How to Choose a Vitamin and Mineral Supplement for Food Allergy

Clear bottle of chewable children's vitamins
Some multivitamins contain food allergens. Carin Krasner/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Living with a food allergy, or more than one, may place you at risk for certain nutrient deficiencies and may make you wonder whether you need a multivitamin. Avoiding whole food groups such as dairy or grains (due to a wheat allergy) automatically deprives your diet of potential nutrients. For example, a milk allergy may eliminate a significant source of calcium and vitamin D, which are critical nutrients for bone health and overall health.

A fish allergy eliminates major sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and a wheat allergy may strip away important sources of B vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

With careful attention to food selection, you can overcome these potential deficits, but many individuals with food allergy, especially multiple food allergies, get behind on their nutrient intake, placing their nutritional status at risk, as well as their growth and development (such as with a child) and overall health.

Child Development

Research has shown Vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids to be deficient in children with food allergies. Trace elements including zinc, selenium and magnesium may also be of concern. These scenarios are a real possibility for adults, too.

In a recent study, researchers found that 60% of children aged 4 weeks to 16 years and who had food allergies were not consuming enough vitamin D. They also saw low intake of selenium, zinc, and copper from food sources.

They concluded that routine supplementation with a multivitamin/mineral supplement for children with more than one food allergy was prudent because deficient intake of calcium, vitamin D, zinc and selenium was common.

Be Choosy with Your Supplement Choice

If you have a food allergy, you already know that you have to be very careful when it comes to reading food ingredients labels.

After all, ingredients can change without warning! This holds true for finding the right multivitamin and mineral supplement.

But what may be more difficult about reading ingredients labels on supplements is that they may not give you the whole picture. Supplement manufacturers don’t have to comply with the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which regulates labeling of allergens on food products.


Vitamins fall under the category of “dietary supplements,” and they aren’t regulated by the FDA with the same attention we see with food. In fact, dietary supplements are voluntarily regulated by the manufacturers themselves, and therefore do not have to comply with FALCPA, although many manufacturers do add allergen warnings to their product labels.

Be Safe with Supplements with These Steps:

  1. Check the ingredients label for the specific food allergen and its derivative names.  Some vitamin labels even include information on common allergens, even though the manufacturers are not required to list this information.
  1. Look for the USP seal. The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) is a non-profit organization that has established standards of quality for prescription and nonprescription drugs. Using vitamins and other supplements with the USP seal indicates some quality of control and verification of safety from contaminants. Some examples of USP verified dietary supplements include: NatureMade, Kirkland, TruNature, and Berkley & Jensen.
  2. Follow the dosage directions correctly!  You or your child probably don’t need more than the recommended daily dose, which typically reflects 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), unless your doctor has prescribed a different dose due to a concerning deficiency. An overdose of certain vitamins could be dangerous and may lead to poor absorption of other nutrients.
  3. Discuss the use of all supplements with your doctor and registered dietitian.

Examples of Allergen-free Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Before you purchase and consume any of the products listed below, be sure to double-check the ingredients! Product composition and manufacturing procedures are subject to change. Some of these products are available online only. Please note that this is just a sampling of available allergen-free vitamin and mineral products.

  • One A Day Scooby Doo Complete
  • One A Day Bugs Bunny Complete
  • Zahler’s Kosher Chewable Multivitamin
  • Yummi Bears Organics vitamin and mineral supplement
  • Phlexy Vits
  • Gummy Vites
  • Nano VM
  • Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Children’s Chewable
  • Nordic Naturals Natural Berries chewable gummies (multivitamin/mineral—available on Kirkman Labs)
  • Freeda Vitamin Vitalets
  • Solace Nutrition products for children and adults
  • Rainbow Light’s Certified Organics Women’s Multivitamin

For an added source of calcium:

  • Tums
  • Caltrate
  • Powdered calcium (Kirkman Labs)

For an added source of vitamin D:

  • Liquid D3 drops
  • Chewable D3 tablets

For a combined source of calcium and vitamin D:

  • Vitacost Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3 & Magnesium
  • Vitafusion calcium + vitamin D gummies
  • CItracal calcium + vitamin D gummies
  • Caltrate calcium + vitamin D gummies
  • Kirkman hypoallergenic calcium + vitamin D powder


Meyer R et al. A practical approach to vitamin and mineral supplementation in food allergic children.  Clinical and Translational Allergy 2015; 5:11.

Various supplement websites

US Pharmacopeia (USP) website

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