December 13, 2014

 

A patient of mine was offering Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins with Omega 3 Fish Oil and Vitamin D to her 5 year old and 3 year old. These supplements have Oprah’s seal of approval, as well as a supportive quote by Dr. Mark Hyman. This is confusing, since this vitamin resembles a sugar coated gumdrop.

Yes, they contain sugar; but I’ll get to that in a moment…

Are Gummy Vitamins Harming Your Kids? Reading a great post on Clean and Lean Revolution

Yesterday I was asked to review a supplement by one of my patients. She has been giving Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins with Omega 3 Fish Oil and Vitamin D to her 5 year old and 3 year old. If you look these up on Amazon, these supplements have Oprah’s seal of approval, as well as a quote by Dr. Mark Hyman, “Their delicious gummies make getting your supplements an easy, palatable and eco-friendly experience.”  This is an interesting statement made about a vitamin that resembles a sugar coated gumdrop. Yes, they contain sugar; but I’ll get to that in a moment.

I like these supplements because they include fish oil and vitamin D. I like them because they have the methylated version of vitamin B 12. But that’s where it ends. These vitamins contain folic acid, instead of folate. Folate is the form that we naturally find in the foods that we eat (like dark leafy greens and foliage) and folate is the form that is utilized by the body. This vitamin also includes vitamin E in the alpha tocopherol form. Multivitamins should have a mix of the different forms of vitamin E. A clue that you are taking a good supplement is that it has ‘mixed tocopherols’ listed on the label (this means that the supplement includes a mix of the different forms of vitamin E).

"Are Gummy Vitamins Harming Your Kids? Reading a great post on Clean and Lean Revolution"

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What I really don’t like about this supplement is that it contains 1.25 teaspoons of sugar per dose. I realize that this sounds insignificant BUT IT ISN’T. If you offer this vitamin to your children year round, this seemingly insignificant amount of sugar adds up to 4.5 pounds of sugar in one year. If we give our children 4.5 pounds of sugar in one year from a supplement alone, can you imagine the load of sugar that can occur from all the other foods that they are eating?

Would you go to the silverware drawer, pull out two serving teaspoons and fill one with a vitamin and another with sugar and feed this to your child? Of course you wouldn’t. I know that parents are trying to do a very good thing by offering their kids a supplement. They care about their kids and they care about their health. They also want their kids to not put up a fuss about taking them and I get it. I imagine that when most people read the label of this vitamin, they assume that the added sugar is insignificant. But, it’s not. We also need to consider that, with the addition of 4.5 pounds of sugar a year, that we are really negating some of the good that can come from offering our kids a good multi-vitamin.

Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins do come in a ‘no sugar added’ version. This version has ½ teaspoon of sugar per dose, which adds up to 2.25 pounds of added sugar annually. It also has an alternative sweetener in it called Lo Han. This is also known as Monk Fruit. This ingredient may sound natural, but during the manufacturing of Lo Han, a polyester resin is used called divinylbenzene –this compound consists of a benzene ring bonded to two vinyl groups. It is related to styrene. I don’t recommend giving this ingredient to your children every day.

Think about the connection that you are making with candy and a healthy vitamin, each and every day. This is not an idea that you want to foster.

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Comments

from 25 people

Don’t give your children gummies in any form. It sticks to their teeth and will cause major decay over time. Look for a liquid or chewable vitamin instead. I had my boys on Juice Plus gummies for a year. A year of gummies everyday has resulted in a root canal and NINE...I said NINE crowns for my seven year old! Gummies and any form of chewy candy that does not melt in your hand is out for good!

Miranda Singleton | November 7, 2018

Angela

Hi Devi, I would add a separate calcium supplement - around 150 mg (check with your provider), I would also look at other calcium rich foods - like broccoli, some beans and dark leafy greens.

Angela | November 7, 2018

which is best multi vit for kids the one you mentioned is good 'metabolic maintainence but has no calcium my son is on gluten free casein free diet and the organic almond and cahew milk which he evntually liked does not have calcium .his meal is not always balanced so he neds calcium too.ThankYou

devi | July 28, 2018

Helpful article, since I have been concerned about the sugar content of Smarty Pants as well. Looking for a better alternative.

Jen | June 14, 2018

Angela

Hi Janette - it is similar though, in that it has 5 grams of sugar per serving.

Angela | November 7, 2018

Do you recommend Floradix Kinder Love multivitamin? I have an 8 and 4 year old.

Janette S | May 10, 2018

Angela

These look a little bit better - though interested as to why they are adding iodine to this supplement. Most kids are getting too much iodine with the added salt that is most products. Thank you for posting!

Angela | November 7, 2018

So I’ve came across this blog post after researching Smarty Pants vitamins for my kids. I too was concerned with the sugar. I came across an organic version of Kids Smarty Pants with less sugar. It still has the same type of vitamin E but has Folate instead of Folic and it also seems to have a better version of Vitamin C:

SmartyPants Organic Toddler Gummy Vitamins: Vegetarian Multivitamin & Omega-3, 60 Count (30 Day Supply) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YJF9TG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_hcOWAb5E6M6BP

Do you feel any better about giving these to your child? I love that they have Folate, and Omega 3’s and less sugar!

Kelsey | April 2, 2018

Angela

Hi Mary, they switched to folate after the post when live. Thank you for the correction!

Angela | November 7, 2018

This is incorrect, they contain folate, NOT folic acid.

Mary | February 18, 2018

I have done a lot of research and cannot find out where the vitamins are manufactured. All I have been able to find is, they are made in a North American GMP facility. Go figure!

SF | February 7, 2018

Angela

Hi Jen, Progressive Multi Chews do have folate. Here is the direct link to their site: https://www.progressivenutritional.com/products/multivitamins-for-kids/

Angela | November 7, 2018

Progressive multi chewable contains folic acid, which you just wrote was NOT the form you suggest. Folate is the form you suggested. So which children's brand do you suggest??

Jen | February 6, 2018

Angela

I took a look - I'm not a big fan of sugar alcohols (first two ingredients on the additional ingredients) -- otherwise good nutrient forms.

Angela | November 7, 2018

What do you think of Plexus X Factor Chewables for kids? I have the ingredients label but there is no way to post it here.. It has all of the things you described above and is sweetened with Stevia. Plus, it has a probiotic

Diana | November 7, 2017

Angela

Hi Rebecca, I recommend whole fruit all the time. I have no issue with anyone eating 4-5 pieces/ servings of fruit a day. What I don't recommend is processed/ refined/ juice without any fiber present. Sugar FROM fruit (pulled from fruit and added to food, drink, supplement) is not the same as eating an apple. Fructose added to sports bars, is still an added sugar. It isn't a 'safe' sugar simply because it was derived from fruit. Let's focus on whole food choices for kids and be mindful that added sugars in processed foods should be closely monitored - when we add these added sugars in with all the other foods that added sugars come in with - this is simply too much of a load across the year.

Angela | November 7, 2018

You know that the 5 grams of sugar in the gummies includes the natural sugar in the fruit, right? So these calculations are inaccurate at best, misleading at worst. I would have to say at least 3/4ths of the sugar comes from the fruit.

If you are so afraid of sugar -- you need to stop feeding your kids fruit for sure!! 19 grams of sugar in a single apple!! OH NO!!! If you give your kid an apple a day, that will be about 20 LBS of SUGAR IN ONE YEAR!!!

Haha. Don't you see how illogical this article is? Rationale is good to use when writing. So many people are sheeple and they believe anything they read without trying to see if it even makes logical sense.

Rebecca | November 2, 2017

Smarty pants has switched from folic acid to folate now.

Jocelyn | March 10, 2017

I think they've taken your review to heart. I just got my first bottle of the adult men's variety and it included an extra tag advising that it now contained "fully active folate" rather than folic acid. I'm not sure about the sugar content. It does not worry me that much because I think the increased pallatability is worth it after discontinuing my multi-vitamin pill regimen because I just got couldn't stand taking several pills in the morning--usually on an empty stomach. I also really like their probiotic.

Nick | January 28, 2017

I really like Nordic Naturals for fish oil, I notice the word is still out on multis - I like the a la carte approach for the few vitamins it makes sense to supplement;-) (just a friendly .02:-)

Elizabeth | January 19, 2017

Angela

Here is the group I recommend: http://siboguru.com/product-category/babies-and-kids/

Angela | July 23, 2016

I see the following question was never answered....

What multi-mineral and an omega supplements do you recommend for children?

Do you have a recommendation?????

T-Mac | January 30, 2016

My choice will always be Juice Plus.

Betty Quave | October 15, 2015

Angela

I really like Progressive multi chewable and Pharmax Cod Liver Oil or Green Pastures fish oil and Pharmax or Klaire Ther.biotic probiotics.

Angela

Angela | December 16, 2014

What multi-mineral and an omega supplements do you recommend for children?

TAS | December 16, 2014


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