(CMR) Kids often do not like taking pills or medicine, and gummies seem like a sweet and easy way to help the medicine go down. But there may be a downside to giving your kids gummies.
Pediatrician Natalie Muth, M.D., RDN told Parents gummies are usually higher in added sugar than other vitamins. It's not uncommon for a serving (typically two gummies) to have almost a teaspoon of added sugar. Considering the recommended limit is six teaspoons a day, that's a lot!
Another pitfall identified by Parents is that gummies look and taste like candy. Some are even coated in sugar, making them seem more like Sour Patch Kids than a supplement. So kids may be tempted to take more than they need—which can be harmful, especially if the vitamin contains iron, which the body only needs in small amounts.
Because gummy vitamins are sticky and chewy, they're also more prone to cling to the teeth and increase the risk for cavities, in the same way, that tacky candy-like caramel does.
The truth is, most kids don't even need supplements, stated Dr. Muth in an interview with Parents. The exceptions: Breastfeeding babies benefit from vitamin D and iron. Kids with borderline anemia need additional iron. And when a diet limits food groups or categories of food, such as a vegan diet or a dairy restriction, supplements can help provide needed nutrients like vitamin B12 and calcium.
A multivitamin can act as a sort of “insurance” for children with severe picky eating while they're learning to expand their diet, Dr. Muth said.
Some experts suggets that parents should look for a chewable tablet instead of a gummy if they can, and compare brands to find one with less sugar. Parents are also advised to, choose one that doesn't contain artificial dyes.
Parents are also warned not to be wowed by fancy supplements that contain added herbs because supplements aren't well regulated, so it's hard to know if children are really getting the nutrients they need.
Parents should also look for Daily Values around 100 percent as more is not better. And if you do choose a gummy, have your child brush her teeth afterward when possible.
Finally, be sure your kids know that vitamins aren't candy—and always keep them out of reach for young kids.