Vitamin – questions :
I often get a two part question regarding vitamins. Does my child need vitamins and which vitamin should I buy? In response to the first question, other than some unusual circumstances ( and all the discussion recently surrounding vitamin D), most children do not need vitamins. The best source for a vitamin is where they are found. The closer a vitamin is to the fruits and vegetables they come the more benefits they have. Many studies have shown that the supplemental vitamin you purchase has little of the nutritional value found in it's food source. Having said all this, most parents get a sense of comfort if their child who is typically not eating as much as they want, takes vitamins. And to some extent I agree, if giving your child vitamins makes you relax and not get into a battle of wills over eating and pushing foods, then that in of itself is valuable, and possibly your child will eat better. So the next question is just as tricky , which one. Since most supplements are not regulated and tested ( vitamins included) choosing the best one has generally been determined by faith, word of mouth, and your child’s taste. But , as alluded to in a recent post, a review by Consumer Labs has revealed some interesting inconsistencies in vitamin content by brand name.
There were 4 brands reviewed by Consumer Labs and approved for children. They are Enfamil Poly Visol for infants. Flinstones Plus which was approved without reservations also for calcium and vitamin D, Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears, approved but exceeded the amount of vitamin A and Zinc, which is important, and Nature’s Plus Animal Parade, which exceeded Niacin for ages 1-8.
Other sources of vitamins that many parents choose include more natural forms such as “Greens” and Juice plus which makes similar claims. Neither form has endured rigorous evaluation for the exact amount of Vitamins or nutritional claims and has not been evaluated by a third party organization such as Consumer labs .