Q&A: Selecting Vitamins for Children

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Nutritional Support, Q&As
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

Q&A: Selecting Vitamins for Children

Q: How do I go about finding a good vitamin for children?

A: When it comes to searching for quality kids’ vitamins, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Read labels carefully and try to follow these guidelines.

  • Make sure any vitamin C is buffered. Nonbuffered vitamin C is very acidic and can be hard on kids’ teeth and upset their stomachs. Look for calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate on the labels of vitamins for children.

  • No iron. Iron is toxic if taken in large amounts, and accidental iron poisoning is a leading cause of poisoning deaths in young children. (Good-tasting chewable vitamins for children are often the culprit.) If your child needs extra iron, purchase an iron supplement and lock it up out of reach.

  • No refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. Watch out for sucrose, fructose and sorbitol, as well as aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, which are added to many vitamins for children to improve the taste. Natural sweeteners like xylitol and stevia are much better choices.

  • No hydrogenated fats or other additives. Also be on the lookout for hydrogenated oils, dyes, artificial flavorings, and other additives. Children’s vitamins can be perfectly palatable using natural ingredients such as vanilla and fruit oils and flavorings.

  • Divided doses. Water-soluble nutrients flush out of the body and need to be replenished to maintain optimal levels. A kids vitamin that recommends divided doses is far superior to a one-a-day brand.

  • Taste. Make sure it tastes good. When kids are involved, taste is everything!

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Remember, it’s critical to make sure our children and grandchildren are getting the nutrients they need. — JW

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