Monday, February 25, 2013

Gummy Vitamins? Yes Please.

Brothers: An unrelated but oh-so-cute photo!
They are holding hands!
Back in November, Bolt got invited to his very first playdate. Let me explain, this is not the first time he's been on a playdate, it was the first time the playdate was arranged at the request of the children rather than the parents.

In fact before we arrived, I was feeling just a little bit anxious about spending time with an unknown woman who could quite possibly have parenting and lifestyle philosophies that differed greatly from my own. But my boy, who doesn't always make friends that easily, had been invited over to play and there was no way we were passing up on an opportunity for him to develop his budding little relationship.

I need not have worried however, us Mom's got along great and in no time flat we were tlking about naturopathic medicine and the vitamin regime Bolt's friend was currently on. Although not prone to catching every single cold like Bolt, her cold's were always accompanied by a five day fever. When she started taking a suite of children's vitamins however, the duration of her fever began to diminish.

In a second I was sold; ever cautious of the supplements I chose, I headed out to my local Choices and bought a plethora of Children's vitamins including: Multi-vitamins, probiotics, omega 3's, calcium, greens, immune boosters and cold guard.

I am well aware that both gummy and chewable vitamins can be dangerous for kids because they don't understand that it they are medicine and not candy, so as parents we have to ensure we keep these products well out of our children's reach. That said, it also means that vitamins, particularly gummy vitamins, can be particularly effective as a bribe.

On one particularly cranky day, Bolt was refusing to eat dinner, not because he wasn't hungry, but because he's 3.5 and wanted to assert his willpower. Simba on the other hand had devoured his dinner and was waiting (not so patiently) for his vitamins.

Almost like magic, when I pulled the vitamins off the shelf and began handing Simba his meagre share, I simply told Bolt that for every three bites of his dinner he could have one vitamin. He finished his dinner and his vitamins in about five minutes flat.

I know that food is the best source of nutrients and that ideally we shouldn't need to supplement our children.  I also know that a month after starting this vitamin regime, Bolt fought off a cold for a good three days before he succumbed. Two weeks later he lasted almost a week and the cold lasted only two days. A month into his vitamins he completely fought off a cold.

I give my boys a ton of gummy and/or chewable vitamins each and every day; they love eating them and when combined with the nutritious home-made foods we eat the majority of the time, I am confident that we are giving their bodies the best chance possible to grow up strong and healthy.

Do you give your kids multi-vitamins and/or other supplements?
I'd love to hear your rationale.