It is no secret that children can be very sensitive to tastes and textures. Therefore, it may be a challenge to be able to incorporate supplements and medications that your child will tolerate. Here are some suggestions and tips to help:
Make sure the food or liquid that you are using to mix the supplements into is at room temperature or cooler. This is important because adding supplements to hot foot or liquids will change the composition of the supplement so it will not be as effective.
Using liquids as your vehicle to incorporate supplements is the easiest. The best form of liquid to use is fruit juices. It is important to use juices that are organic and do not contain any added sugar. My favorite juice to implement in Pomegranate juice due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. However, other options are orange juice, mango juice, lemonade, and apple juice which all mask the flavor of supplements really well. It is best to add the supplement to about 1-2 oz of liquid so not many sips are required. Also, putting a lid on the drink is key. Lids are a way to decrease the smell of supplements so your child’s sensitive nose will not be able to pick up on the supplement. In addition, use a colored cup so they won’t see the change in the color of the fluid due to the added supplements.
Other forms of foods that work well to hide supplements are:
1. NUT & SEED BUTTERS
Best option for strong tasting supplements and for children that struggle with the chalky/grainy texture of supplements. In addition, it is great at masking the bitterness of herbal medicine. * Avoid if your child has a known nut allergy
This is an option for children over one years old. Honey is wonderful at masking the taste of bitter supplements. Also, it is a good option for children who have a sweet tooth! * Never give honey to children under 1 years old due to the risk of botulism!
3. MAPLE SYRUP
Another sweet option to mask the taste of bitter supplements and the gritty texture of supplements.
Add liquid or powder to the hollow portion of berries. Works best with raspberries, blackberries, hollowed out strawberries. This can be a quick and pleasant way to administer supplements with the added benefit of the antioxidant properties of berries.
You can get creative with the flavor of jam depending on your child’s preference. This is a sweet way to disguise the taste and texture of supplements.
6. APPLE SAUCE
Apple sauce is an easy way to incorporate supplements into your child’s diet. The powerful apple flavor masks the taste of the supplements and the chucky texture of the apple sauce disguises the gritty texture of the supplement powder.
Smoothies are the best for incorporating nutritious foods into a child’s diet. Make a smoothie with frozen berries and get your child involved so they can create their own flavor! If your child likes a creamier consistency use an alternative nut-based milk (such as almond, coconut, cashew milk etc.), ½ banana, or ½ avocado. While you are at it, you can throw in a handful of spinach or kale to increase your child’s vegetable intake!
Good option if your child doesn’t have a food sensitivity to dairy! If they have a dairy sensitive, consider the non-flavored alternative yogurt options (almond, coconut, cashew, pea , etc.) The creamy consistency of yogurt makes it easy to blend supplements in without your child knowing.
9. ICE POPS
This is a great way to incorporate supplements in the hot summer months. Just purchase an ice pop mold and your child favorite juice. Add the juice and add the supplements into the mold, mix, and freeze. Just make sure to use organic, no sugar added fruit juice.
10. HOMEMADE FRUIT LEATHER
You can find a fruit leather recipe online and after your fruit leather has cooled you can put the powder from the supplements on the portion of the leather and put another piece of top, essentially making a supplement sandwich with the fruit leather. This is a tasty treat for children!
If you have an infant that is too young to eat solid food
the best way to incorporate necessary supplements is through an oral syringe.
Administer supplements by gently squirting the supplement mixed with breast
milk or formula in the pocket of your infant’s cheek. Just be careful not to
squirt the contents of the syringe into the back of your infant’s throat
because it may trigger a gag reflex.
Learn more about the functional medicine approach to pediatrics and to many chronic health conditions, including complete courses by Dr. Lindsey Wells and more, through the educational platform Functional Medicine & Nutrition Virtual Classroom with Dr. David Brady & Friends at OnlineCE.com/DrBrady.