These things sneak up on him for no reason,
these flashes of irrational happiness.
It’s probably a vitamin deficiency.
―Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
A little background:
1) When I was younger my mom used to give me my vitamin as I was headed out the door to walk to school. These were like Flintstones vitamins, only store brand; they were brown, football shaped and tasted like crap. They were the undelicious non-equivalent of eternal gobstoppers: if you sucked on them, they would last all day long. If you bit into them, the insides were even more chalky, bitter and unappetizing. My dad walked with me 3 blocks, as far as his bus stop, most days, and as soon as I was out of eyeshot I spit those things out. I’ll be damned if my mom didn’t see and recognize them in the gutter- days later, still pretty much intact- and lay into me for not eating them. That woman had eyes like an eagle.
2) In high school, my favorite snack was the giant Pixy Stix. The blue flavor, to be exact. My friends and I— people who really did not need any extra sugar-induced energy— would buy them by the fistful and shoot ’em down before going to parties or dances or clubbing or whatever. I could go on to regale you with stories of the “hilarious” things we did but they’re all super cringeworthy now. Still funny, but definitely cringeworthy. In retrospect it’s amazing we had friends willing to be seen with us in public.
3) My husband has a love of sticky candies and the dentist bills to prove it. His daughter has inherited his love of tooth-killing delicacies and likewise is doing her best to fund our dentist’s twins’ college education fund. It’s not entirely her fault, she has very tight back teeth and tiny enamel fissures from night grinding.
That being said, I couldn’t understand why her teeth would be so imperfect and expensive when my boys eat essentially the same diet. Jeff does sneak her extra treats, but at 8 she’s had as many cavities as Jake has in his nearly 15 years, and Maverick has never had even one.
One possibility is the fact that she’s been on those stupid gummy vitamins for pretty much as long as she’s been eating solid foods. When they came out, I thought they were brilliant; my kids hated the chewables (but not as much as I hated the brown football vitamins). Turns out, a gummy is a gummy, and those things are loaded with sugar. (And depending on the brand, if you’ve bought gummy vitamins in the past you might be owed a refund due to inaccurate health claims.)
I’d like to think, of course, that she’s getting all her essential nutrients from her diet. But she’s a picky eater (again, her father’s daughter) that at times appears to live on carrots and air alone, and a supplement just gives me a bit of peace of mind.
This past month she’s been taking alternaVites, a really brilliant new offering from Rich Vitamins.
alternaVites are a potent multi-vitamin that delivers a kid’s essential vitamins and minerals… in Pixy stick form. Only without the added sugar and resulting off-wall-bouncing.
- Sugar free. Aspartame free. HFCS free.
- No artificial flavors and preservatives.
- No animal products or byproducts.
- Formulated with ingredients that do not contain the major food allergens (egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish).
- Certified kosher pareve.
It comes in strawberry bubblegum and raspberry cotton candy flavors. We got the raspberry, and Cass seems to think it’s tasty. I bet the strawberry is even better, but that’s mostly because I hate raspberry flavored anything. Maverick described it as tasting like a Flintstones all ground up, which doesn’t sound terribly appealing to me but I guess is a normal acquired taste for kids.
You can shoot it like a Pixy stick I know I’m going to be criticized for describing it that way but that’s how we always referred to downing our giant stix: we always tried for one shot or you can mix it into yogurt or applesauce or whatever. I don’t really like that idea since I don’t approve of “deceptively delicious” practices with your kids, you don’t teach your kids good eating habits by tricking them (but that’s another post). More to the point, with mix-ins you then have to police that they eat every bit to get the full dose and that’s a pain in the arse.
Anyway *waving hands* back on track. I do hate that these are packaged individually in plastic packets. The daily serving part I like; I just wish that they were in paper straws (you know, like standard Pixy stix) that could be recycled. I think. In theory. Can Pixy Stix wrappers be recycled? I haven’t had one in years, I’m not sure.
So, to recap:
- Gummies are bad for your teeth, even gummy vitamins.
- Your kid may be spitting out chalky chewables at street corners behind your back.
- alternaVites have all of the good stuff you want to fill potential gaps in a picky eater’s diet, with none of the tooth-rotting, bank-account-draining bad stuff. PLUS the added cool factor of a delivery similar to an awesome candy that your mom never lets you have.
- Your mom is probably being a big hypocrite by not letting you have said candy but tough, she’s your mom and you should do whatever she says. She’s doing this for your own good.
- Apparently just thinking about how you used to get all hyper on giant Pixy Stix is capable of making you write a disjointed blog post like you’re all hopped up on a sugar high. You’re totally right to not let your kids have them ever ever ever.
You can buy alternaVites on the alterVites website; I’m sure you’ll see it popping up on your store shelves soon. You can keep an eye out for new developments, sales and whatnot on their Facebook page, and on Twitter if you hang out there.
Use code moms20 for 20% off your order at alteraVites.com! Shipping is free if you buy 2 packages (30-day supply) or more. Never say I never gave you anything.
Do your kids take vitamins? Which do they like?
Disclosure: I received a 30-day supply of alternaVites for review purposes. No compensation was received; all opinions my own. I did not go out and buy Pixy Stix for myself or my children after writing this, even though I really wanted to.