Parents feel that they are doing something beneficial for their children by giving them their daily dose of vitamins. Yet some popular vitamin brands have ingredients that don't seem like they should be there, let alone be given to children. Bayer, the producer of Flintstones vitamins, states that according to one study, "82% of kids aren't eating all of their veggies. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need." While touted as "Pediatrician's #1 Choice," Flintstones vitamins contain chemicals that most parents would likely not want near their children.

Among these ingredients are the artificial sweeteners aspartame and sorbitol, which are put into the pills to make them palatable to children who chew them. But there are healthier alternatives to this, with a glut of healthy nonsugar sweeteners on the market now, such as Stevia, a natural plant extract that has no adverse health reactions. The use of artificial sweeteners in sodas has been tied to the development of diabetes. So, why not heed the adage that "if it tastes bad, it's good for you?" As the vitamins already have sugar in them, it would not be much of a stretch to replace the artificial sweeteners with a small amount of equivalent sugar.

Flintstones chewable vitamins also contain genetically modified organism (GMO) products such as soybean oil, corn starch, and gelatin from sources unknown. The labeling of the supplement does not indicate the source of the gelatin, but most gelatin is a byproduct of the livestock processing industry, using soft tissues of cartilage from killed animals and degrading it.

Interestingly, the vitamins come with a strong warning from the producer, Bayer: "Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately." One would assume that it would be quite difficult to overdose on nutritious supplements. But Flintstones vitamins contain ferrous furmate, a mineral that is used to get the necessary metal iron into the supplement. Ferrous furmate is the leading cause of fatal poisonings in children under six years of age.

There are other chemicals in the vitamins that might make parents think twice before giving them to their children such as food colorings, which contain aluminum and silicon dioxide, otherwise known as glass, that are used to help form the pills on an industrial scale. So when deciding on how to give your child the best nutrition, the best thing may be a balanced diet filled with enough servings of fruits and vegetables. And if vitamins are needed, there are plenty of natural options available on the market that contain all-natural ingredients.