Are Your Kids Eating Too Many Gummy Vitamins?

Photo by Heather Zachariah

I’m noticing a “health” trend around my town and amongst my friends. Docs are testing for just about everything that can be tested for in an effort to find intolerances, deficiencies and excesses. The theory is we can fight aging and feel better if we have the perfect balance of the nutrients our body craves, these being specific to us. I’m a big fan of the advice, “If it makes you feel better and isn’t causing harm, go for it.”

That being said, I get a little nervous about all of the vitamins en vogue. Vitamins taste better than ever. I often look forward to them as a sweet snack, and this ability to pop them pleasurably, may not only be giving us a false sense of confidence, it can make us crave them. Warning: You and your children can take too many vitamins. Also, there is no substitute for a healthy, well-balanced diet.

So many of our foods are fortified with vitamins, enticing us to think “good for you.” Added vitamins are the newest marketing tool, taking over for reduced fat and sugar. If you are eating healthy fortified cereals, bars and juices and taking vitamins on top of that, you can be getting too much.

Too much selenium can cause your hair to fall out and sap your energy.

Too much vitamin C can give you stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea.

Excessive amounts of vitamin D can hurt your cardiac health.

Taking too much folic acid can prevent a diagnosis of a true vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other hypothesized side effects from mega doses of vitamins are sleep disturbances, lack of focus and irritability.

Most importantly, unless recommended by your physician, do not take supplements with more than the daily recommended dose, and if you have any questions, discuss them with your doctor. Taking too much of a specific vitamin can simply be too much of a good thing. Eating nutritious foods may be just enough, and it is impossible to overdose on vitamins through a well-balanced, smart diet.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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