Tips for Getting Kids to Take Their Supplements
Getting kids to take their prescribed supplements can be a very stressful activity for both parents and children.
For children with developmental disabilities such as Autism and ADHD, they may have to take anywhere from 6 to 20 different nutritional supplements each day.
This can be overwhelming for parents, especially when their children do not swallow pills and strongly resist being forced to consume anything that is not of their choosing.
Below are some suggestions that have been tried and tested to help overcome the problem of running away, clenched teeth, and spitting back out what is put into their mouths.
- Mix powders, internal capsule contents, crushed tablets or liquids with yoghurt, stewed fruit, mashed banana, apple sauce, smoothies or shakes.
- Some supplements are best mixed with savoury options such as meat sauce (e.g. tomato or curry sauce) or mashed potato.
- Minerals mix well with mineral water, juice or honey.
- To reduce sweetness, stir soda water or natural mineral water.
- Mix with water or fresh juice and gelatine to make into small jelly cups.
- Encourage children to drink liquid mixtures through a straw to bypass taste buds at the front of the tongue.
- Mix with water or fresh juice and make into ice blocks. Try 1 teaspoon dose per cube. Suck cube directly or put into a cup of water or juice.
- Probiotics are often enjoyed neat. They can also be mixed into food or drink provided it is not heated as this alters probiotic viability.
- Fish oil liquid is best taken chilled and can be well tolerated neat. Do not assume the child wont enjoy it; let them try it first. Alternatively, it is well hidden in meals containing fat. Again, avoid heating as this will affect the oil stability.
- Mix with some honey. Tablets can often easily be crushed between two dessert spoons and mixed with a spread such as Manuka Honey or natural peanut butter.
- When mixing powders and liquids into drinks or water, providing small doses more frequently can dilute the preparation to make it almost tasteless.
- Pierce vitamin D capsules and hide in food.
- Mix with a little water and use a pipette to dispense down an infants throat.
- Numb taste buds by having the child suck on an ice cube or frozen fresh juice popsicle prior to administering treatment.