Ideally, your kids should get the nutrients they need from a complete diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. In the real world, however, it’s not always possible to get picky kids to consistently eat foods they dislike. Vitamin-rich supplements and smoothies can help bridge the gap, so your kids have the nutrients they need to grow taller and smarter. Here are some clever ways to get kids to eat their vitamins without raising a fuss.
Getting Enough Nutrients
To promote healthy growth and prevent problems at the dentist, it’s important for children to get enough vitamins and minerals. If you believe your child is lacking in this area, consider the following fun ways to up his or her nutritional intake.
- Make colorful smoothies. By blending in some colorful, tart blueberries and raspberries, you can conceal the taste of kale, broccoli and other dark green vegetables.
- Use a vitamin powder. You can add this to pancakes, milkshakes and yogurt. Just be sure to follow the correct serving sizes for children.
- Make Popsicles. You can also add a supplement powder to fruit juices and freeze them into Popsicles using mini frozen lolly moulds.
- Make homemade gummies. Combine fruit juice with gelatin powder and your powdered supplement. Then, let it set in the refrigerator until it hardens.
- Bake them in. Since calcium and magnesium powders remain viable during the cooking process, you can add them to pancake mix, cookie batter and muffin recipes.
Things to Consider
While most people view vitamins as a good thing, it’s important to understand that they come with certain risks. Large doses of vitamins and minerals can be toxic, and certain vitamins can interact dangerously with medications. It’s also important to understand the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. For instance, with water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, the body can easily excrete excess amounts. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D and E, can build up inside the body and become toxic.
Since many processed foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals, your child may not need to take supplements. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to talk to your family physician to see if vitamin supplements are right for your child. Many times, doctors will recommend a conservative approach to supplementation, unless your child has a specific health issues that might cause him or her to have a nutrient deficiency. Instead of a daily vitamin, your doctor might recommend that you provide a supplement only two to four times per week.
Whatever the case, you should never indiscriminately provide your child with vitamin supplements without understanding the risk. If you do decide to give your child supplements, you should also be careful to store them out of reach, since children may not understand that colorful vitamins aren’t candy.