In response to my post Looking For A Multivitamin Supplement For Your Toddler, Annie @ phdinparenting pointed out Arthur’s chewable multivitamins with concentrated fruits and veggies. I found the idea of adding fruits and veggies to multivitamins pretty interesting because they provide a natural source for vitamins and minerals. While shopping at my local Whole Foods store, I decided to spend some time in the children’s nutritional supplement section to research these types of multivitamins. Good thing the twins were not with me, so I could concentrate and take some notes instead of running after them through the store!

When I visited Walgreens a couple of weeks back, there were only 2-3 shelves of multivitamins from a handful of brands. But in Whole Foods, I was surprised to see a broad range of chewables, gummies, liquid formulations and powder packs of about 20 different brands of multivitamins and supplements. For some reason, Whole Foods seems to believe that the market for children’s multivitamins is much larger in our area! Not to mention that so much of variety makes it so much more difficult to select the right product at the right price. I will be writing a survey article on different brands in a future post.

In this post, I want to focus on a liquid formula multivitamin that caught my eye, not only because it claimed to be “natural” and based on herbal extracts and fruit juices, but also because of its high price. At $22.79 for an 8.5 oz bottle – which comes to just about $1 per dose – the Floradix® Kinder Love® Children’s Multivitamin Liquid Extract Formula seemed like the Rolls-Royce of multivitamins! After all, it is well known that the claims on nutritional supplements are not evaluated and approved by the FDA. And on a closer look, it did not even contain the full range of vitamins and minerals, and those that it did contain, fell short of the daily recommended values. So what could make it so expensive?

Here is my evaluation. Decide for yourself and leave a comment, especially if you are already using it for your child.

Floradix® Kinder Love® Children’s Multivitamin Liquid Extract Formula

floradixkinderlovemultivitamincomparison

Note that the color coding is same as what I described in my previous post – that is “Red” means the amount is less than 10% of the RDI (second column), “Yellow” means the amount is between 10 – 90%, and “Green” m eans the amount is 90% or more. If you look at the numbers, this one simply does not compare well to Centrum Kids and Flintstones Complete.

Here are some of the claims on Flora Health’s website:

  • Enhanced bone support – highly soluble form of calcium, vitamin D, no iron
  • Immune system support – vitamins and antioxidants
  • Formulated for maximum effectiveness and safety – optimal and balanced, not overloaded
  • Easy to digest liquid solution – easy on a child’s “immature” system
  • No harmful additives – artificial preservatives, food coloring, organic sources
  • Great taste – sweetened with fruit juice and maple syrup
  • Natrual food base – carrots, high mineral plants, mild digestive herbs, pH balanced

So far it looks very good indeed! But how much of it is scientifically proven? I could not find any data on Flora Health’s website, although it claims that their products are based on 50 years of scientific research.

I took a detailed look at the other listed ingredients to understand what value they might be providing. Most of them are herbs or extracts that mainly help with digestive problems and provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals (source: Herb and Supplement Encyclopedia on Flora’s website)

  • Anise – antioxidant, helps with digestive problems, clears up throat
  • Licorice root – sweetner, helps with respiratory problems, coughs, colds, flues and infections
  • Milfoil herb – stimulates appetite, helps with GI disorders cramps, diarrhea, flatulence and inflammation.
  • Horsetail herb – helps with water retention and constipation (increases urination). Contains silicon to improve structure of bones, cartilege, connective tissue and skin.
  • Camomile flowers – helps with indigestion and other GI problems
  • Peppermint leaves – reduces indigestion and heartburn
  • Water cress – provides natural vitamins (A and C) and minerals, increases flow of bile into intestines
  • Wheat germ – provides natural vitamin E
  • Coriander seed – helps with digestive complaints and stimulates appetite
  • Nettles – increases urination, helps with bone and joint conditions, provides vitamins and minerals
  • Rosehip extract – helps with digestion and constipation, provides natural vitamin C
  • Yeast extract – B vitamins and minerals

Here is what I like about this product:

  • Natural, plant and fruit based
  • Liquid based, so likely has better absorption and “bioavailability
  • Easy on the digestive system

Here is what I do not like about this product:

  • High price (Centrum Kids and Flintstones Complete is about 10-12 cents per tablet)
  • Does not contain iron and zinc, which means you have to use a second supplement
  • Amount of vitamins and minerals is low compared to the recommended daily intake

What is your opinion? Have you tried it or are you willing to try it? Please share your comments.

16 comments

  1. Jennifer

    I really appreciate your review of this product. However, having an education in Nutrition, and studying supplements I would NEVER recommend a supplement with herbs in it to a child. The herbs in this vitamin supplement can be toxic to the kidneys and liver.
    Also, the supplement industry is not as heavily regulated as the food industry, so what the label says is in the product is not always what you get. Things such as lead have been found in supplements. Most independent QA studies of childrens vitamins recommend the most popular brands like Flinstones because they are safest. Hope this helps people make a decision.

  2. Jennifer

    I really appreciate your review of this product. However, having an education in Nutrition, and studying supplements I would NEVER recommend a supplement with herbs in it to a child. The herbs in this vitamin supplement can be toxic to the kidneys and liver.
    Also, the supplement industry is not as heavily regulated as the food industry, so what the label says is in the product is not always what you get. Things such as lead have been found in supplements. Most independent QA studies of childrens vitamins recommend the most popular brands like Flinstones because they are safest. Hope this helps people make a decision.

  3. You don’t want iron and calcium combined. I see this one has calcium, so if it had iron too, they would cancel each other out. They work best if taken separately.

    As for the above comment, personally, I would never give my kids Flinstones. I have, however, given my kids herbs/supplements (at the recommendation of our doctor and my midwives). The food industry isn’t as heavily regulated as one would like to believe. Look at all the recalls lately on foods containing peanuts. Look at the recent studies which show mercury in high fructose corn syrup. My children have had negative reactions to prescription medication, but never herbal supplements.

    While the OTC brands of more standard vitamins may tout higher amounts of certain vitamins, some of it is not bioavailable, so kids are actually able to use far less. Also, some supplements (chlorophyl is the first one that comes to mind) actually work in small doses to help the body better use the vitamins you find naturally in food (i.e. chlorophyl is used to help absorb iron).

    I haven’t tried this brand (we don’t give the kids vitamins), but after reading this, I’d consider it. This one has a few too many things for me personally (I’d rather just treat a specific need than give such a wide range), but it seems like a decent option.

  4. You don’t want iron and calcium combined. I see this one has calcium, so if it had iron too, they would cancel each other out. They work best if taken separately.

    As for the above comment, personally, I would never give my kids Flinstones. I have, however, given my kids herbs/supplements (at the recommendation of our doctor and my midwives). The food industry isn’t as heavily regulated as one would like to believe. Look at all the recalls lately on foods containing peanuts. Look at the recent studies which show mercury in high fructose corn syrup. My children have had negative reactions to prescription medication, but never herbal supplements.

    While the OTC brands of more standard vitamins may tout higher amounts of certain vitamins, some of it is not bioavailable, so kids are actually able to use far less. Also, some supplements (chlorophyl is the first one that comes to mind) actually work in small doses to help the body better use the vitamins you find naturally in food (i.e. chlorophyl is used to help absorb iron).

    I haven’t tried this brand (we don’t give the kids vitamins), but after reading this, I’d consider it. This one has a few too many things for me personally (I’d rather just treat a specific need than give such a wide range), but it seems like a decent option.

  5. L

    I really wouldn’t follow Jennifer’s advice (no offense). I just don’t trust the FDA nor do I trust Flintstones. I was raised on Herbal supplements and my sisters and I have had no negative reactions on our liver or kidneys. I have had more negative reactions from medicines prescribed by doctors than from herbal supplements that I have gotten from alternative healing practitioners.

    I find it easier to give toddlers chewable vitamins.

    Animal Parade by Nature’s Plus has worked well for me.

  6. Great discussion on benefits and risks of herbs. In the absence of scientific data, often it is hard to feel confident about herbs. However, there are many examples based on personal experience where they seem to work. In many cultures, people have used herbs and natural medicine for centuries, much before the recent advancement in modern medicine.

    Having said that, it is indeed risky to make a decision based entirely on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence. At the same time science is not perfect either and there are many errors in scientific studies. Still, scientific evidence collected based on good experiments and analysis reduces the probability of unintended complications and possibly even fatal errors.

    It is good to question both. And it is good to consult with experts before making a decision. Even though I have a scientific background, I do not necessarily believe that natural medicine and modern medicine are mutually exclusive. There is a place for both.

    Thank you for a stimulating discussion. Please keep your comments coming!

  7. Great discussion on benefits and risks of herbs. In the absence of scientific data, often it is hard to feel confident about herbs. However, there are many examples based on personal experience where they seem to work. In many cultures, people have used herbs and natural medicine for centuries, much before the recent advancement in modern medicine.

    Having said that, it is indeed risky to make a decision based entirely on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence. At the same time science is not perfect either and there are many errors in scientific studies. Still, scientific evidence collected based on good experiments and analysis reduces the probability of unintended complications and possibly even fatal errors.

    It is good to question both. And it is good to consult with experts before making a decision. Even though I have a scientific background, I do not necessarily believe that natural medicine and modern medicine are mutually exclusive. There is a place for both.

    Thank you for a stimulating discussion. Please keep your comments coming!

  8. L

    I really wouldn’t follow Jennifer’s advice (no offense). I just don’t trust the FDA nor do I trust Flintstones. I was raised on Herbal supplements and my sisters and I have had no negative reactions on our liver or kidneys. I have had more negative reactions from medicines prescribed by doctors than from herbal supplements that I have gotten from alternative healing practitioners.

    I find it easier to give toddlers chewable vitamins.

    Animal Parade by Nature’s Plus has worked well for me.

  9. Paige

    I agree that this product is pretty expensive, but it’s true also that children are highly susceptible to vitamin toxicity, so choosing a supplement that is below or within the range of what is safe to me seems best. If we are thoughtfully considering the diets of our little ones and offering a wide variety of foods, there should be little need for a supplement, so something like this is in my view ideal. We’re then not relying on a supplement to nourish our children. There is no need for concern regarding the herbs in this product, many of which are found in tinctures sold specifically for infants and toddlers and many of which we just eat – watercress, peppermint; ever use coriander seeds in your cooking? In other words, it’s the Flintstones I’d be concerned about. Personally, I find I’d rather use natural and bioavailable nutrients than anything synthetic. I have used this product for my tot for quite some time, and believe me I read the labels of everything else. I just can’t find another product that contains phytonutrients and none of those other questionable things – colours, stabilisers, flavours, etc. To me, it’s worth the money.

  10. Paige

    I agree that this product is pretty expensive, but it’s true also that children are highly susceptible to vitamin toxicity, so choosing a supplement that is below or within the range of what is safe to me seems best. If we are thoughtfully considering the diets of our little ones and offering a wide variety of foods, there should be little need for a supplement, so something like this is in my view ideal. We’re then not relying on a supplement to nourish our children. There is no need for concern regarding the herbs in this product, many of which are found in tinctures sold specifically for infants and toddlers and many of which we just eat – watercress, peppermint; ever use coriander seeds in your cooking? In other words, it’s the Flintstones I’d be concerned about. Personally, I find I’d rather use natural and bioavailable nutrients than anything synthetic. I have used this product for my tot for quite some time, and believe me I read the labels of everything else. I just can’t find another product that contains phytonutrients and none of those other questionable things – colours, stabilisers, flavours, etc. To me, it’s worth the money.

  11. Nancy

    I agree that this multivitamin is expensive. However, vitamins such as Flintstones shouldn’t even be allowed on the market in my opinion. Besides being entirely synthetic (and there is a lot of information out there on the dangers of synthetic vitamins to the body) they are full of artificial colors and aspartame. They are as far from being healthy for a child as is humanly possible!! Basically a cheap, worthless product!

  12. Nancy

    I agree that this multivitamin is expensive. However, vitamins such as Flintstones shouldn’t even be allowed on the market in my opinion. Besides being entirely synthetic (and there is a lot of information out there on the dangers of synthetic vitamins to the body) they are full of artificial colors and aspartame. They are as far from being healthy for a child as is humanly possible!! Basically a cheap, worthless product!

  13. Art

    I was advised by my Chiropractor to take a liquid supplement for joints. I discovered that the company who makes it was sued by the state of CA in 2008 for selling supplements known to contain lead. They were ordered to either stop selling it, or to put the lead content on the label. There were 21 companies sued.
    Does it make sense to have this product tested for illegal /harmful contents? Where can this be done? I’m afraid to ingest it.
    Thanks.

  14. michel_frances

    I am so happy for this product review…thank you! I am in the market for a new mult vitamin for my toddler…and i cringe when i read the ingrediants to the majority of vitamins sold for kids at your everyday stores, especially the ones that are gummy or in sucker form…yikes!! haha! Artificial dyes and sweeteners have no business anywhere near a vitamin, but thats just my opinion. I have been buying the Animal parade vitamins by Nature’s Plus…they are good….but i was concerned when i noticed the high amount of fructose in it….and this product is only sweetened with maple syrup….and i am quite happy with all the other ingrediants including the herbs….when my daughter is sick, i give her kid teas with healing herbs…so i would have to say, that as long as the amount is safe…herbs are a go….hope everyone has a lovely day

  15. Ashesela

    I remember getting my Flinstone’s vitamin every day when I was a child (I’m 25 now). I was really excited for them, except when it came to the grape flavour. 😛

  16. Twinmama

    Thank you for posting this. I’m also looking at giving our twin toddlers a multivitamin. While we do give them a healthy meal, they refuse to eat cheese, meats, pasta, veggies, etc. on a regular basis – they mostly like fruit and carbs. They are now transitioning off of formula so I think it is probably wise for us to supplement for awhile to make sure that they are getting nutrients; I’m certainly not going to force them to eat and create a bad relationship with food while they are learning to eat. I definitely do not want anything in gummy or pill form – anything that is potentially a choking hazard. Or too sweet.

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