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Do kids really need multivitamins? 

There is an ongoing debate among parents and pediatricians on whether kids really need vitamin supplements. And because we focus on creating vitamin-enriched snacks, such as fruit gummies in Lucky Eggs, we decided to take a closer look at this question.

The main argument against vitamin supplements is that a healthy and balanced diet provides you with everything you need. But we live in the modern world where we are always on the go and keeping up with a healthy diet every day can be a challenge. In addition to this, kids often refuse to eat nutritious foods, asking for treats that are high in sugar instead.  So, turning to vitamin supplements to enrich kids’ diet might be the reasonable thing do after all.

To illustrate this point better, we decided to research how much non-processed food kids need every day to reach their recommended daily vitamin needs. Our Happy Eggs come with Vitamin C and our Lucky Eggs come with multivitamin gummies that include Vitamins A, B6, B9 (folic acid), B12, C, D, E, biotin, zinc, and iodine. Let’s see how these nutrients can be obtained in proper amounts daily through natural foods.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is crucial for normal vision, a strong immune system, and reproduction. It also helps lungs and kidneys function properly. It is found in fish and meats such as salmon and beef liver, green leafy vegetables, other green, yellow, and orange vegetables (broccoli, carrots, squash), and fruits such as cantaloupe, mangos, and apricots. According to Consumerlab.com, kids between ages 4 and 8 need at least 0.4 mg and kids age 9 to 13 need at least 0.6 mg of Vitamin A per day. This is equivalent to ½ to ¾ cup of carrots.

Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid)

Folate is needed to make DNA and other genetic material; it is also needed for cells to divide. This vitamin is found in beef liver, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, oranges, nuts, beans, and peas. Kids aged 4 to 8 years need 0.2 mg and kids aged 9 to 13 years need 0.3 mg of Vitamin B9 daily. This is equivalent to 1 to 1.5 cups of black beans or one banana.

Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid)

Folate is needed to make DNA and other genetic material; it is also needed for cells to divide. This vitamin is found in beef liver, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, oranges, nuts, beans, and peas. Kids aged 4 to 8 years need 0.2 mg and kids aged 9 to 13 years need 0.3 mg of Vitamin B9 daily. This is equivalent to 1 to 1.5 cups of black beans or one banana.

Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B6 aids in proper brain development and function. It is also crucial for good mood, sleep, and mental health. B6 is found in poultry, fish, organ meats, potatoes, and fruits. Kids aged 4-8 need at least 0.6 mg and kids 9-13 need 1 mg of this important vitamin every day. This amount of B6 can be found in 3-6 ounces of salmon or 1 cup of canned chickpeas, for example.

Vitamin B 12

Vitamin B12 is important in nerve and blood cell health; it helps our bodies make DNA and genetic material and helps prevent some types of anemia. It is found in beef liver, clams, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Kids ages 4 to 13 need 0.0012 to 0.0018 mg of B12 per day. They can get this amount of the vitamin from 1 – 1.5 cups of low-fat milk or 3 to 4 ounces of broiled beef.

Biotin 

Biotin is a B-vitamin that helps our bodies turn carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from the foods we consume into our much-needed energy. Foods that provide biotin include meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. Four to eight-year-old kids’ daily need of biotin is 0.012 mg and for 9 to 13-year-olds it’s 0.02 mg. This much biotin can be obtained from 1 to 2 cooked eggs, or 1 to 2 cups of sunflower seeds.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, acts as an antioxidant, which means it minimizes the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, pollution, and sunlight on our bodies. This nutrient is also needed to heal wounds and maintain strong immune systems. The best sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, red and green peppers, and kiwifruit.  Kids of ages 4 to 8 need at least 25 mg and kids 9 to 13 need 45 mg of Vitamin C daily. This amount can be found in one medium-sized orange.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency in both kids and adults is a widespread problem not only in the U.S. but all over the world. This vitamin is needed to maintain healthy bones, muscles, nerves, and immune system. Besides sunlight, salmon, tuna, and mackerel are the best natural sources of Vitamin D. According to the National Institutes of Health, kids between ages 1 and 13 need about 0.15 mg of this nutrient daily. This equals 12 ounces of tuna or 4 ounces of salmon.

Vitamin E

Similar to Vitamin C, Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant and boosts the immune system. It also helps to widen blood vessels so blood can move freely.  It is present in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and green vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Children ages 4 to 8 need about 7 mg and children ages 9 to 13 need about 11 mg of Vitamin E daily. These amounts can be found in 1 to 2 ounces of almonds.

Zinc

Kids’ bodies need zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also helps wounds to heal and aids in DNA formation. The best sources of zinc are seafood, poultry, and red meat. Children aged 4 to 9 need 5 mg and children aged 9 to 13 need 8 mg of zinc per day.  This equals 3 to 5 ounces of cashews or 3 to 5 ounces of broiled beef.

Iodine

Iodine is a mineral needed for hormone production and metabolism. It is found in seafood, dairy, grain foods (bread and cereal), and iodized salt. Kids 4-8 need 0.09 mg of iodine and kids 9-13 need 0.12 mg of iodine per day, which amounts to about 7 to 10 ounces of shrimp, for example.

Let’s sum it up!

Considering the data above, in order to fulfill their daily needs of Vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E, biotin, zinc, and iodine, a child 4 to 13 years of age would need to eat approximately a cup of carrots, one banana, one cup of chickpeas, 2 cups of milk, 2 eggs, one orange, 4 ounces of salmon, 2 ounces of almonds, 4 ounces of cashews, and 9 ounces of shrimp in one day.

Final thoughts

Technically nothing is impossible, and some kids might be able to receive an ideal nutrition every single day. But because children spend a good chunk of their time at school and many parents might simply not have enough time during the week to calculate and prepare ideal meals, getting their nutrients in the right amounts every day can be a challenge for children nowadays, unless they take some vitamin supplements.

Keeping this in mind, Eggs Time developed Happy Eggs with Vitamin C gummies and Lucky Eggs with multivitamin gummies. These chewy candies pop with sweet fruity flavor to keep the kids satisfied. They are enriched with multivitamins to provide children with essential nutrients throughout the day.

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