This post is part of a Consumer Reports en Español consumer learning campaign. This post is not an endorsement of any product or service, and I’m being compensated for my time ONLY, not for my opinion.
A mother’s guilt over taking vitamins.
Recently I agreed to participate in a vitamin supplement study with Consumer Reports. I didn’t anticipate what I would learn about taking vitamin supplements and/or giving them to my family. We buy bottles of gummie vitamins for the kids and I always have several multi-vitamins in my pantry for myself. However, taking the vitamin supplements daily is not a habit we’ve quite mastered.
For myself, I take multi-vitamins when I feel like I’m lacking energy, otherwise I simply forget to take them everyday. My food intake could always be healthier and that would contribute to my energy level. Life gets busy and I don’t keep my health as much of a priority as I know I should. Is that ideal? No. It is reality, though. So, I take a vitamin to make up where I’m lacking.
I do give my children vitamin supplements. It’s probably because I have enough mother’s guilt (and I don’t want more) that they get the vitamins more often than I do. They also can be picky eaters and one of them has many food allergies. I don’t think either of my boys receive all the nutrients they need from food alone. Plus, they seem to like the gummies especially the ones with their favorite characters on the bottles.
I’m not the expert. Shhh! Don’t tell my kids that. The only time I’ve consulted with a doctor about vitamin supplements for myself was when I was pregnant. Otherwise, I didn’t/don’t regularly see a physician with whom I would consult with about choosing a multi-vitamin supplement. When it comes to the boys, our pediatrician has never said that giving them a gummie multi-vitamin was not a good idea.
What I’ve learned …
1. A healthy diet is key. Vitamins should only be used as supplements and never to take place of nutrients we can get from food.
2. Research products and vitamins before taking them. Consumer Reports is a good resource for finding out more about vitamin supplements and other products. (Information is also available in Spanish.)
3. Consult a doctor. Primarily, before beginning a new routine of taking supplements of any kind, consult your physician. You can also ask Dr. Jose Luis Mosquera questions via email at dr.mosquera (at) cr (dot) consumer (dot) org. He will answer them in his column Ask Dr. Mosquera.
What about you?
Which vitamins do you take? Do you research the products before you buy and consume? And help me, if you already have a great habit of taking vitamin supplements, what’s the secret so I can remember to take mine daily?!
Watch my video interview for Consumer Reports Español about my family’s relationship with vitamin supplements. Can you relate?