What’s in Your Gummy Vitamins?

As I walk through the aisles of my favorite stores, I can’t help but notice the sticky, sugary, acid producing gummy multivitamins that many of my patients report using on a daily basis. So why do we as parents purchase them?

We all want what is best for our children. We want our children to be strong and healthy, and so we choose to purchase vitamins for them. Most parents will agree that vitamins and minerals are important to keeping their child healthy. Typically, we obtain our vitamins and minerals from the foods that we eat. When we have a well-balanced diet, all the vitamins and minerals we need are found in the food that we consume.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Healthy children receiving a normal, well-balanced diet do not need vitamin supplementation.” Thus, multivitamins may not be needed. However, for some kids that have a poor appetite or are picky eaters, a multivitamin may be recommended by their pediatrician.

When selecting your vitamins, an important tip is to check the label for the ingredients. Many of the gummy vitamins I have run across contain glucose syrup and sucrose as their main ingredients, which are essentially sugar.  Gummy vitamins may also contain different types of acids, such as citric acid, that can be destructive to your teeth. The combination of the different sugars, acids, and sticky texture of gummy vitamins creates a perfect environment in which cavities can flourish.  So, please check what is in your gummy vitamins.

Pro tips:

-Take vitamins after careful consideration-consult with your pediatrician before giving your child supplements. They may not always be necessary if they are eating a well-balanced diet.

-Check the ingredients: Sucrose and glucose are essentially sugar, and acid can destroy the outer layer of our tooth. Both of these can promote dental cavities.

-If you are selecting a vitamin, consider selecting one that dissolves in the mouth or that can be chewed, but is not sticky.

-If your child will only eat gummy vitamins, consider brushing after eating gummy vitamins to avoid leaving sugar from the vitamin on your little one’s teeth.