According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are certain vitamins that kids often don't get enough of. Some vitamins of concern include vitamin A and the B vitamins.
Vitamin D is also a nutrient kids are often low in. It especially important because it controls the absorption of calcium in the gut and aids in the development of bones and teeth. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, children with dark skin may have lower vitamin D levels than those with light skin. This is because darker skin contains a higher concentration of the pigment melanin which reduces the absorption of sunlight.
Filling the gaps
Ritual developed a new supplement specifically to fill the nutritional gaps of children who may not be getting the nutrition they need through diet alone. The sugar-free gummy supplement hits the shelves today.
Ritual’s Essential For Kids combines a daily multi, vegan omega-3 DHA, and a healthy dose of fiber in a citrus-berry flavored gummy.
Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director of Scientific Affairs at Ritual, said the goal of the new offering is to help young children meet their recommended nutrient needs without consuming unnecessary nutrients that they may already be getting enough of from their diet.
Sharafi said the Ritual team sifted through thousands of independent scientific research studies, national dietary databases and used the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), the National Academy of Medicine’s DRI’s (Dietary Reference Intakes) as well as EARs (Estimated Average Requirements) to help formulate the products.
“As with all Ritual multivitamins, we used a four-step scientific approach to formulate Essential for Kids” looking at gaps that exist in:
- Dietary reference intake at national level
- Specific diet/lifestyle (e.g. picky eaters)
- Genetic considerations
- Helper nutrients
“During step one for example, the gap was calculated looking at the dietary intake of children at a national level using the latest NHANES data and comparing it to the reported intake with dietary reference intakes: Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) or Adequate intake. We also looked at the percentage of kids who have intake below Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) to identify nutrients with high inadequacy prevalence.”
Sharafi said that during the second step of the formulation process, the team assessed picky eaters as a specific population that may be vulnerable to nutrient gaps via a general gap analysis. “We wanted to confirm if there were additional nutrient gaps for picky eaters compared to what we found in step one of our formulation process.”
As it turns out, picky eaters may be low in key nutrients. “After reviewing current scientific research on picky/fussy eating, we found that children who are picky eaters tend to consume less vitamin A and less vitamin C than their non-picky peers, so we added these to our formula. Some research also suggests that picky eaters may consume less fiber and more sugar than their non-picky peers. Considering this, we designed our kids’ gummies to be sugar-free without added sugar alcohol or artificial sweeteners and also used a fiber and prebiotic blend as our base,” explained Sharafi.
A natural progression
“We have become known and trusted by hundreds of thousands of customers across generations for our science-backed and traceable multivitamins formulated to help fill nutrient gaps. We’ve done this for adults 18+ and 50+, teens and now we’ve reinvented the gummy multivitamin for kids -- who are among the vulnerable groups for nutrient gaps,” said Sharafi.