Remember those Flinstones vitamins we used to get as kids? They seemed more like candy than anything else. Now with depleted soil, processed foods and picky eaters all working against the nourishment of our children, supplements seem more necessary than ever before, especially for this over scheduled generation that we expect so much from. Since stories of girls starting their menses at the tender age of 9 began, we have been warned to only give our children organic milk and organic foods, but what should we be giving our children as far as supplements? Some pediatricians say a children’s multivitamin is enough while others say that food should be supplying our children with the vitamins and minerals they need.
In past generations, mothers would force their kids to eat liver with onions and homemade chicken soup for dinner. Nowadays, if you see an apple or carrot on a child’s plate, that one portion constitutes the healthy part of their meal. There are some foods that have a higher content of vitamins and minerals and trace minerals that much of the food we eat don’t have. For instance, liver has 112% more times Vitamin B12 than beef does. Here is a list of supplements I try to include everyday with my preschoolers to boost their immune system, support brain development, support their digestive tract, and overall organ function. With autism, allergies and emotional disorders on the rise, I feel like these are supplements that help protect their nervous system, immunity, and overall mood.
4 ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR CHILDREN
Grass Fed Bovine Liver
Why? Gram per gram it contains more nutrients than any other food. It includes vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron, all of which are hard to get from chicken nuggets and fries, a common kid’s menu option at restaurants. Also, I don’t know about your kids but I don’t think my kids will be eating liver and onions anytime soon!
How? I sprinkle it on chili, breading for chicken cutlets, pulled pork, turkey burgers, anything with meat and a sauce and my kids don’t bat an eye at the taste.
Where? My preference for grass fed bovine liver is Radiant Life’s version: here.
Why? It improves gut integrity, digestive strength and bowel movements, and eventually can help prevent autoimmune disorders, inflammation, food intolerances and allergies, helps produce collagen for healthier looking hair, skin and nails, improves joint health, AND it helps you sleep!
How? I dissolve a tablespoon in warm water and add it to smoothies, sprinkle a tablespoon or so in soups, chili, and any dish that has a liquid or gravy component. I’ve also given it as tea with honey and chamomile for an after dinner drink.
Where? I like the Radiant Life brand which tests the cows for mad cow disease. (They also ship free for orders of over $125 so I try to get my supplies from them.)
Why? It has choline, EPA and DHA. Research shows that these three components support memory, promotes the ability to concentrate and focus, supports normal social development and behavior, and even promotes a positive mental health outlook. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory.
How? Nordic Naturals sells them in small gels that are easy to swallow with a strawberry flavor.
Why? If your child has been on an antibiotic recently, the amount of beneficial flora in their digestive tract may be suffering, which can lead to a compromised immune function, which can lead to more illnesses and eventually more antibiotics, creating a vicious cycle for many young kids.
Taking a probiotic supplement can help restore healthy flora, which may be effective for symptoms such as diarrhea, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema and more. Children with autism, food allergies, and sugar cravings can benefit from a good probiotic because it may help a potential leaky gut syndrome which may be causing allergic reactions, brain function and inflammation.
How? There are many forms kids can take probiotics. There is a powder form from Nature’s Way which I use for my daughter called Primadophilus by Nature’s Way. My pediatrician gave us Pedia-Lax Probiotic Yums that my son loves and he’s very picky. No sugar, preservatives or food coloring added and according to my son, they’re “YUM!”
Where? Amazon.com has both!