I am sitting here in the Philadelphia Airport waiting on the Wifi to get up and get going as I consider this question…
What makes for an awesome organic vitamin?
Has it got all the essential vitamins I am looking for and… to be honest do I know what each one of these vitamins or inclusive elements is doing for my health?
Why am I taking any vitamins at all and why is everyone in my family taking vitamins?
If you look at the top shelf of our family pantry, you will find supplements galore… apparently this is something we believe we need in our lives in a big way and sometimes we opt for the cheapest option.
And I have to ask the question… does that make sense?
If I am willing to spend the money to be healthier, wouldn’t it make the most sense to have quality be the driving factor?
If not it should… right?
Ok, so here is what happens.
You go to the grocery store or your nearest GNC and you say to yourself… hey self, I have been active, I have been eating well… steroids are not an option, but what could you include in your life? You have all the muscle milk stuff, the whey, the protein shakes etc.. you have now made the decision to add in some vitamin supplements.
What do we even want to take vitamins for? Can’t you get all of your vitamins from your food?
Sure, you MAYBE able to get all of your vitamins from a healthy diet rich in leafy greens like Kale, Spinach or beet greens. Perhaps you throw in some fiber-rich fruit like apples and a couple of colorful foods like carrots or some golden beets.
If you are eating in this manner on a daily basis, then good for you… the rest of you… read on.
So according to the NIH Gov and as referenced above:
“It’s possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods, so you don’t have to take one,” says Carol Haggans, a registered dietitian, and consultant to NIH. “But supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet.”
Fill those gaps huh…
Dr. Hopps from NIH Gov says:
Evidence does suggest that some supplements can enhance health in different ways. The most popular nutrient supplements are multivitamins, calcium, and vitamins B, C and D. Calcium supports bone health, and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants—molecules that prevent cell damage and help to maintain health.
Women need iron during pregnancy, and breastfed infants need vitamin D. Folic acid—400 micrograms daily, whether from supplements or fortified food—is important for all women of childbearing age.
Vitamin B12 keeps nerve and blood cells healthy. “Vitamin B12 mostly comes from meat, fish and dairy foods, so vegans may consider taking a supplement to be sure to get enough of it,” Haggans says.
Research suggests that fish oil can promote heart health. Of the supplements not derived from vitamins and minerals, Hopp says, “fish oil probably has the most scientific evidence to support its use.”
Ok, these all look like some valid points, and look, you are looking to be in PEAK performance… or at least better than couch potato mode, and you KNOW your diet is missing a few of the key ingredients listed above… like leafy greens, that doesn’t include the lettuce on your Big Mac … or your Whopper… and that pickle on your Chic Fil A Sandwich… uh, not leafy, and it’s a faded green.
Ok, so you are in for vitamins for yourself… and you’re a badass father… and things that are good for you… are probably good for your children. So let’s load those little engines up with some extra get up and go, right dad?
Fire up the browser… look for links that aren’t affiliate related… or sponsored…
Here is what we find:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children do not get enough iron and calcium from their diets. Iron is found in beef, pork, turkey, beans, and spinach. Iron helps build muscle and is needed to produce red blood cells. Signs of low iron levels include a lack of energy, nervousness and increased infections. Calcium is needed to grow healthy bones. It is found in milk, sardines and fortified plant-based beverages and juices, with smaller amounts in broccoli and spinach. A lack of calcium can lead to poor growth and osteoporosis later in life.
Ok, go check your pantry… or your kid’s dinner plate… sardines!?! Cool… fortified plant-based beverages, huh – that’s code for they added the vitamins in already… ok, thanks for the assistance juice co. If your kids are like mine a lot of what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends usually ends up on the floor or wrapped in plastic in your fridge as you told your children that they weren’t going to be able to eat anything else unless they ate their dinner.
You’re the freakin boss, eh?
It’s been decided… everyone in the house needs a vitamin or two… now what?
You have options… little white pressed pills that are relatively inexpensive, and if things like organic, natural or non-gmo just piss you off… you can run with some things like Centrum, Centrum for Men or Women… pretty sure that you can get Centrum for your children too… and yourself… little white pressed pills that go *clatter clatter* when you shake the bottle annoy you? That weird taste those white pills leave in your mouth not to your liking?
Perhaps it’s time for a gummy version… after all, if you are going to treating yourself better, you should be doing it with something that tastes yummy… go with it.
Haven’t been reading the labels of your food? Think you should read the label of your vitamins?
Either way, it’s never too late to get started.
Here are some labels of some of the popular vitamins out there.
See any ingredients you are familiar with? Any of those things available out in your garden? What’s that? You say you do recognize some of the ingredients in the gummy? Gelatin huh? Know what that’s made out of?
According to PopSugar:
Gelatin is a yellowish, odorless, and nearly tasteless substance that is made by prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals. It’s made primarily from the stuff meat industries have left over — we’re talking about pork skins, horns, and cattle bones.
Awesome. Everyone cool with that? You get over it after a while, not a big deal… right guys?
Maybe you have made your mind to move along to another row in the vitamin shelf… Up the ante a bit huh? All Natural… Organic… that’s where its at for you… you have decided that at the very least you deserve that! And if YOU deserve it, what about your cute cherub children who have just knocked over their sardines, broccoli, beans and spinach… they are pulling at your legs and have those bright, shiny eyes that hold the promise to the future… better line them up with some all natural vitamins too… should you choose pills?
Let’s take a look at those – WTF… who ordered the horse pills… a whole one of those just to get you through your day… if you MUST – that feeling in your stomach after you take one of those? Yeah… that’s a non-atomic bomb… but it feels like it could be dangerous no matter what… did you just give one of those to your children too?
Oh, you did?
They have a children’s version of that? Like TNT for mini-bellies? Is that feeling really necessary?
Did centrum make you feel like that? Oh… you ran out of Centrum and doubled down on the Flintstones chewables… and it did NOT make your belly feel like that.
Don’t they sell the natural ones in something other than horse pill and horse pill lite?
Oh they do… they have little gumdrops of goodness as well… you have some of those?
You do… well good for you.
And they don’t destroy the interior lining of your stomach?
You feel a little bit better about being able to give those to your children, for sure.
Tastes Good? Check
Doesn’t rip out the interior lining of your stomach or your children? Check
No gelatin? WTF… seriously?
Organic? OMG sooooo close…
Look, guys, lets cut to the chase… there is an option that covers all of your basic needs that is a rare find… not only that… but even my wife likes them.
That is they actually taste good and don’t disrupt the stomach or a make you have those weird vita-burps.
I only know she likes them enough to ask where they are if I have to say, taken them away to review the contents of the package as part of this review.
That’s a huge indicator.
So where can you find all of the above in a multivitamin?
Organic, natural, non-gmo and VEGAN?
Smartypants. Smartypants has recently released these vitamins to the public. If you have never heard of smarty pants, than you have never searched for vitamins on Amazon.
That’s where our family found them first, pre-organic non-animal bone kind, and our boys loved them.
As a matter of fact, when we switched them out to some other brand, they asked for the ones that came out of the owl container.
Smarty Pants was also a sponsor of Dad 2.0, a gathering of dad bloggers and brands who were looking to support the fatherhood community. As well as a sponsor of Fathers Eve, a nation wide event that is held the evening before father’s day in celebration of the brotherhood of fatherhood.
It was the knowledge of their activity that I reached out to them to see if there maybe a collaborative opportunity and they sent a one month sample of their Organic Vegan Multivitamins that I did some additional deep diving as to what it was that they had that some of the others did not.
I am thankful for the opportunity to give an honest review of my findings reflected above.
The best part about the experience is the knowledge that I am giving myself, my significant other and my children high-quality products that are not filled with chemicals and discarded animal parts.
That and the company is actively working with the fatherhood community at large to make a difference in the world
And of course from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
Seek Advice First
Discuss supplements with your child’s health care provider before giving them to your child. Taking large amounts of vitamins that exceed the recommended daily amount can be toxic and lead to symptoms such as nausea, headaches or diarrhea. Always store supplements out of reach from children. Thousands of children are taken to the emergency room each year after taking a vitamin or mineral while unsupervised. Supplement bottles are not required to have child-proof lids. In addition, supplement ingredients are not as closely monitored as prescription drugs by the Food and Drug Administration, so always practice caution when supplements are in the home with small children.
Finally, be sure to check out their website and their story here: