Gummy vitamins for children: pros and cons

As your child starts to grow, he or she will need more than just milk. Just like adults, they should eat healthy, with colorful vegetables or fruit on the plate. After all, children need the nutrients from a balanced diet. To be healthy, they must consume vitamins and minerals. Soft and colorful gummy vitamins for kids are quite popular as a supplement. But should your child really eat gummy vitamins?

Gummy vitamins are called vitamins, but they don’t come in boring pill forms or tablets. They are chewable vitamins that come in a variety of flavors, colors and shapes. Komal Malik, chief dietitian, Asian Hospital, Faridabad, says these supplements taste and feel like gummy candies and are among the most commonly used vitamins. Children who don’t like pills may find these vitamins appealing.

Do not let your child consume supplements without medical advice. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

These vitamins are usually made from:

• Gelatin
• Corn starch
• Water
• Sugar
• Other dyes

Lemon, raspberry, cherry and orange are just some of the flavors your child can enjoy.

What are the pros and cons of gummy vitamins?

Gummy vitamins have several benefits, including the irresistible taste and the nutrients they provide.

1. Attractive taste

The appealing taste of gummy vitamins is one of their main benefits. Taking vitamins daily no longer feels like a chore because they come in many fruity flavors.

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2. Nutritional benefits

They usually contain nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium, making them beneficial for children who are picky eaters or have increased nutrient needs, the expert tells Health Shots.

3. Easy to carry

They are easy to fit into your child’s daily routine. All you have to do is just buy some gummies and let your child chew them. They are even easy to swallow, eliminating the need for water to drink with the vitamins.

4. Tasty alternative to pills

Gummy vitamins are a wonderful alternative for a child who hates taking pills. They make taking vitamins enjoyable and exciting, making it more likely that your child will stick to a daily schedule.

Also read: Nutritional Supplements for Children: Are They Necessary?

Child not interested in food
Gummy vitamins appeal to picky eaters. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

The downside is that they may contain added sugars or sugar alcohols that can be harmful. Consuming excess amounts of added sugar is linked to dental cavities, obesity and heart disease, says Malik. As for sugar alcohols, if consumed in large quantities they can lead to nausea, diarrhea, bloating and other digestive problems.

A 2015 study published in the journal Health Promotion Perspectives also found that children might be eating too many gummy vitamins because of their candy-like taste. This can put your child at risk of consuming too much of certain nutrients, especially if he or she also consumes foods fortified with vitamins and minerals. This could cause vitamin or mineral toxicity in children.

Gummy vitamins do offer some benefits, but there is a healthier way to provide children with all the necessary vitamins.

This includes adopting a well-rounded eating plan that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. This will help them naturally obtain the vitamins and minerals needed for their growing bodies, says the expert. You may also consider including fortified foods, such as cereal, milk, or yogurt, that contain added vitamins. For healthy snacks, nuts, seeds and dried fruit are some nutritious options. Fruits such as oranges which are rich in vitamin C and bananas which are a good source of potassium can also be given as a healthy snack.

When it comes to consuming vitamin supplements, always consult a doctor first.

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