Are kids vitamin gummies good for my child?

Kids vitamin gummies are popular among kids and their parents. But are they a good idea and do they offer any health benefits?

kids vitamin gummies

Kids vitamin gummies are popular among kids and their parents. But are they a good idea and do they offer any health benefits? 

Kids gummy vitamins are popular among kids and their parents. They look appetising and you don’t need to have any battles to get your children to take their daily multi. They’re also relatively affordable.  

And let’s face it, who wouldn’t love a little squishy colourful gummy that tastes good and offers health benefits too?

But don’t be fooled by the clever marketing and the fun packaging. The truth is, kids vitamin gummies fall short of the mark when compared to quality supplements.  

Kids gummy vitamins contain limited nutrients

One of the main reasons I don’t recommend kids multi-vitamin gummies is because they generally have fewer nutrients than you’re led to believe. As they need to have sugars, flavours and fillers to create the gummy texture, they simply can’t pack in as many vitamins and minerals.

A limited amount of nutrients means your child probably isn’t gaining any therapeutic benefit from taking the gummy vitamins. So if you’re using them to treat a particular state of health such as acutely during a cold, you’re not going to see much improvement.

Take a popular brand of kids gummy multi-vitamin, for example. It’s marketed this supplement contains 9 nutrients that will support your child’s growth and development, including brain and immune system function.

Compare it to a practitioner-only kids multi-vitamin powder supplement which contains 30 nutrients.

When we look at the actual formulation of the individual vitamins and minerals kids gummies contain, there is a noticeable difference in the quantity. For example, the vitamin C contained in a popular kids gummy is only 15mg, compared to 50mg of the practitioner-only supplement.

The practitioner-only supplement contains 400IU of vitamin D3 whereas the gummies contain just 50IU. As you can see, there is a considerable difference in the formulation of these on-the-shelf kids multi-vitamin gummies.

As a general rule, 400-500IU of vitamin D3 per day is an appropriate therapeutic dose for children aged between 5-12 years old.

Furthermore, many popular kids vitamin gummies also don’t contain iron, which is one of the more common nutrient deficiencies seen in children. Iron deficiency is associated with fatigue, fussy eaters, frequent infections, sleep disturbances and ADHD in children.

If you’re trying to treat a specific health condition, kids vitamin gummies are simply not going to cut it.

Kids multi-vitamin gummies contain sugars

The reason kids are happy to take their daily multi-vitamin in the morning isn’t just because they look cute and squishy. The appealing taste usually comes from the sugar or sugar alcohols that are added.

 The use of sugar needs to be declared on the labels but the actual amount doesn’t. In those kids gummies that do note the amount, it may not seem like a lot of sugar.

For example, one popular multi-vitamin kid’s gummies product contains about ½ teaspoon of sugar in two gummies (the dosage for children over 4). 

While it may not seem much, this contributes to the excessive intake of sugar children are already consuming. Not only is a high intake associated with the growing obesity problem in Australia, but also the increase in tooth decay problems.

The nature of a gummy is particularly concerning as they tend to stick to children’s teeth. The sugars provide food for the bacteria that are responsible for dissolving the tooth enamel to thrive. This results in life-long challenges and irreparable damage to children’s teeth.

Does your child need a multi-vitamin? 

kids vitamin gummies

I commonly get asked, “do I need to give my child a multi-vitamin?”. In my opinion, this is a loaded question that requires more exploration than can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Does your child eat a variety of seasonal whole foods? Is your produce locally grown? Does your child have any symptoms or conditions that require adequate support?

There are a variety of reasons why your child should consume a multi-vitamin supplement. If you’re struggling to get a variety of fresh produce into your child’s diet, for example, a multi-vitamin during this time may be beneficial as a stop gap. There also might be periods of time where a boost of a multitude of nutrients could be helpful.

However, there are also several reasons why I wouldn’t prescribe a multi-vitamin. For example, if your child does have some health challenges, a more targeted supplement may be more suitable.

But a multi-vitamin is not a magic pill and it shouldn’t be used in replace of a healthy, diverse diet. Synthetic vitamins simply can’t provide what nutritious, whole foods can. 

However, it’s worth remembering, your fresh wholefoods are only going to be as nutritious as the environment they’re grown in. If your soil is lacking nutrients due to over-farming and modern-day farming techniques, the fruits and vegetables you eat will also lack vital nutrients. Likewise, if your produce is picked, shipped and stored in a warehouse for a long period of time before you eat it, most of the nutrients will be lost.

If you do decide to supplement your child with specific vitamins and minerals, it’s worth speaking to a health professional. Don’t be fooled by claims and eye-catching packaging and do your research if you’re buying something off the shelf.

Regardless of whether it’s kids multi-vitamin gummies or practitioner recommended product, these are not something you should give your child willy-nilly.


Book a consult!

If you’re concerned whether your child needs added nutrient support, book a consult.

As a registered nutritionist, Sarah offers online or in-person nutrition consultations. These are designed to ensure your child’s growth and develop is supported adequately with nutrition and to assist with overcoming health challenges.

During these consults, Sarah provides a personalised nutritional assessment and evidence-based recommendations to improve the health and wellbeing of your child.

Find out more about nutrition consultations here