Because many toddlers and children seem to be picky eaters, many parents supplement their children’s diets with a multi-vitamin. But if you choose a children’s vitamin common on grocery store shelves you are probably getting a synthetic vitamin that not only may not help them as much as you think, but is also filled with stuff that may actually harm them. Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com actually lists synthetic vitamins as one of the 20 things more dangerous for children than lead paint in toys.
Problems With Synthetic Vitamins
- Synthetic vitamins are not as readily absorbed by the body as whole food nutrients are. Your body can absorb vitamins when all parts of the complex are present. In the case of a synthetic, isolated nutrient (a fraction of a vitamin), your body must supply the other parts of the complex, thus creating more work and deficiencies.
- Synthetic vitamins (especially for children) often contain harmful ingredients, such as artificial flavors, artificial colorings, sugars, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives. (For example, check out the ingredients for Flintstone’s Complete and Centrum Kids.)
- Synthetic vitamins often contain allergens.
Whole Food Supplements
Whole food supplements are made from concentrated whole foods. The vitamins in these supplements are not isolated; they combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, activators, and many other unknown or undiscovered factors all working together synergistically to enable this vitamin complex to do its job in your body.
Dr. Mercola provides more information about whole food supplements vs synthetic.
We have all heard about the vitamins and minerals we need, like Vitamin A and C, but not much is talked about the phytonutrients in food. Phytonutrients come from plants and act as anti-oxidants, cancer inhibitors, immune system boosters, and reduce genetic damage due to pollution and environmental toxins. To get the thousands of phytonutrients, we need to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in all colors; a rainbow of nutrition.
Natural Whole Food-Based Vitamins for Kids
When I look for supplements, I look for ones that are as close as possible to its natural form. (I want to remind you to read my disclaimer. I am not a medical doctor and you should always consult your physician for medical advice and opinions before you try any of these ideas. I am providing this information for educational purposes and sharing what works for me.)
Here are a few children’s vitamins that I think are good:
New Chapter Organics EveryKid
This multivitamin is in powder form (in packets) and comes in three flavors: Brilliant Berries, Awesome Apple, and Goodness Grape (sold exclusively at Whole Foods). We use this vitamin for our three-year-old son. We open the packet and sprinkle half of it in some applesauce. You can also dissolve it in water or they can eat it plain, right out of the packet!
We love that New Chapter EveryKid is organic! They are also gluten free, vegetarian, and contain no artificial colors or flavors. The fruit powder blend includes organic strawberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
New Chapter provides some information on children’s health.
Amazing Grass Kidz SuperFood
Another whole food-based vitamin in powder form is the Amazing Grass Kidz SuperFood. It comes in two flavors, wild berry and chocolate, and you can buy it in a canister or a box of individual serving size packets. You can mix the chocolate powder with milk or water; you can mix the wild berry powder with water, juice, or in a smoothie.
Amazing Grass combines 33 rainbow colored fruits and vegetables to take advantage of all those phytonutrients. For example, here are some of the whole food ingredients: Organic Wheat Grass, Organic Barley Grass, Organic Alfalfa, Asparagus, Lima Beans, Green Peas, Kale, Kiwi, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans, Zucchini – and those are just the Greens!
It contains so many nutrients from whole foods that just one 6 gram serving has the antioxidant equivalent to three servings of fruits and vegetables. Amazing Grass provides the list of ingredients and nutritional breakdown.
Here are some other great features:
- Low sugar
- No artificial colors, flavors, fillers, or other unnecessary ingredients.
- Non dairy, Gluten free, Decaffeinated
- Non-GMO, Vegan
- Certified Organic
Dr. Fuhrman Pixie-Vites
This is another vitamin that is in powder form (in a packet). The berry flavor is sure to be loved by kids; they can eat it right out of the package, or it can be mixed in food, water, or juice. Pixie–Vites contain no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors, no corn syrup, no preservatives, no wheat, no gluten, no soy, no dairy, and no aspartame. There is no isolated vitamin A or beta carotene.
They only use whole food extracts from over 30 high–nutrient vegetables and fruits with nature’s full spectrum of carotenoids and phytochemicals. Some of the ingredients are pineapple, broccoli, carrots, tomato, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, kale, spinach, strawberry, watermelon, radish, cantaloupe, cherry, onion, papaya, peach, pear, leek, yellow pepper, and pomegranate!
You can view the fact sheet for more information and to view the nutrition label.
Hero Nutritional Wholefood Yummi Bears
This vitamin comes in gummy form, which is sure to be a hit with kids. Of course, you’d want to be sure your child is able to chew and swallow safely and doesn’t treat them like candy (eating more than the daily amount).
Wholefood Yummi Bears are made with certified organic vegetable and fruit concentrate, which includes the following: Apples, Blackberry, Blueberry, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Papaya, Parsley, Plum, Purple Grape, Raspberry, Spinach, Tomatoes.
Yummi Bears are free of:
- Yeast, wheat, milk, egg, soy, salt
- Peanuts, shellfish, gluten, casein
- Artificial colors, artificial flavors, salicylates, and preservatives.
Yummi Bears also come in an Organic vitamin, but it is not whole food-based.
With all the talk of vitamins, it is important to remember that we really should be getting our nutrition from a wide variety of healthy, real foods; vitamins are not meant to be a replacement for food. I think we tend to rely too heavily on our supplements to provide what we need. While they are good to have, let’s not forget how important a healthy diet is.
Wendy – ParentingTips365.com
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