When I was asked to review Nature & Nurture baby and child vitamin supplement, I did have to think about whether I wanted to do it or not. This is because my day job consists of working with teams manufacturing pharmaceutical products.
When I look at what vitamins I give to my children, I tend to look for those which are licensed products. Meaning they have been treated as a medicine rather than a food supplement and they have been manufactured following the rules of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
It also means, they have been manufactured within a highly regulated environment with lots of controls in place to ensure the product is safe for use.
That’s not to say that vitamins made to the food safety standards are not as safe or of such high quality.
During my time researching vitamins and food supplements, I’ve found that many of these vitamins are manufactured to GMP standards, they just don’t go as far as getting them licenced due to the extra cost implications.
It is law in the UK however, that if a food supplement has a medicinal effect or the company make a medicinal claim (i.e. to prevent, treat or cure any disease or medical condition), they must be licensed under medicines legislation.
Nature and Nurture vitamins are produced in a BRCGS Grade AA Food Safety Plant in the North West of England.
AA food safety rating is the highest rating in Food safety and quality and the BRCGS is The British Retail Consortium Global Standard, you can read more about them here: https://www.brcgs.com/.
This means that Nature & Nurture baby vitamins are produced to the highest standards in food quality and safety.
Now on to the vitamins themselves!
The vitamins come in a purple box, the bottle itself is slim and brown with a white safety screw top lid.
There is a plug in the neck of the bottle to put the syringe in when taking up the vitamins. There is a syringe in the box for using with the vitamins.
Each child over 6 months, should have 0.5 mL of the vitamins each day.
The bottle contains enough liquid to give up to 60 doses. We have finished our bottle and I can confirm it lasted approximately 1 month, dosing 2 children daily.
We give our kids their vitamins after the bath as it’s easier to remember at night-time and have it as part of the bath and bedtime routine. My kids are 4 and 1, they both like nature & nurture vitamins. I even tried them as I wanted to know what they tasted like since there is no sugar in them. They taste like pear drops to me!
Prior to testing nature & nurture vitamins, my children were having another brand of vitamins daily. Since moving over to nature & nurture vitamins, there has been no difference, which can only be a good thing! My eldest is in school and my youngest goes to nursery. If you have children in either of these types of establishments, you’ll know that there are germs aplenty and when you first put your kids in, they come home with endless colds and other illnesses for this reason. Kids are good at spreading germs! Since moving over, I haven’t noticed any change in how often my kids catch a cold or are ill and since giving supplements is to help boost the immune system and help them grow up healthy and strong, I’m going to take that as a good sign!
There are no nasties in these vitamins, they are vegan friendly, and they meet the NHS and Department of Health requirements for vitamin supplementation in children. It’s only a 0.5mL dose which is good for smaller children, some of the vitamin supplements have a 1 mL dose or higher and I feel that’s too much to get my children to take, especially the 1 year old!
I did like these vitamins, I liked that they tasted pleasant and do not contain sugar. I’m not vegan but I know this would be a positive for many of my friends. They are on the more expensive side to purchase at £9.99 a bottle but if you want a vitamin supplement that provides the vitamins recommended by the Department of Health (DoH) and the NHS (daily supplement of vitamins A, C and D), is vegan and contains no sugar or peanut oil, then these are the vitamins for you!
Since starting to investigate these vitamins and the requirements set out by the DoH, through their own documentation and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, I have realised that there is a lot of information about! A lot is conflicting information from unsupported sources (we all know someone who uses Dr Google!), But, if you look in the right places, you can find loads of useful information on what you should be giving your child daily as a vitamin supplement. There are lots of helpful links throughout this blog.
The DoH and NICE guidelines for vitamins suggest children between the ages of 6 months and four should have a supplement containing vitamins A, C and D daily: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph11/chapter/1-Key-priorities
Information on Vitamin A
Vitamin A is good for your eyes, skin and immune function.
The NHS states that babies over 6 months who have breastmilk as their main drink and children 1 and over should have a vitamin A supplement. I couldn’t find a definitive answer for exactly how much they recommend as a supplement for children in the UK, however, the vitamin drops given as part of the healthy start initiative contain 233 µg (micrograms, also expressed as mcg) of Vitamin A. Babies who have 500mLs of formula per day do not need a vitamin supplement as this is already in their formula.
Vitamin A is fat soluble, this means whatever the body doesn’t need will be stored in the body fat. Most of the vitamin A we get should be from our diet. However, as it is stored in the body, if we don’t get enough from our diet, it can be taken from the stock in our body. This is why the WHO recommend a low-level supplement of vitamin A daily.
Good sources of vitamin A are dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese, eggs), oily fish and liver products.
Vitamin A Factsheets:
Vitamin A Advice: https://www.who.int/elena/titles/vitamina_infants/en/
Information on Vitamin C
Vitamin C is good for the bones assisting in healing wounds. If you have a balanced diet, it is expected that you will get most of your vitamin intake from your diet. The DOH recommend a supplement of vitamin C should be taken daily as it isn’t stored in your body so needs to be topped up daily.
The NHS states that babies over 6 months who have breastmilk as their main drink and children 1 and over should have a vitamin C supplement. Again, I couldn’t find a definitive answer for exactly how much they recommend as a supplement for children in the UK, however, the vitamin drops given as part of the healthy start initiative contain 20 mg (milligrams) of Vitamin C. Babies who have 500mLs of formula per day do not need a vitamin supplement as this is already in their formula.
Good sources of vitamin C are oranges and orange juice, red and green peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
Vitamin C Factsheets:
Information on Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed for growth and healthy teeth and bones. There aren’t many food sources where you will get vitamin D and most of our vitamin D comes from the sun. Vitamin D was the only vitamin I found where there was an exact recommendation, and this was 100% of the reference intake stated in the government dietary recommendations. The reference intake is the total amount of each vitamin we should have daily including what we get from our diet, not just from a vitamin supplement.
There are 2 types of vitamin D you can take in supplements, Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which comes from plant sources and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is mainly from animal sources but can also be produced from lichens (vegan source). The animal source of cholecalciferol is sheep’s wool, wool grease (lanolin) to be precise. From looking up vegan forums, some vegans and vegetarians are happy to take this type of vitamin D as long as they have confirmation that the source of the wool are live sheep who are unharmed in the manufacturing process.
Vitamin D Factsheets: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/
Vitamin D: supplement use in specific population groups: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph56
Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (vitamin D): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537616/SACN_Vitamin_D_and_Health_report.pdf
Update of the tolerable upper intake level for vitamin D for infants:
Vitamin D Advice: https://www.who.int/elena/titles/vitamind_infants/en/
NICE guidelines to prevent vitamin D deficiency: https://cks.nice.org.uk/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-children#!scenario:1
Vegans and vitamin D3: https://www.healthaid.co.uk/healthaid-blog/Is-Vitamin-D3-Suitable-for-Vegans-and-Vegetarians
Other Helpful Links
Nature & Nurture: https://www.natureandnurture.life/
Department of Health (DoH)
Page 12 – the DoH recommendations
Section 6.3 and table 188.8.131.52
Page 75 and 76
Public Health England (PHE)
Healthy Start Information
Healthy start vitamin drops contain 233µg Vitamin A, 10µg Vitamin D and 20mg Vitamin C.
Dietary reference values: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/dietary-reference-values
Scientific Opinion on nutrient requirements and dietary intakes of infants and young children in the European Union: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3408