Keeping Vitamins in Your Kids: Alternatives to Popping Pills
While most young children can’t swallow pills with the same amount of confidence that adults can, they still need to get their daily doses of vitamins and minerals.
Calcium and vitamin C are essential for growing bones and teeth. Children also need iodine, B vitamins, zinc, and choline for brain development, and they need iron. Iron helps to form hemoglobin, which moves oxygen through their expanding muscles.
The recommended dietary amounts of these essential nutrients and others depend largely on the size of the children. They don’t need as much as adults do, and too much of certain nutrients can actually poison them. Look up the dietary requirements for children, and ask: Is my child getting too much, or not enough?
In a world of fast food and convenience meals, chances are that your child is getting too much fat, sugar, and protein but not enough of the other nutrients that fuel healthy growth.
How do you sneak the necessary vitamins and minerals into those tiny bodies?
The Best Way is Through Food
Feeding a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to children is always the top choice for providing them with the nutrients they need. Vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed through natural foods than they are through most supplemental products.
You can make it fun, too. Try new dips with veggies and fruits. Let your children help mix ingredients for a salad, or make funny faces on their plates with the healthful foods they choose.
When they just won’t eat those colorful choices, you may need to consider supplementation. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to go about this.
Gummies and Other Chewables
Some children’s multivitamins are chewable options that are packaged in bottles like adult supplements. These chewable multivitamins come mostly in fruity flavors, and they’re usually made to taste like candy.
Some varieties are similar to crunchy tablet-type candies that children can crush with their teeth into a tasty powder. Others are made from gelatin. This type of multivitamin looks and tastes a lot like gummy bears.
The downside of this type of multivitamin is that some children think they really are candy. Unless you keep them where your children can’t get into them, there’s a chance they could eat too many.
If your children don’t like chewable vitamins or you’re worried about the chance they could get into them and overdose, you might consider something like the IntraKID 2.0 liquid multivitamin supplement made by Drucker Labs. Liquid supplements like this one come in a range of flavors and prices.
Check the labels to compare the nutrient amounts in different brands. This type of vitamin can also come in dropper bottles for giving supplements to very young children.
Like pre-mixed liquids, powdered shakes can deliver vitamins and minerals in a drink form. These can come in fruity flavors that can be mixed into smoothies. There are also dairy-based varieties like Nature’s One Organic PediaSmart beverage mix.
Oral sprays are another option for helping kids get the nutrition they need. These are quick to administer, and there isn’t any mixing or measuring to do. These are also a great way to administer just one or two vitamins, such as Vitamin D, rather than a whole array of vitamin supplements that your child might not actually need.