthetics that offer you about 50% less nutrient value than whole vitamins that are made directly from fruits and vegetable.  Synthetic vitamins have no trace of minerals and therefore cannot be processed in our bodies normally. There are so many popular vitamins out there in stores that are in part or all synthetic, providing unabsorbable nutrition. 

So what happens when we take a vitamin that is made with synthetic ingredients instead of natural ones? Large doses of synthetic vitamins can become toxic. The synthetic vitamins essentially rob the body of nutrients, which causes greater deficiencies. Whole food vitamins do not cause deficiencies; they give our bodies the nutrients we need on a daily basis.  

So what we do? The most important thing is to read the label so you have the full facts on what’s in your food and vitamins. If you see these words — calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide — it’s synthetic. Don’t be fooled by a label reading “all natural.” One easy way to tell is by looking at the RDA. If the potency is higher than anything you would find in nature (example: 1000% daily recommended allowance of vitamin C per serving), the products contains synthetically produced ingredients no matter what the label says.  Do your own research. Be your own advocate and the advocate of your child so you are putting the best possible things into your bodies to keep healthy.

Safe Vitamin Choices

Amazing Grass offers you and your child many whole food vitamin and supplement choices. We have used their Kidz Superfood Chocolate flavor for a few years now and we are huge fans. It’s nutritional powerhouse that combines 31 fruits and vegetables in a chocolate drink powder. One serving gives you the antioxidant equivalent of 3 servings of fruit and vegetables. This would be perfect for a child who isn’t eating enough fruits and veggies.

Yummi Bears has 10 types of vitamin for you to choose from. In the winter you could use the immune booster and fruit and veggie vitamin. If you are worried your child isn't getting enough fiber there a high-fiber choice, plus others including DHA, Omega 3-6-9 and many more.

Garden of Life produces high-quality superfoods and supplements. Its diverse array of nutritional products is amazing and includes a line of multivitamins called “Living Multi.”


Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog, O'Boy! Organic.

Categories: MomSpeak