Children’s Vitamins: Gummies or Chewables?
We recently took Captain Fussybuckets to the doctor for his 3rd year well child checkup and the pediatrician asked us if he was taking a daily vitamin. I proudly said "yes!" and she asked which one and I said "some gummy." She then went on to give me a lecture about how gummies don't have nearly enough vitamins and minerals in them and he needs to be on a chewable vitamin. Hmmm….I had never heard that before. He was on chewable vitamins about a year ago, but then I started finding them on the armrest of the couch or on the floor. He would suck on them for a minute and then spit them out. So, clearly a gummy that he actually chews up and swallows is better than a chewable that he just sucks on for a minute, but she left me scratching my head so I did some research.
Let me say that I'm NOT a doctor and I have no medical training, so take all of this with a grain of salt. But before you read any further, take note that vitamins are expensive and I have heard it said more than once that Americans have the most expensive urine in the world. Think about it…..we take all of these vitamins that we don't even know if we need and if they're not absorbed, well, you know what happens then. And with SO many of our food products being fortified with vitamins…from cereals to juice, chances are, you're getting plenty of vitamins even if you're not taking extra vitamins. But for growing kids, I still think that taking an extra vitamin is important. (And you for sure should take a prenatal vitamin if you're pregnant!)
Some pediatricians recommend toddlers and kids take vitamins, some do not. With our first two pediatricians, they never said a thing about vitamins. I do believe the general consensus is that if you don't give them too much vitamins and minerals, in unsafe levels, it "can't hurt." Kids "should be" getting their vitamins and minerals from food, but we all know that with picky toddlers and kids, that's hard to do.
|the Captain's vitamin of choice – Sour Gummies
So, back to the question…..are gummies and chewables the same? You have to read the labels. For this experiment, I am comparing Flintstones Complete chewables and Flintstones Complete gummies, and I'll be using the percent of the daily recommended amount for kids ages 2-3.
Flintstones Complete chewables: Flintstones Complete gummies:
- Vitamin A 60% 40%
- Vitamin C 75% 38%
- Vitamin D 50% 50%
- Vitamin E 150% 90%
- Thiamin (B1) 107% —
- Riboflavin (B2) 106% —
- Niacin 83% —
- Vitamin B6 143% 71%
- Folic Acid 100% 50%
- Vitamin B12 100% 50%
- Biotin 13% 25%
- Pant. Acid 100% 50%
- Calcium 6% —
- Iron 90% —
- Phosphorus 6% —
- Iodine 107% 21%
- Magnesium 5% —
- Zinc 75% 16%
- Copper 100% —
- Sodium * —
- Choline * *
* daily value not established
So it appears that maybe our pediatrician was right! Look at all the vitamins & minerals that are missing from the gummy! And nearly all of the percentages are far less in the gummy column than in the chewable column. And if you look at calcium…not that 6% is that great (chewable) but there is NO calcium in the gummy version! This is a bit concerning to me because my 3 year old RARELY drinks milk. Good thing he loves cheese and calcium fortified orange juice. I have bought him a separate calcium gummy, so I know they exist, but I would like them to all be rolled up into one.
One thing that does concern me about the chewable vitamin…..there are a lot of vitamins that have a higher percentage than the recommended daily value. I'm sure it's fine with those certain vitamins, but isn't too much of a good thing bad?
I'm not picking on Flintstones, by any means. I'm thinking that if you compare any gummy to a chewable, the chewable will always win. My pediatrician explained that they just can't put into a gummy what they put into a chewable. (which might explain why it's chalky and harder to take!) But, if you know of a gummy vitamin that your child takes that has all the recommended vitamins and minerals, or that even compares to a chewable, please, let me know!
So what should we do now? I like to think that some is better than none. I might try chewable vitamins again in the future, but vitamins are expensive, so why waste money on something my kid is not going to eat? I've even bought him some of those super fruit chews that have a ton of goodness jammed into them, but he hates those, too. So, we will stick with gummies for now and I'll just have to try my hardest to make sure he gets fortified cereals, pastas, juices, etc.
Have any tips for me? PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know!
**all vitamin information came from www.flintstonesvitamins.com**
Gena is the mom of two energetic boys, ages 4 and 2, the wife of a great man, a Christian, blogger, and former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom! They live in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas area!