Taking a look at your child’s class photo says it all, each kid is unique in their own way. Some are off the charts taller than the rest of their peers, while others are still hanging on to that adorable baby faced charm. Some smile like jack-o-lanterns while others flash a mouth full of all their pearly whites still in tack. Each child’s development varies and while you may feel like perhaps yours could use a boost from vitamins for kids to keep up with their rapidly growing peers, the variety of vitamins available is just as equally diverse.
First and foremost, always consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any supplements into your child’s diet. If you have already come to the decision that your child will benefit from a daily multivitamin, it’s best you familiarize yourself with the potentially harmful ingredients that can do more damage than good. It’s hard for kids to not be dazzled by all of the bright colors and familiar characters many of these vitamins use to promote their goods. Unfortunately, under the false pretense of a “vitamin” many of these contain ingredients that are not healthy for your little one. Let’s dive into some of the ingredients to avoid:
- Natural and Artificial colors – Much like those used in juices or sports drinks, studies have shown that these ingredients play a part in promoting hyperactivity, irritable and aggressive behaviors in children. While the research is still being conducted, the risks seem to outweigh the reward.
- Artificial flavors – From all of the junk food and candy exposure, we have become adapted to these manufactured ingredients. For the purpose of a vitamin to promote better health, these have no place in a nutritional supplement.
- Iron – While it is a vital vitamin needed to maintain proper nutrition, too much of anything can be harmful, even minerals. In the case of iron, there is the risk of iron toxicity when too much is consumed.
- Aspartame and Sucralose – If these ingredients sound familiar to you, that is because they are the artificial sweeteners used in such products as diet sodas. While in small doses are acceptable for adult consumption, they do not necessitate any value for children.
- Hydrogenated Oils – In the form of soybean oil, it has been found to be an ingredient in many children’s vitamins. This is a processed oil linked to diseases such as cancer, liver and heart disease.
- Glucose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar – These names are merely a mask for what is commonly known as sugar. Many of the gummy types of vitamins on the market utilize these ingredients and even coat them with sugar crystals.
- Gelatin – While not necessarily a harmful product, it is however derived from animal products. So those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet should be aware of it being a listed ingredient.
It is simply mind-boggling that so many harmful additives are incorporated into what we believed to be a healthy supplement to feed our growing children. The whole concept of the vitamin is centered around the belief of providing a boost of nutrients needed for their development. Never would we believe that such potent chemicals were being masked as “healthy” for the next generation.
In an ideal world, we would be able to trust everything touted by companies as being good for your health, especially those that are marketing to our innocent youth. But as such, we just have to be a bit more diligent in our research in what we provide to our kids. Look for vitamins made with organic whole foods when possible, and companies who at their core focus on providing the absolute best products possible because they too care for the future of our children.