Whether your child believes this or not, there is more to a meal than just mac-n-cheese. We get it – their picky personalities can make dinner anything but easy. But there’s hope. For starters, keep trying, mama (and dad)! The more kids are exposed to a food, the more likely they are to try it.
Next, there are a few instances where supplementation may be necessary. Some of these situations include: children who are not growing well, kids who follow strict/special diets, or those who have a dietary restriction due to allergies. Extremely picky kiddos may also fall into this category; consulting with a health care provider is important. Note: Mega-doses of specific vitamins can be harmful. That is why it is critical to ensure the one you choose is formulated for kids and dosed appropriately.
Let’s look at what may be behind a dietitian’s cabinet doors:
Multivitamin: For starters, experts recommend starting at age 4 if/when introducing a multivitamin. Multivitamins are a good option when it comes to filling in the nutritional gaps their diets may be missing out on.
Supplement recommendation: SmartyPants Kids Complete Multivitamin Gummies:
- SmartyPants is a tasty, vitamin-packed gummy multivitamin that contains 15 essential nutrients, including vitamins D3 and K for bone health. In addition, it packs in B12, omega-3s and choline for cognitive development. For kids with allergies, SmartyPants is a great choice as it is free from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, gluten and wheat.
- Supplement recommendation: SmartyPants Kids Complete Multivitamin Gummies:
Probiotic: It’s no secret that probiotics are good for gut health, and if you have a child who is prone to stomach issues, this may help constipation or diarrhea. Keep in mind, most kiddos don’t need a probiotic. They likely can boost their tummy health through eating a balanced diet. Plus, natural probiotics live in products like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut.
- Supplement recommendation: Culturelle Kids Purely Probiotic Single Serve Packets (appropriate for kids ages 1+)
- If a gummy doesn’t work for your kiddo, these powdered packs are just the ticket. Simply mix one dose into a smoothie, applesauce or yogurt. The main strain found in this brand is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which has been studied extensively and is thought to be extremely effective.
Omega-3s: Also known as the heart-healthy fats, omega-3s help feed the brain and keep it healthy. They are mainly found in fatty fish, but you’ll find them in flax and chia seeds, too. There’s no denying it, fish doesn’t exactly scream “kid food,” but adding it to your child’s diet is an excellent way to reel in important nutrients. Think salmon on pizza, shrimp in mac-n-cheese, or mahi-mahi tacos.
- If all else fails, a little sprinkle of flaxseed here and there can boost the heart-healthy nutrients that we as parents strive to include in our littles’ diet. Ground flaxseeds can be added to muffins, casseroles or smoothies.
- Recommendation: Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed
As you can see, vitamins can intervene if and when a diet doesn’t seem sound. Keep trying, keep offering a variety of foods and textures. And, when in doubt, blend up some flaxseed in a cold, creamy concoction they’ll go crazy about.
All you need:
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/3 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
- 1 tbsp Spectrum Essentials organic ground flaxseed
- 1 cup ice
All you do:
- Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.