Vitamins are an essential part of the chemistry that makes life possible. But with daily life becoming busier and busier for many families, it can be a surprisingly difficult challenge to get the right amount of macro and micronutrients in your diet. Vitamin supplements aren’t known for their taste, and sometimes getting a child to do what’s best for them can be difficult. The combination of fussy kids and nutritional needs can be enough to stress anyone out. This article will outline some helpful tips on how to make sure your kids are getting the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy.
Make it a Ritual
All people, not just children, benefit from a regular routine in their day-to-day lives. Getting tasks done that we may otherwise overlook can be easier if you make it part of your daily routine. Do you think about brushing your teeth when you wake up in the morning? Make taking a vitamin part of your child’s daily routine by pairing it with something the kids do every day – such as brushing their teeth or eating breakfast. Not only will it help your kids remember, but it will also help you remember, too!
Make it Fun
Kids love to have fun and are more likely to do something if it is fun for them. You can make taking vitamins something your kids look forward to by singing a song or making funny faces when they take them. If they have a favorite TV show, movie, or video game you could associate taking vitamins with those by giving the vitamins with the entertainment. Another option is to buy flavored or chewable vitamins. These are widely available and you may have to keep your kids away from them! Kids also love to see their favorite characters outside of the TV – so you can buy branded vitamins to keep them happy and engaged with staying healthy.
Take Vitamins with Them
Not only are they good for you, too – but kids love to mimic older people. They look up to you – so encourage their vitamin intake by making sure your own nutritional needs are met, too! If your kids have siblings, cousins, or close friends you could try showing them that they also take vitamins. Especially as they get older, kids look to their peers and older siblings for guidance.
Teach Them About Vitamins!
Children often understand more than we give them credit for and have a natural curiosity about the world around them. If you explain to the kids why vitamins are good for them and that they help to keep the body healthy, they will be more likely to enjoy taking vitamins. After all, nobody likes being sick. You don’t have to show your kids a picture of goiter, but you should explain to them that they can get ill if they don’t take their nutrition seriously.
Mixing Them in With Food
Some kids don’t like the taste of vitamins, no matter what. One option in this instance is to mix the vitamins with food or a beverage. You can either buy the vitamins in powder form or crush a tablet and mix it in with a meal. It may be wise to consider heat if you choose to go this route; some vitamins are heat sensitive and will break down if the temperature is too hot. It is safest to mix vitamins with cool or room temperature foods like cold pudding, apple sauce, or ice cream. Consider the taste, too. Strongly flavored or sweet foods will cover the flavor of vitamins the best, so try to choose foods of that nature.
Trying Different Kinds of Vitamins
Not all vitamin supplements are the same and if your child is not a fan of one – you could always try another flavor, brand. or formulation altogether. If you have tried a few different varieties, you could consider the fact that your kids do not like taking pills.
If your child is averse to swallowing pills you should know that there are options to get the vitamins you need without having to take pills. Buying vitamin formulations that do not come in pill or tablet form can be a good workaround if your kid doesn’t like them, has trouble taking them regularly, or even if life is just too busy. There are several nutritional supplement products on the market that don’t come in pills – such as drinks or vitamin patches. You may find more success with a product of this nature.
Make Sure They’re Only Taking What They Should
It’s easy to overdo it on the vitamins, especially when they taste like blue raspberry. However, it’s important to only take the recommended dose of all nutritional supplements – including multivitamins. Taking too high a dose of certain vitamins can put stress on the body’s organs or can even be toxic!
Paint Your Plate!
We know that there is less time in the day than ever to cook, but the very best way to get nutrients into your diet is with fresh, whole foods. Fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are great ways to introduce vitamins into your family’s diet. Look up recipes for salads, curries, burrito bowls – or even add vegetables into foods your kids enjoy – like pizza or lasagna.
Another tip is to buy iodized table salt instead of kosher or other specialty salts. Iodine is not found in many foods so taking it with something as common as salt is a good way to get the amount your body needs.
At the end of the day, there are many options to deal with a fussy child that doesn’t want to take their vitamins. The risks of not getting enough nutrition are very real, especially for a child that is growing up. Try your best to get your kids to take the vitamins that they need to grow into healthy grown-ups! Making vitamins and nutrition an essential and fun part of your family’s daily ritual will build habits that keep you all healthy for a lifetime.