According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), as many as 15 million Americans currently have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under the age of 18. Additionally, approximately 30 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food. While most parents of kids with food allergies are well versed in what foods contain which allergens, what the might not know is that some kids multi-vitamins and supplements may contain harmful allergens. Here we will look at what is really in your child’s multi-vitamins and how to best choose supplements that are safe for kids with allergies.
What is in Kids Vitamins?
When you pick up that colorful bottle of multi-vitamins in all likelihood you probably don’t have the time to read the entire label. Honestly, most of us probably don’t. We often take peace in knowing that someone is making sure what goes into our kids vitamins are safe and healthy, right? Wrong! Many parents are frightened to learn that no one, not even the FDA is paying full attention to the ingredients in adult AND children’s vitamins and supplements. This means that we have to rely on the manufacturer to accurately convey what is inside those little bottles.
Once we know this, many of us take notice and start to read the ingredient lists. You will see a vitamin label that outlines the vitamin dosage and what percentage of the daily recommendation is met with each chewable or gummy. If you continue down the list you will see a section labeled “Other Ingredients”.
What are the Other Ingredients in My Kid’s Vitamins?
It is the portion of the label “other ingredients” that parents of children with allergies must pay careful attention to. While all parents should note this section for artificial ingredients, like colors, preservatives and flavors, there are potentially hazardous ingredients for kids with allergies. What food allergy parents need to know is that some vitamins may have trace or even larger amounts of the thing that can harm your child.
Are There Really Allergens in Vitamins?
Unfortunately, yes – many major brands of children’s vitamins have some amount of one or more of the major allergens, like milk, egg or soy. This comes as a shock to many parents as so many pediatricians recommend a multi-vitamin to round out what might be missing in ours kids diets as a result of their food allergies. Studies have shown that giving kids with food allergies a supplement is a safe and effective way to meet their nutritional needs.