The vitamin supplement industry has been a little under fire recently, with many hopping the bandwagon that in North America, with all the food advantages that we have plus a little “outdoor time” thrown in, they’re not required. All well and good, except for one thing: I’m not sure that all children in North America are getting those food advantages.
Food insecurity isn’t a little problem in Canada, and as a person who donates a lot of resources to food banks here in Hamilton, I’m well aware of the kinds of foods that usually end up in the hands of the hungry: high starch carbs like pasta; cheap, sugary cereals; juice boxes; grains like oatmeal; non-nutritive foods like canned beans. There’s a lot of additives and preservatives, artificial colorings, and sugary garbage; not so much protein, not so much fresh fruit and vegetables, little in the way of nutrient-dense good foods.
But the other problem with those reports also overlook people struggling to achieve a balance with dietary problems. As the mother of a child with severe food allergies, making sure that he is getting adequate nutrition is always top of my mind.
When kidlet broke his collarbone twice, for example, I was sent into a tailspin wondering if he was getting enough calcium in his diet. I know this isn’t something that most of the population here in North America worries about, but then again, most kids have no problem consuming milk, yogurt, and cheese.
A kid who’s allergic to dairy, nuts, and peanuts is mostly limited to eating foods prepared from scratch (hence the food blog!), and there’s a lot of side benefits to not eating prepackaged foods. There’s way fewer preservatives, artificial flavours, and artificial colours in our diets. We consume less sodium and sugar than the average person. Fats are more natural, and of the better varieties, since we replace almost everything with olive oil or coconut oil.
But there’s also one significant downside. When virtually all prepackaged foods are off the table, a lot of vitamin and mineral supplementation that people in North America take for granted is also lost.
It’s easy to dismiss, or say it’s not a big deal. After all, I’d wager he eats leafy greens better than the average six year old boy, so why should I worry? But eating better isn’t necessarily enough, and enough is a pretty hard thing to define on a day to day basis. Study after study has linked malnutrition and missing vitamins and minerals to immune function, decreased cognitive function, attention and behaviour problems, and school performance. I want the best for my son; he’s the only one we’ve got.
And if I’m worried about his development with food allergies, how much more is a child in a food-insecure household at risk?
On top of all this, we live in a part of Canada that requires covering up for 4-6 months of the year. A. Marc Gillinov, M.D., said that vitamin D is unnecessary in the oft-cited article in Huffington Post; 10 minutes of sunlight a day can provide you all you need! But how many of us can say that we get 10 minutes of sunlight every day? We live in southern Ontario, and in the depths of January and February, temperatures plummet, and we are bundled up to our noses against wind-chill factors between -20 and -30C, and heavily overcast skies may plague us for days at a time.
It’s a lot of pressure to have when you know that a child’s diet relies more or less exclusively on you. So we supplement, and gladly, because what all the reports I have read failed to prove to me is that there is any harm in supplementing a child.
Over the years, I’ve discarded several bottles of vitamins–gummy and not–for being bitter, chalky, unpleasant to taste, difficult to chew, too large, or too much of an inconvenience. That’s money down the drain for us, which is frustrating.
Last week, however, we tried the brand new honibe honey gummies™, which are available for both adults and children over 4. The first ingredient is pure Canadian honey, and the label is very clear and easy to read. Best of all, I was relieved to hear the very first word out of my kid’s mouth: “Yummm!”
I’m pretty sure that this is something that he’s never said about a vitamin before, so I’ve elected to participate in a giveaway for a year’s supply of honibe honey gummies™ (6 bottles).
More about honibe honey gummies™:
- 50% less refined sugar per dose than other major brands of vitamin gummies, according to honibe®.
- honibe honey gummies™ recommends a dosage of one a day, versus recommended dosage of 2 a day for many other brands.
- Free of gluten, dairy, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
- For every bottle of honibe honey gummies™ sold via their website, honibe® will donate $0.25 cents to the charity organization Vitamin Angels. This is enough money to provide one child in a developing nation with a year’s supply of Vitamin A.
- When you buy any 2 bottles of honibe honey gummies™, you will receive a FREE bottle of honibe honey gummies™ Fruit and Vegetable PLUS free shipping for your WHOLE order.
Important giveaway info: Please note the giveaway is only open in Canada, excluding Quebec. The giveaway will be a years supply of honibe honey gummies™ (6 bottles). The product will be delivered in 2 shipments of 3 bottles each.
Disclaimer: I received compensation in exchange for trying the new honibe honey gummies™. Opinions on the taking supplements are my own and not a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.
For more information on what’s in honibe honey gummies™, please check out their website.