Prenatal & Pediatric

Getting Enough of the Sunshine Vitamin

By Alan Greene, MD, FAAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled their recommended daily amount of vitamin D for our kids – and many kids weren’t getting enough even before this change. The more closely we look at vitamin D, the more we learn about how important this sunshine vitamin is to both short- and long-term health for children. I’m happy to see the new level at 400 IU.

A preliminary study presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found that children with low levels of vitamin D have a higher chance of respiratory problems. The results support other research that looks at how vitamin D might help support better respiratory health. Other studies suggest that adequate vitamin D helps maintain health for many body systems.

But parents are going to have to work a little harder to meet these new levels, as it has become more difficult to get enough vitamin D in recent years. Kids are consuming less vitamin D-rich foods such as tuna and vitamin D-fortified milk (in favor of sweetened drinks with less nutrition). A study released in 2008 showed that forty percent of healthy babies and toddlers were not getting enough vitamin D – and an earlier report said the same about American teens.

Kids get their vitamin D from three sources: the sun, food, and supplements. Getting the sunshine vitamin from the sun itself was the primary way through most of human history, when most of us spent most of our days outdoors. Today, even when we are outside, the (wise) use of sunscreen blocks the UVB rays that trigger vitamin D production. During the winter months, winter clothing restricts sun exposure even more. Plus, in the winter, the decrease in daylight hours and the change in the angle of the sun’s rays make it more difficult.

How much sun exposure does it take to get the vitamin D you need to thrive? The answer depends on your skin color, clothing, location, time of year, and time of day. Because of the angle of the sun’s rays, kids only make significant vitamin D after 10 am and before 3 pm in most of the US -- the hours that kids may be in school or daycare.

During the middle of the day, the amount of sunshine needed is a fraction of something called the minimal erythema dose (MED) – or the amount of sunshine it would take for the skin to turn slightly pink. In Florida at noon in the summer, the MED might be 4 to 10 minutes for people with pale skin and 60 to 80 minutes for people with dark skin. It could be much longer in the winter or in Maine. To get optimal vitamin D, if 40 percent of the skin is exposed (e.g., wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt with no hat), all you need is a quarter of your MED every day. In a bathing suit it may only take 1/8th MED.

Most foods do not contain a significant amount of vitamin D, but you can find vitamin D-fortified milk, yogurt, cereals, breads, and infant formula. Fatty fishes such as tuna and salmon might contain almost all the recommended amount of vitamin D in just one serving. In comparison, a child would have to drink a quart of fortified milk to get the same amount.

One reliable way to ensure your children are getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin D is to add the vitamin to their daily routines. Breastfed babies should start getting drops containing 400 IU shortly after birth. Another way to accomplish this could be for nursing mothers to take 4000 to 6000 IU daily. Formula-fed babies and toddlers should start taking vitamin D also, but not until months later when they start drinking less than 32 ounces a day of formula or milk. Older children may also benefit from a multivitamin containing 400 IU of vitamin D.

Twinlab-manufactured Mommi 3-in-1 Nabs Coveted Natural Products Award Nomination

For the second straight year, a Twinlab Corporation manufactured product has been recognized for innovation in the natural products industry

NEW YORK – April 22, 2014 – After winning a 2013 Expo West NEXTy award for Twinlab’s launch of the standard-setting CleanSeries “super-certified” sports nutrition line, the company has again been recognized as an industry trendsetter after this year’s NEXTy award nominations.

For 2014, Mommi 3-in-1, a prenatal protein and vitamin supplement containing DHA developed to meet the nutritional needs of pregnant women, has been nominated for the Expo West NEXTy Award. Mommi 3-in-1 is manufactured by Twinlab Corporation for Mommi, LLC, and Twinlab is the exclusive retail distributor of Mommi 3-in-1. Twinlab played an early role in helping to develop the formula based on Mommi 3-in-1’s business model and is a part owner of the company.

The coveted NEXTy Award nominations are bestowed upon select exhibitors identified by New Hope Natural Media as key leaders and influencers in elevating dietary supplements and health food products to new, higher levels. Nominees are also cited for “being poised to bring change” to the industry with innovative ideas and strong leadership.

“This latest nomination marks yet another Twinlab milestone – strengthening our reputation in the natural products industry as a company that brings innovative, trendsetting product lines to market,” says Tom Tolworthy, CEO of Twinlab. “We are honored that a product we manufacture is being nominated for a second straight year. This is the type of recognition that really drives home our mission of being industry leaders, providing innovations and superior products.”

One of the first supplements of its kind to deliver this combination of essential prenatal vitamins to pregnant women, Mommi 3-in-1 includes 15 grams of premium whey protein, 200 milligrams of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and 14 essential prenatal vitamins in every serving. DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid and is important for the nerve- and brain-cell development of developing babies.*

Created by Erin Schurtz with the design and development support of Dr. Yvonne Bohn OB/GYN, nutritionist Rachel Jones and Twinlab “sciences,” Mommi 3-in-1 offers additional advantages over competing supplements for new or soon-to-be mothers:

- Mommi 3-in-1 uses a whey protein blend because it is more easily digestible and has a better amino acid profile and is a higher quality protein than most vegetable based proteins;
- Mommi 3-in-1 is backed by Twinlab in its development;
- Mommi 3-in-1 is non-GMO tested and certified gluten-free by NSF International;
- Mommi 3-in-1 is economically sold in single-serving bags for $2.99 (MSRP) or 15-serving bags for $36.99 (MRSP)

“As a fit and active woman, I had always supplemented my diet with a protein shake – but in all my research I could not find a protein supplement without a warning label advising against the use by pregnant or nursing women,” says Erin Schurtz, Mommi creator and CEO. “I developed Mommi 3-in-1 so it is easier for active, healthy mothers such as myself to achieve the recommended daily intake of protein, which also included the essential prenatals and DHA needed during pregnancy.”

More About the NEXTy Award:
Throughout the month of April, both industry insiders and consumers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite NEXTy nominees. New Hope editors then will announce a select number of Editors' Choice winners. Please vote online at:

About Mommi
Inspired by founder Erin Schurtz’s struggle to find a simple nutritional solution during her own pregnancy, the Mommi 3-in-1 prenatal supplement was created by an OB/GYN and top nutritional scientists to ensure women get the best nutrition possible during pregnancy. In harmony with the FDA’s recommended daily intake levels, Mommi 3-in-1 combines all three beneficial components to support a healthy pregnancy into a single, great-tasting product. When prepared with 10 ounces of milk, each serving contains 25 g of protein, 100% daily value of 14 essential prenatal vitamins and 200 mg of DHA, helping provide for the extra nutrition a woman needs during a typical pregnancy. For more information, please visit

About Twinlab
Twinlab Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high quality, science-based, nutritional supplements and sports nutrition products. Since 1968, the Twinlab brand has manufactured and marketed nutritional supplements in both the vitamin and sports nutrition categories. In addition to its namesake brand, Twinlab Corporation also manufactures and sells other well-known category leaders including the Metabolife® line of diet and energy products; Twinlab Fuel® line of sports supplement products; Alvita® teas, established in 1922 as a single-herb tea line; Trigosamine® joint support products as well other health and wellness brands. Twinlab’s manufacturing facility in American Fork, Utah is an NSF GMP registered facility. Twinlab also runs a scientific and regulatory facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and has its corporate headquarters in New York, NY. Visit for more information.

Mommi 3-in-1

Mommi 3-in-1 Vanilla
Mommi 3-in-1 VanillaVanilla Supplement FactsMommi 3-in-1 ChocolateChocolate Supplement Facts

• Delivers 100% of the daily value for 14 essential prenatal vitamins and minerals including iron and folic acid
• Contains 15 grams of premium whey protein per serving
• Contains 200 mg of DHA to help support baby’s brain and eye development*
• Only 130 calories per serving
• Gluten free, MSG Free and Non-GMO tested**

How It Works: 

Mommi 3-in-1 was developed by OB/GYN Dr. Yvonne Bohn and top nutritional scientists specifically for pregnant and nursing mothers. Formulated to combine 3 key components of healthy baby development into a single, great tasting product, Mommi 3-in-1 combines 15 grams of premium whey protein with 14 essential prenatal vitamins and 200 mg of DHA in every serving.

Whey protein is a complete protein and features a high quality amino acid profile to help you get the protein you need to help support your baby’s development. It is also one of the most bioavailable protein sources, giving you a quick, convenient source of protein.

**Independently PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tested by a third party lab for genetically modified DNA to a limit of 0.9%.

Suggested Use: 

Add 2 scoops of Mommi 3-in-1 to 10 ounces of cold 1% milk. This product is not a meal replacement and should be consumed in addition to a healthy diet.

Product Specs:
Size/Count: 1.08 lbs (489 grams)
Form: Powder

Proudly manufactured in our NSF® GMP registered facility.

Animal Friends® Children’s Chewable Vitamins

Animal Friends® Children’s Chewable Vitamins - Berry
Animal Friends® Children’s Chewable Vitamins - BerryAnimal Friends® Children’s Chewable Vitamins - BerryAnimal Friends® Children’s Chewable Vitamins - OrangeAnimal Friends® Children’s Chewable Vitamins - Orange

• With Extra Calcium
• 100% Natural Flavors

How It Works: 

Animal Friends is a delicious chewable multivitamin in animal shapes kids love to eat! This multi-vitamin contains more of the essential vitamins and minerals kids need, in an easy to digest, one-a-day formulation.


• Extra Calcium for growing bones and healthy teeth.*
• Vitamin C to help support a healthy immune system.*
• Iron and Zinc, two important minerals for growing children.

Animal Friends contains no added preservatives, artificial colors, dyes or flavors. Glass bottled for maximum stability, quality and freshness.

Suggested Use: 

For children, chew one Animal Friends tablet daily.


Product Specs:
Size/Count: 50
Form: Tablet
Flavor: Berry, Orange

Proudly manufactured in our NSF® GMP registered facility.

6 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in Kids

Take the control back into your hands when it comes to your children’s health and nutrition. Your home plays an important role in your children’s nutrition since adolescents consume about 60% of their daily energy from foods at home.

Help build a proper nutritional foundation for your children with these 6 tips.

1) Have Regular Family Meals
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, eating together as a family can become a heart-warming and health-giving ritual for all involved. Not only can you catch up with the school and social life of your children, but your children will likely be better for it. Kids who frequently dine with their parents eat more fruits and vegetables, tend to do better in school, watch less TV, are less likely to smoke or drink, and have a more positive attitude.

2) Cook Meals at Home
Keep your wallets and children’s bellies full with at-home prepared foods. According to a recent survey, Americans are willing to pay two to three times higher prices for convenience in food. But you don’t have to sacrifice time for nutrition. Add vegetables and fruits to ready-made entrées, purchase pre-washed salads, use frozen, already washed and chopped vegetables as easy additions to any meal, and whole ready-to-eat fruit for simple desserts.

Studies show that at-home preparations are positively related to nutrient intake. Healthy at-home meals, combined with nutritious school meals, can provide your child with proper dietary intake of protein, vitamins and minerals.

3) Let them choose
Since you are in control of what foods are available for mealtimes and snacks, encourage your kids to decide if and when they are hungry, what they will eat from the foods served, and when they are full. Food should be thought of as nutritious and fuel for energy, so don’t force kids to clean their plates if they are full, or reward with food.

4) Get Kids Involved
Whether shopping for school lunches or ingredients for dinner, teach kids to read food labels so they can begin to know what to look for.

In the kitchen, select age-appropriate tasks so kids can play but still feel involved. It can become an educational and fun experience – like a science experiment! And don’t forget: give kudos to the cook!

5) Healthy Snacks
Snacking can contribute to a healthy diet and doesn’t have to be all about chips and dip. Keep a variety of easily accessible fresh fruits and vegetables in the kitchen and try to avoid purchasing processed snack food. Healthy snacks can provide dietary fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and help your kids avoid excessive fat, sugar or salt.

6) Be the example!
It is as good for you as it is for your children and no lectures involved! Your comfort level in the kitchen and knowledge of healthful ingredients provide a positive food environment for your children and family members. Children learn by example, so show them how to prepare a healthy meal, control portion size, and snack sensibly. Do your best and your kids will thank you for it, even if it is 20 years later.

Getting in Shape for Sports that You and Your Family Enjoy

Do the minutes creep by when you’re exercising, because you’d rather be on the golf course? Do you long for your snowboard or skis when you’re jogging in the dead of summer? Instead of sticking to a run-of-the-(tread)mill workout, why not try getting in shape to improve your game, whatever it may be? Engaging in a workout with a purpose can give you the motivation to stay fit and avoid burnout.

On the other hand, maybe you’d just really like to be able to keep up with your kids and not get quite so out of breath when you shoot hoops. Perhaps your swing isn’t what it could be and you’d like to be able to really take a good whack at that ball. If you find yourself vowing to improve your game, the secret to success goes beyond basic practice – you’ve got to get in shape to be good at your game. And if you find a good sports conditioning workout, you’ll not only find yourself hitting a home run, you’ll most likely save yourself from a few sports-related injuries.

It’s All About You: Personalizing Your Workout

Once you’ve identified the sport you’re working out for, you’ll find a wealth of workouts waiting for you. If you’re into ball sports like basketball, soccer, baseball or volleyball, it’s a good idea to build up your core muscles via weight and strength training or even through the practice of more whole-body forms of fitness training, such as Pilates or yoga. You’ll also need to work on your cardiovascular fitness so you can run around the court or up and down the field.

There are many fitness programs available that target training for a specific sport. Most gyms have some form of core muscle strengthening program and the personal trainers should be able to help you find the particular focus areas you need to work on for your sport. If joining a gym is not in your plans, you still have lots of choices. Conditioning workouts for specific sports are available almost anywhere. Check out the workout videos at your local video store, online at stores like, or even at your local library. You can also simply search for specific conditioning workouts online via Google or any other search engine. Web sites like and offer workout suggestions and even detailed programs for a variety of sports. Check out your local library and bookstores for books on sports conditioning and training for specific sports. Last but not least, if you’re in school, ask your physical education instructor for tips and check in with your friends who enjoy the same sports.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball: 10 Ways to Stay Focused

•Remind yourself that your workout has a purpose. You are improving your game (serve, balance, etc.) and reducing your risk of injury.
•Work out with a friend or family member. Find someone who likes to play the same game and get fit together so you can form a killer team.
•Find some images or photos that inspire you. Stick them on the fridge or your bedroom walls or make them your new screen saver on your computer.
•Set specific, realistic goals for yourself. If your sport requires cardiovascular fitness like basketball or soccer, set a goal of running a certain distance in a specific amount of time.
•Instead of one huge goal, set many smaller goals.
•Reward yourself when you reach a goal. Give yourself a pat on the back and share your successes with others. They’ll be proud of you, too. And if you reach a real milestone, instead of treating yourself to a sweet, treat yourself to a new soccer ball or other piece of equipment that you’ve been wishing for.
•Be patient. Your body won’t change overnight.
•Track your progress in a fitness journal. Write down your goals, how you plan to achieve them, and create a fitness chart to track your workouts (how often you exercise, what you do for each workout, how you felt).
•Make it convenient. If you have to drive an hour every time you want to workout, you’re defeating the purpose.
•Make sure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet. You’ll feel better and you’ll have more energy for your workout if you stay away from sugar and saturated fats. Whole grains, veggies and lean meats and fish will help your body build muscle and shed fat.

Choosing a Vitamin for Your Child

By Alan Greene, MD, FAAP

You already back up your computer’s hard drive. Why not back up your child’s food drive too?

Kids are designed to thrive on a balanced diet of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and lean sources of protein and calcium. But in reality, most children today don’t get nearly all of the vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients they need from what they eat. A daily multivitamin or mineral supplement can help to greatly improve children’s overall health.*

A daily dietary supplement can help fill in the small nutritional holes, gaps and cracks that are so common in children’s diets. Since kids’ bodies and brains grow especially quickly in their first three years, begin supplements after your child’s first birthday.

Not all vitamins are created equal. When choosing a vitamin, avoid:

• Hydrogenated vegetable oil
• Artificial dyes (Blue No. 2, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 6)
• High fructose corn syrup
• Artificial flavors
• Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
• Preservatives such as butylated hydroxytoluene

When deciding on a vitamin, look for natural options, as well as ones with low sugar and no allergens.

How much does your child need? It depends on her diet, but in general, be sure your child is getting enough of the most important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (see The Greene 13, below, to find out which ones are my top priority). Most children don’t need large amounts of vitamins or minerals.

Whatever you choose, the simple habit of taking a daily supplement will back up your child’s food drive and help set her up for a long, healthy life.*

The Greene 13

Kids commonly don’t get enough:

1. Calcium

2. Fiber

3. Folic acid

4. Iron

5. Magnesium

6. Omega 3 fatty acids (especially DHA)

7. Phosphorous

8. Potassium

9. Vitamin A

10. Vitamin C

11. Vitamin D

12. Vitamin E

13. Zinc

Making the Case for Vitamin Supplements

By Alan Greene, MD, FAAP

No matter how well intentioned people are about making sure they get the right balance of vitamins and minerals, they face tough obstacles. With breastfed newborns, the scale is tipped in the right direction (except for vitamin D). After infancy we are biologically designed to thrive on a balanced variety of whole foods, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, and lean sources of protein and calcium. But natural instincts to eat the right amount of healthful, balanced foods can be tricked by sugar- and fat-laden empty calories that make up a good portion of the American diet.

Even if people learn to choose fresh, sweet corn over processed corn chips, they face another challenge: today’s natural foods do not contain the same level of micronutrients they used to. The typical American consumes too many calories, but the extra calories do not translate to adequate nutrition. We often get suboptimal levels of many key nutrients and phytonutrients that scientists are just beginning to understand.

Missing the mark on vitamins and minerals is especially worrisome for our kids and expectant mothers. As a pediatrician, I worry most about “the Greene 13”: calcium, fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA), phosphorus (except for kids who drink carbonated beverages and get too much phosphorus), potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc. These micronutrients can affect children’s growth, behavior, and/or immune systems – and typical American children do not get enough.

Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate vitamins and the role they play in our health, especially the healthy development of our children. I’ve seen firsthand how a mother’s vitamin intake can help a growing infant, even before she conceives. I’ve monitored the decrease in the value of the nutrients that our children digest, even when we think we’re feeding our families all the fruits and vegetables they need to stay healthy.

Take vitamin D, for example – one of the critical Greene 13. A recent study found that children with low levels of vitamin D have a higher chance of respiratory concerns, and related research looked at how vitamin D might help respiratory health. Earlier studies suggest that adequate vitamin D might support many other systems in the body.

Earlier this year the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled the amount of vitamin D they recommended for our kids. But parents are going to have to work a little harder to meet these new levels, as it has become more difficult to get enough vitamin D in recent years. Kids are consuming less vitamin D-rich foods such as tuna and vitamin D-fortified milk (in favor of sweetened drinks with less nutrition). They spend less time outdoors during the middle of the day, and when they do, they need to wear sunscreen. A study released this year showed that forty percent of healthy babies and toddlers were not getting enough vitamin D – and an earlier report said the same about American teens.

Another Greene 13 nutrient that’s tough to get naturally is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, an important nutrient that studies have shown helps support healthy joint function, cardiovascular health, and helps to enhance mood and support a healthy state of mind.

Although everyone can benefit from taking a balanced multivitamin, women of childbearing age and children have special needs. One of the most critical times for good nutrition may be the trimester before the pregnancy test turns positive. Thus, I recommend a prenatal vitamin for women who may become pregnant. Babies or toddlers can start on liquid vitamin drops when they slow down on breastfeeding or formula. Breastfed babies should get at least 400 IU of vitamin D starting soon after birth. When kids can start chewing pills, I look for palatable supplements that do not mimic candy or contain sweeteners or artificial coloring.

Of course, in the developing world, adding supplements to a diet isn’t as easy as going to the vitamin aisle in a drugstore. More than 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. One non-profit organization has dedicated itself to decreasing the problems caused by malnutrition by providing supplements to children and expecting mothers in developing countries and communities in need. Vitamin Angels ( is focusing on distributing vitamin A to at-risk children. The program is privately funded with donations from vitamin manufacturers, companies and individual donations. I give to Vitamin Angels each year because this charity does so much with every dollar that I give. I've travelled with Vitamin Angels to the Dominican Republic to see the program at work. I've never seen such a big improvement in people's lives achieved so inexpensively and so quickly.

Chewable Vitamins

DHA Cheryl