Next-Gen

PSA: Not All Gummy Multivitamins Are Created Equal

5 min read

Not all kids gummy vitamins are created equal. Learn about which ingredients to look for—and which to avoid.
Not all kids gummy vitamins are created equal. Learn about which ingredients to look for—and which to avoid.

When it comes to getting your kid to take their multivitamins, sometimes it might feel like you have to settle—or else risk them refusing to take it at all. But while Ritual’s own team of parents certainly understands the art of picking your battles, we also believe that there are certain things we shouldn’t have to compromise on.

That was the driving force behind creating Essential for Kids: The fact that we wanted to give our kids a multivitamin that was formulated without additives like sugar, but was still tasty enough for them to actually ask for it every day. That, and it had to meet all of Ritual’s other sky-high standards: vegan-friendly, a traceable ingredient list, and key nutrient forms that help fill gaps in kids’ diets. We think we ticked all those boxes—ultimately introducing a gummy multivitamin unlike any of the other bestsellers on the market.*

But let’s take a closer look at how Essential for Kids actually compares, shall we?

Five out of five of the best-selling kids multivitamin brands† contain sugar in every serving.

Each serving of Essential for Kids is formulated without sugar or sugar alcohols.*

We understand that when you’re trying to get your picky eater to take a multivitamin, a candy-like gummy multivitamin might seem better than no multivitamin at all. But we also believe that parents shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to helping support their kids’ health—which is why we formulated our multivitamin gummies to be sugar-free, without sacrificing flavor. No shady additives or artificial sweeteners, either.*

Only one of the top five best-selling kids multivitamin brands contains Omega-3 DHA, and it's sourced from fish.†

Essential for Kids contains 50mg of a vegan-friendly Omega-3 DHA.*

Look—Omega-3 DHA is kind of a big deal where nutrition is concerned (yours, too!). DHA helps support brain health as a key component of brain cell membranes. But there may be a couple of caveats with other gummy multivitamins on the market: Either they don’t include Omega-3 DHA, or they source it from fish. Ritual’s formula includes a vegan Omega-3 DHA. Plus, we source ours from microalgae, which means it’s vegan-friendly.* On that note…

Five out of five of the best-selling kids multivitamin brands contain animal products like gelatin.†

Essential for Kids contains no animal products and is entirely vegan-friendly.*

On top of our vegan Omega-3 DHA, we skipped the gelatin found in many other gummy multivitamins on the market. (Ritual’s founder is vegan, so that was a non-negotiable.)

None of the five best-selling kids multivitamin brands combine Omega-3 DHA, fiber, and a multivitamin in one serving.†

The 3-in-1 technology in Essential for Kids conveniently combines Omega-3 DHA, fiber, and a multivitamin in one serving.*

Our own team of picky parents know that convenience is key—and that meant packaging three key components into one delicious multi kids are actually excited to take.

As we mentioned, Omega-3 DHA helps support brain health. Our fiber and prebiotic blend helps support digestive health. And as for the “multivitamin” element? That’s the umbrella term we use for the other key nutrients we include in Essential for Kids.*

The bottom line is that while we always take a “food first” approach to our formulations—that is, recommending our customers consume the bulk of their nutrients through a balanced diet—we also know that it can be easier said than done when it comes to kids and picky eating. That’s why our scientific team compared recommended nutrient intake with national data around what kids ages 4-12 actually eat…and ultimately landed on Essential for Kids to help bridge nutrient gaps.*

Zinc, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin C help support normal immune function; Choline partners with Omega-3 DHA to support brain health; and Vitamin K2, D3 and Zinc to support bone health. We also include Iodine, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin E.*

Five out of five of the best-selling kids multivitamin brands use the synthetic form of Folate, Folic Acid.†

Essential for Kids uses 5-MTHF, a bioavailable form of Folate.*

Fun fact: Up to one-third of people have a genetic variation that makes it difficult to efficiently utilize folic acid, the synthetic form of folate. As with all of our multivitamins, we bypass this by using a form of folate called 5-MTHF, which is a bioavailable form of folate—even for those who have that genetic variation. (That’s important, since folate helps support DNA methylation and brain health.)*

Bonus: We champion a Made Traceable approach—that is, unyielding transparency when it comes to decisions that impact you (and your kids!) and the planet.

We strongly believe that our customers deserve to know what’s going into their bodies and why. That’s why we’re committed to not only working with manufacturers that share our values for sustainability and science, but lifting the veil to that process and allowing you to trace where our nutrients come from. For example, did you know that our vitamin D3 is sourced from lichen, a kind of moss? Or that the microalgae that produces our Omega-3 DHA is grown on sustainable plots? Or that our packaging is made from 100% recycled materials? All these little things can add up to a big impact, and our pledge is to keep our customers in the loop, always.*

†Based on the top 5 US multivitamin brands that carry a kids multivitamin SKU by 2019 & trailing 12 month retail sales (through April '20)

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Meet Our Experts

This article features advice from members of our science team.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

Science Thumb — Kevin

Kevin Ewell, MPH, VP, Product Innovation

Kevin Ewell received his MPH at Rutgers University where he researched the safety of personal care products. He has worked with prominent companies, including The Honest Company, J&J, Unilever and Estee Lauder. He has over twelve years of R&D experience in the personal care space and is inventor of several patents related to cosmetics and household cleaning.

Science Thumb — Kevin

Kevin Ewell, MPH, VP, Product Innovation

Kevin Ewell received his MPH at Rutgers University where he researched the safety of personal care products. He has worked with prominent companies, including The Honest Company, J&J, Unilever and Estee Lauder. He has over twelve years of R&D experience in the personal care space and is inventor of several patents related to cosmetics and household cleaning.

Science Thumb — Nima

Dr. Nima Alamdari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Nima Alamdari is Chief Scientific Officer at Ritual. He was previously faculty at Harvard University where he researched muscle metabolism in health and disease. He received a PhD in Muscle Physiology and a First Degree in Biochemistry from The University of Nottingham in the UK. He has authored many original articles in top international peer-reviewed journals and presented at world-leading international conferences.

Science Thumb — Nima

Dr. Nima Alamdari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Nima Alamdari is Chief Scientific Officer at Ritual. He was previously faculty at Harvard University where he researched muscle metabolism in health and disease. He received a PhD in Muscle Physiology and a First Degree in Biochemistry from The University of Nottingham in the UK. He has authored many original articles in top international peer-reviewed journals and presented at world-leading international conferences.