Children’s Multivitamins

10 Comments

Thursday: Health Issues

Many people have asked what to look for in a children’s multi-vitamin.  Of course its ideal to get all your vitamins and minerals through food, its also a good idea to take a multi-vitamin to make up for any shortcomings in your child’s diet.  In Dr. Fuhrman’s Disease Proof Your Child, he offers a list of things to look for. (copied directly from his book, pg 168)

  • Look for One without Vitamin A-Vitamin A intake leads to calcium loss int he urine and osteoporosis.  We make all the vitamin A we need from the carotenes found in fruits and vegetables.
  • A children’s supplement should not have more than 2,500 IU of beta-carotene, but even less is better. It is best to receive carotenes from food, not supplements.  Studies looking at beta-carotene supplementation show a higher rate of both cancer and heart disease in those supplemented with a high dose of beta-carotene.
  • It should contain the full spectrum of minerals.
  • It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and artificial sweeteners.
  • It must taste acceptable to your children, as it does no good if your child refuses to take it.
Child pill

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10 Comments

Natalie, I don’t think EITHER one is necessary. If anything Fiber is the one thing that really should be gotten in food.
Cathy, your book list looks a lot like mine.

I am also wondering what vitamin you recommend. For the past couple of years we’ve just used the chewable Flintstones to help us out. But my sister-in-law recently sponsored my almost 7 year old with her Juice-Plus order, so we get the Fruit “vitamin” and the Veggie “vitamin”. Any thoughts on those? We’ve been doing that for a few days now. He is taking one in the morning and the other at night…with lots of water.

I’m so sorry Melissa and Venessa. This is the second time I’ve been asked this question, and I keep putting off answering it, because I haven’t really formed an opinion yet. My kids take generic vitamins once in a while, which I’ve never really checked the label, but will start due to Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations. A balanced diet is going to have all the nutrients our kids need, and shouldn’t need to be supplemented.
That said, I do like the Juice-plus type vitamins! (if they weren’t so expensive) These and other “whole food” vitamins I believe are better than synthetic ‘nutrient only’ supplements. We just found some much less expensive at Costco called Zoots. My kids do take these when I remember.

When I have some time to compare labels, I will update you!

Hi Steph, thanks for reaching out. This is an older post that we haven’t visited in a while. We believe that whole foods are the best sources of vitamins and minerals for kids. I know that many parents like to have a multivitamin as a kind of “insurance policy” to fill in nutritional gaps, but our dietitians recommend focusing on food instead. (Even if you have picky eaters. It’s totally a work in progress for all of us!) I know I’m not exactly answering your question but I hope this perspective helps!