You feed your children a vegetarian diet, but are their vitamin supplements vegetarian based as well? It’s easy to pick up a bottle of popular cartoon character vitamins, thinking that it doesn’t contain any animal products. After all, the label should tell you everything you need to know, right?

The list of ingredients on a vitamin bottle doesn’t give you the whole story, so you need to know your stuff. The problem with commercial vitamins is that they may contain animal products like pork or beef fat, used to make the gelatin that binds the ingredients in the pills Also, vitamin D3 is derived from lanolin, or sheep’s wool, so look for other sources, like D2 which are more likely to be vegan in nature.

You can find true vegetarian children’s multivitamins at specialty health food stores. Make sure that the vitamin and mineral mix doesn’t contain iron (unless recommended by your doctor) and that the bottle has a childproof cap. Young children can sometimes mistake the vitamins for candy and suffer a fatal iron overdose if too many of the pills are consumed. Remember to keep all medication safely out of reach.