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Corrin Ainley
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Getting kids to take supplements

by on 14 April, 2015

Getting kids to take supplements can be challenging, especially with fussy eaters.

Thankfully there are many tips and tricks to sneak them in unnoticed.

 

 

The key to giving supplements is to identify the foods and drinks that your child already loves, and is highly motivated to consume, and find a way to hide what they need in what they want. Also, start slow so the taste change is less noticeable. Tablets can be crushed using a mortar and pestle and added to food and liquid. Capsules are easily opened and resealed if using a half dose.
     

  • Mix in liquids - Some commonly used juices and liquids include: pear, pineapple, orange, grape, cranberry, chocolate flavoured milk, water, or a small amount of a favourite natural soda. It is recommended that you only use ¼ cup or less of liquid.   

 

Home juicing is an excellent way to not only provide wonderful nutrition to your kids, but vitamins can hide inside the delicious juice! This can depend on the solubility of the powdered vitamin and sometimes how well you mix it. Trial and error works best with this.

You can get really creative and do things like carrot, apple, beet, spinach, cucumber, and blueberry juice.
     

  • Smoothies - The bonus with this method is that you can hide more without the child noticing. Blend your child’s favourite fruits (banana, berries, mango etc) add coconut/almond or their preferred milk. Make sure you add the supplements to their individual glass and pour ¼ cup so it’s all taken.

 

  • Food ideas (mix one capsule or tablet in 1-2 tbsp)


Apple sauce
Baby food
Jam or honey (only use honey if over 12 months)
Ketchup
Make into jelly cups
Peanut butter or nut butters then spread on a sandwich
Yoghurt
Ice-cream or dairy free coconut ice-cream
Frosting
Mix into homemade popsicles or ice cubes (one ice cube per dose)
Mashed banana
Melted chocolate

  • Use a straw: encouraging children to drink liquid mixtures through a straw to bypass the tastebuds at the front of the mouth.


Although some foods on the list contain sugar and may not be the healthiest options, the most important thing is getting the supplements in.  Think of supplements as any other essential medication.


It becomes even easier when children are able to swallow tablets. Here are some helpful links for pill swallowing.

Teaching Pill Swallowing
http://www.dbpeds.org/media/2004AutumnSODBPNews.pdf, p.26
How to Get Kids to Take…Pills!
http://www.acor.org/ped-onc/treatment/Pills/pills.html
Primer & Video on Pill Swallowing
http://bayloraids.org/resources

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