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It's Time For A Better Kids Vitamin!

Updated: 6 days ago

It’s no secret that a lot of kids don’t eat as well as they should. Because of this, many parents give their kids vitamins to help fill in the gaps.

Kids chewable vitamins

Unfortunately, the kids vitamins on the market have a lot of drawbacks and are filled with all kinds of crap. However, since there have been no clean, whole-food children's vitamins, what choice did people have but to use the subpar products?

There is a multitude of problems with nearly all kid's vitamins.

The average kid's gummy or chewable vitamin should really be called the destroyers of teeth. Packed with sugar and acidic vitamins like ascorbic acid, they go at tooth enamel like I go at croissants. Ask your dentist how they feel about gummy vitamins. 

Refined sugars - There is no question about it; nearly every kid consumes far too much refined sugar. A lot of kid’s vitamins contain loads of refined sugar. You will see it under many different names, such as:

  • Tapioca maltodextrin

  • Maltodextrin

  • Cane sugar

  • Dextrose

  • Fructose

  • Corn syrup

  • High fructose corn syrup

  • Agave

The last thing kids need is a bunch of refined sugar in their multivitamins. One very popular kid’s vitamin contains nearly the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of added sugar per serving. How healthy!

Kids Gummy Vitamins Supplement Facts

No kid needs to start the day with this much refined sugar from a vitamin.

Those that don’t use sugar often contain sugar alternatives, these include:

  • Artificial

  • Splenda (sucralose)

  • Aspartame

  • Acesulfame K

  • Saccharin

  • Sugar Alcohols

  • Xylitol

  • Maltitol

  • Sorbitol

  • Erythritol

  • “Natural sweeteners”

  • Stevia

  • Monk Fruit

  • Allulose

All of these sweeteners have significant drawbacks and are best to be avoided. The stevia added to kid’s vitamins (and many foods) is not what people think it is. Most people believe that it is just some ground-up stevia leaves. When you see stevia listed in the ingredients, nearly all of the time, it is some isolated compounds called steviol glycosides, not whole stevia leaf. Whole stevia leaf powder is green and has a potent aftertaste. Any white stevia powder is a heavily refined product, nothing like stevia leaves. In addition, several health concerns are related to the consumption of isolated steviol glycosides. As with other no-calorie sweeteners, it can increase sugar cravings.

Monk fruit has similar issues to stevia. Despite its natural, whole-food product image, it is anything but. The process of making monk fruit sweetener purifies and isolates several compounds. It is nothing like eating whole food, despite the marketing of it. It also can increase sugar cravings. There are also ethical issues with the labor used to harvest most of it.

In addition, the long-term effects of children consuming non-nutritive sweeteners have not been studied.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Rather than conduct a science experiment on our kids, it's probably best to avoid them until their safety can be determined.

Most liquid vitamins contain preservatives like sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, which no kid needs. In addition, many vitamins are not stable in liquid, resulting in liquid vitamins quickly losing their potency.

Nearly all kid’s vitamins contain artificial or “natural” flavorings. Most people do not understand that “natural” flavors are anything but natural. Often, companies will claim that it is made from the fruit that the flavor claims to be, but this is nothing but marketing speak. Companies that develop and sell “natural” flavorings are not required to list the ingredients that go into making the flavorings. There are over three thousand that can be used.

The FDA defines flavors as:

Now, you would think that the FDA regulates natural flavors and decides which ones are safe. Unfortunately, as with most things in our government, corporate interests decide that.

A trade group, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association serves as the de facto regulator. I’m sure you can imagine where their funding comes from. This group operates with the blessing of the FDA. How has letting corporations decide what is safe worked out for us in the past? In Europe, corporations must have their flavors and other ingredients reviewed by an independent agency; their word is not just accepted. Here, we let them decide, and the FDA accepts their recommendations.

The organization does not make the vast majority of its research publicly available.

Gee, I wonder why they might not want to publicize their research.

So basically, they are saying, no, you cannot see the ingredients, no, you cannot see the research, you just have to trust us.

Letting corporations decide what is safe, with little to no oversight, always works out great, right? It’s not like any of these companies have a long history of doing horrible things, right?

Another issue with flavorings is that they allow companies to use cheaper, inferior, and poor-quality ingredients, and the flavors cover it up. Why pay the money for real fruit powder when you can spend next to nothing on Frankenstein “fruit” flavoring? The next time you see a product with “natural” flavorings, be aware that you can never really know what is in it and if it was adequately tested to be safe.

A big problem with gummy vitamins is the manufacturing process. Making a gummy requires a much harsher process than making a capsule or powder. This means that many raw materials cannot be used because they do not hold up to the process. That is why nearly all gummy vitamins have to use poor quality forms of nutrients because the better forms break down, are not stable enough, or become degraded during the harsh processing steps that gummy vitamins have to go through.

Ingredient potency is a real problem for a lot of gummy vitamins. Due to stability issues and harsh processing during the gummy vitamin manufacturing process, many of them fail to meet the amounts of ingredients claimed on the label. To try to fix this issue, companies spray the vitamins onto the outside of the gummy, like how flavoring is added to many candies. However, this creates stability problems and will cause many nutrients to degrade faster.

Kids gummy vitamins

Let's stop teaching our kids that candy is healthy.

Most ultra-processed foods targeted towards kids, such as cereal and goldfish, are packed with synthetic vitamins. The average kid is getting plenty of those. What they are missing is nutrient-dense whole foods.

Identifying the problems with kid’s vitamins was easy. Finding something clean that kids would take was another story. As we all know, kids will only take something if it tastes good.

So, what were we looking for in a kid’s vitamin?

First up, it had to be free of all “natural” and artificial flavorings for the reasons listed above. We wanted the taste to come from whole foods, such as organic fruit.

Second, it needed to be free of sweeteners. Most kids get far too much sugar, so added sugars were out of the question, and we did not want the negative effects on the teeth that come from sweetened chewables and gummies. All of the alternative sweeteners have problems (including xylitol, monk fruit, and stevia), such as negatively impacting the gut microbiome and increasing cravings for sweets, so those were out of the question.

Thirdly, it needed to be free of common allergens, such as wheat,  gluten, tree nuts, peanuts,  shellfish, and soy, so that as many children as possible could use it.

Fourth was that it needed to be 100% whole food. This meant that only nutrient-dense whole foods would be used to create the most nourishing supplement possible. We wanted foods that contained nutrients in their most bioavailable forms as well. We certainly did not need another fake whole food kid's vitamin; there are plenty of those on the market already.

No synthetic or isolated vitamins would be used at any time in the process. This would be the first 100% whole food kid’s multivitamin on the market. Check out our blog to learn more about the difference between real whole-food supplements and fake ones. 

We wanted a product that was traceable back to the farms it came from so we could know that it was produced ethically and free of contamination. Check out our Farm-To-Bottle Project to learn more about why it is essential to know exactly where the ingredients in a supplement come from.

Lastly, it had to have sufficient amounts of ingredients. Unfortunately, fairy dusting is an all too common practice in the supplement industry. This is where companies put lots of ingredients into a product to make the label look good and make it more marketable, but the amounts of each ingredient are too low actually to do anything. Here is an example of that:

Kids chewable vitamins supplement facts

While that fruit and vegetable blend might look good on the label, a twenty-five-milligram blend of twelve fruits and vegetables means you only get about two milligrams of each, which is a tiny spec and certainly not enough to contribute to fruit and vegetable intake. Virtually nothing, but it looks good on the label. Any whole food kid's vitamin would have to have sufficient amounts of those whole foods, not just label padding.

What to look for in a kids vitamin

Unfortunately, a product that checked all of our boxes did not exist. Thankfully, one of our favorite whole-food supplement partners, NXGEN Wholefoods, was willing to step up and make one for us.

So, what’s in it?

It contains freeze-dried organic Australian strawberries and freeze-dried, regeneratively farmed, organic, grass-fed Australian beef liver. That’s it! No fillers, no binders, no flavorings, no colors, no sweeteners, and no junk!

Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, which made it the natural choice if we wanted a product that could pack the most nutrition into a concentrated powder. That way, we could avoid the use of synthetic vitamins. The liver is quickly freeze-dried after harvest and milled into a powder; that’s it! It is traceable back to the farms in the Australian Outback where it comes from. The cows spend their days roaming the Lake Eyre region, eating a wide variety of grasses and plants. Australia runs a strict monitoring and testing program for Mad Cow Disease (BSE), so there is no risk of that. The cows are not given hormones or antibiotics.

One thing we hear a lot is people being afraid to eat beef liver because it stores toxins. This is completely untrue.

The liver does store important nutrients, which is what makes it a nutritional powerhouse, but it filters and removes toxins. If someone's liver stored toxins instead of filtering and removing them, they would quickly become very ill. Removing toxins is one of the main and most important functions of the liver.

There is no risk of getting toxins from eating properly raised beef liver. In addition, the liver in this product is third-party tested for contaminants.

Strawberries are no slouch themselves. They are rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, potassium, and more. These are not your run-of-the-mill, bland strawberries from the grocery store. These are picked at just the right time to maximize nutritional content and taste. Then they are quickly freeze-dried and powdered; that’s it!

The powder can be eaten as is, like a natural take on a pixy stick, or added to smoothies, yogurt, applesauce, and ice cream. It can also be mixed into baked goods and sauces. The opportunities are endless, so get creative.

Kids breakfast smoothie recipe

The question we got the most asked during this process was, "Why not make a chewable?" Well, the answer is that it’s not really possible to make a whole food kids' chewable multivitamin without it being pretty much useless. Freeze-dried whole foods take up a lot of space. This would result in a chewable that contained too little of any ingredient to be beneficial or would require a huge number of chewables to be taken daily. In addition, it would have to contain the ingredients we wanted to avoid to hold it together.

We are so excited to partner with NXGEN Wholefoods to bring you the first truly whole-food kid’s multivitamin!

Use code kids at checkout to save 10%!

If you have any questions about it, email, and we would be happy to help!


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