At ChildLife Essentials™, the maker of premium nutritional supplements designed for infants, children, and teens, it is, not surprisingly, all about kids. Products have to be the highest quality, with pure, potent and natural ingredients that are meticulously tested by third-party labs, because when making supplements for kids, quality and safety are non-negotiable.
The team at ChildLife knows that quality and transparency must be top-of-mind because their products are used by infants as early as day one in their lives, and the mission to put kids first is intensely personal for everyone. “At a sports nutrition company, not everyone is an athlete,” explained Adam Sutter, quality director for ChildLife, “but here, most everyone has kids in their lives, so our whole existence is to create products that work efficaciously and engender trust and confidence.”
There is not one of the products that Sutter doesn’t feel personally comfortable giving to his family. “I see the data, who it is made by, and still say it is the best for my family. To be honest, I can’t think of a higher recommendation,” he said.
This has been the vision for ChildLife Essentials™ from the very beginning. Its founder Dr. Murray Clarke, who holds licenses and doctorates in three fields of medicine – naturopathic, homeopathic and Chinese medicine – noticed early on that he was seeing kids with behavioral issues and suspected that nutritional deficiencies might be making them worse. This prompted Dr. Clark to manufacture mostly liquid formulations for his patients, using modalities ranging from homeopathy and acupuncture to herbal medicine and clinical nutrition.
Dr. Clarke has since become a “go-to” source for pediatricians and parents, and the company has since evolved into an all-encompassing dietary supplement brand.
The primary reason that ChildLife Essentials™’s products are different, explained Sutter, is that the company specializes in children. “We’re not a supplement brand with a few products for kids. Our focus is on kids only.” This means that all the studies ChildLife does in-house and all of the conversations the company has with partners up and downstream are about what the data shows for kids. “It’s not an afterthought, it our primary driver,” he said. And that goes for everything from science and safety to flavor. “We understand that we can make the best product in the world,” said Sutter, “but it won’t work if a child won’t take it or spits it out because it doesn’t taste good.”
Small but Mighty
As a result, the company has a substantial product development and testing process that ensures ingredient quality, safety and efficacy for children. ChildLife keeps abreast of new ingredient developments around the world and, where possible, uses suppliers that are investing in research and development and have branded raw materials backed by clinical data. Products are evaluated for bioavailability and stability based on product category and function, and every product is tested per lot –so the company doesn’t use skip-lot testing. In addition to a review of all formulations by Dr. Clarke, ChildLife adheres to and exceeds all requirements under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s current Good Manufacturing Practices.
“It is a long, complicated process,” said Sutter, “but we believe nutrition for children is a right, not a privilege. If we are putting the ingredient into our brand, we must ensure it offers what is needed and that we can provide it to customers around the world at a cost-competitive price.”
Transparency is another important principle for ChildLife Essentials™, so the brand aims for complete transparency in its supply chain. “If the raw material supplier is not transparent, then we can’t be either. So, we might be a little bit difficult to work with because we put so much emphasis on these things,” Sutter acknowledged.
Supply chain partners must be able to say where an ingredient is sourced, and what allergens it might contain. “Our contract manufacturers are the best in the world,” he added. “I have visited all of them and done audits. We do testing that is far above and beyond requirements from FDA and our manufacturers have to be willing to discuss testing results.”
ChildLife also does its part to help raise the bar for dietary supplement products overall, as members of industry groups like the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the American Herbal Products Association and the Global Organization for EPA and DHA, all of which are aligned with its mission and goals. The company also attains third-party certifications from NSF, the Non-GMO Project and Oregon Tilth.
Sustainability of the raw material is also critical for the ChildLife Essentials™ brand. Overfishing or overharvesting of an important raw material makes no sense from a business perspective, because if you use up the resources you can’t continue to indefinitely produce a quality product, Sutter explained. “We believe it makes sense for all companies who are utilizing resources today to do so responsibly and sustainably. There is no justification for doing it any other way – especially as a company providing products for children,” Sutter added. “We cannot deplete resources for the next generation. We believe it is so important to leave kids a world that still has resources in it.”
A family affair
I see the data, who it is made by, and still say it is the best for my family. To be honest, I can’t think of a higher recommendation.”
Adam Sutter, quality director,
ChildLife Essentials™ is a proud partner of Inside the Bottle—a New Hope Network and Natural Products Insider initiative dedicated to supporting quality and transparency in the supplement industry.
We believe it makes sense for all companies who are utilizing resources today to do so responsibly and sustainably. There is no justification for doing it any other way – especially as a company providing products for children.”
Adam Sutter, quality director,
ChildLife Essentials™ is providing products that staff members are comfortable giving to their own kids.
ChildLife Essentials™ is providing products
that staff members are comfortable giving
to their own kids.