Wednesday 27 April 2011

Health Plus Kids' Supplements review

In the perfect world, nobody would need food supplements. I'd rather my kids got their vitamins and minerals from their food than from a tub of supplements, and, as far as possible, I try to feed them a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables. However, they don't always want to eat the healthy food I've prepared for them so it's always nice to know that their dietary requirements are being covered.

When Health Plus asked me if I'd like to try out some of their products, I therefore opted for the range of supplements specially formulated for kids. They kindly sent me two pots of vitamins & minerals to try out on Sophie and Juliette.

The kids were up for it and were instantly attracted to the Supermouse Children's Chewable Multivitamin & Mineral tablets, partly because of the colourful label featuring a mouse version of Superman, and partly because the label states that they are orange and lemon flavour.

Well, apparently they initially taste nice but then the citrus flavour disappears and they don't taste very nice. Sophie's face went from this to this within seconds !

Juliette didn't look very reassured to begin with, but asked if she could spit hers in the bin as soon as the taste kicked in.

The other supplement - Junior Multivit + Min Multivitamin & Minerals, suitable for age 6+ - fell at the first hurdle because as soon as you open the tub, it has a very strong smell which the girls found off-putting. Sophie said it smelt of mould ! I'd say it's more of a yeasty smell that has base-notes of Marmite to it. I would agree that it's not an entirely pleasant, appetising smell though.

To be fair to the manufacturer, this is because they are dedicated to making a totally natural product without resorting to artificial sweeteners and flavourings to make them more palatable. They explain : "Unlike most companies who make vitamins, Health Plus don’t add any chemicals to their supplements, preferring to keep all their products natural. This also ensures they’re free from gluten, sugar, wheat, lactose and yeast, so even children who have dietary intolerances are OK to take them. Unfortunately however, the lack of chemicals does mean that you don’t get that sweet taste which a lot of other kids’ vitamins have. They’re also suitable for vegetarians."

If you can get past the rather strong taste/smell which Sophie and Juliette found off-putting, they're actually great products. The Supermouse Chewable Vitamins, suitable for children aged 3 years +, provide a whole host of health-promoting vitamins and minerals (see list here). They are sweetened with sorbitol and fructose and are also available in blackcurrant flavour. Children aged 3-6 can take 3-4 tablets daily with food and those aged 6+ can have up to 6 tablets daily.

The Junior Multivit + Min, which is next progression from Supermouse, contains an impressive list of nutrients (which you can see here) and children aged 6+ just need to take one tablet daily with food to get their vitamins and minerals covered.

star rating : 2.5/5

RRP : Supermouse £9.95 for 90VTabs ; Junior Multivit + Min £4.75 for 30 VTabs

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