Have the Flintstones become evil?!
No, we’re not talking about the classic cartoon… we’re talking about the multivitamins.
For those of you who didn’t grow up with these delicious little devils (we’ll explain the evil soon, we promise!), the Flintstones are one of the most popular multivitamins in the US.
But did you know that they – along with pretty much every other multivitamin out there – actually contain a carefully hidden ingredient that’s highly detrimental to a growing child’s health?
We’ll explain in a moment… but first, an important question:
Should your child take multivitamins?
This question carries some debate.
While doctors agree that a complete diet will typically contain all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, such a diet is sadly not as common as we’d all like to believe.
Take this fact for example: According to a recent study, 71% of children aged 4 to 8 do not get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
And it doesn’t get much better as they age: 62% of girls and 68% of boys aged 9 to 13 aren’t getting the fruits and veggies they need, either.
So it’s only natural that many parents choose to supplement their child’s daily intake with multivitamins. In fact, according to a recent study, 34% of American children aged 2-17 take multivitamins.
Now for the big reveal. That secret ingredient we’ve been building up to? It’s one you also consume on a regular basis (we’re sure of it). Yes… it’s sweet, delicious, completely unhealthy SUGAR.
Sugar-packed multivitamins: Are they “worth it”?
As you may know, sugar is one of the least healthy ingredients a child can ingest.
Sadly… it’s likely also their favorite (in most cases, at least).
That means most multivitamin manufacturers include it in their recipes – typically because they believe children won’t consume something they don’t like.
It’s a classic trick: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?
Well sure, it may help it go down… but once it’s there, the negative effects start kicking in. And it can make you question whether this added dose of the white stuff is even worth the cost to your child’s health.
The far-reaching effects of sugar
Right now, the American Heart Association recommends children ages 2 to 18 years consume less than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar per day.
The main reason? Eating so much sugar at such a young age has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes.
In addition, sugar has been linked to hyperactivity, destructive behavior and restlessness in children.
“Children can’t choose a well-balanced diet,” says Edward Gaydos, DO. “But adults can, and should — right from the beginning.”
In fact, “Children younger than 2 years should have no sugar at all,” Dr. Gaydos told Cleveland Clinic in a recent interview.
Surely, we don’t need to tell you more about sugar – its detrimental effects are well-known.
So why is it that our multi-vitamins (which are supposed to be healthy) are so packed with this stuff?
Look closely: Sugar is in almost EVERY children’s multivitamin you’ll find!
Here’s a fun exercise: if your child takes multivitamins, go grab the bottle and then check this list:
These are just a few of the names that sugar hides under. No matter what form it’s hiding in, it still gets broken down into the same detrimental ingredient…
While multivitamins certainly make for an excellent “insurance policy” against vitamin deficiency, that impact is somewhat lost when you consider the sugar they’re taking in every day.
So, what can you do about it?
Right now you only have two options: Stop giving your child multivitamins, OR find a truly sugar-free multivitamin.
The only sugar-free multivitamin we’re aware of is Hiya Health – it’s sweetened with monk fruit, which doesn’t break down into sugar the same way those other ingredients do. Most importantly, kids actually love the taste… so they won’t notice a difference.
In a world where our choices in the grocery aisle are primarily chosen by large corporations, we love how Hiya Health is bringing fresh innovation to the industry.
It’s a really simple change – in fact, we’re surprised nobody else has cracked the “truly healthy multivitamin” code yet… and we won’t be surprised when the major brands start using monk fruit themselves. Until then, Hiya Health seems to be your best option if you choose to give your child multivitamins.
Of course, the other option is to ensure your child is getting their daily intake of vitamins and minerals via food. Doctors say that a balanced diet, when followed effectively, will provide everything your child needs.
This can be difficult to control… but in our minds, this truly is the best option. That said, multivitamins can still make for a solid “insurance policy” to ensure they aren’t missing out.
So, what do you think? Have you checked the label on your multivitamins lately? Were you surprised by what you found? Let us know in the comments below!
Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996491/ https://health.clevelandclinic.org/sugar-how-bad-are-sweets-for-your-kids/ https://www.additudemag.com/sugar-diet-nutrition-impact-adhd-symptoms/ https://www.openfit.com/other-names-for-sugar