Once you have established your individual optimal requirement, you can
select which form of supplement you require, whether it is a powder,
tablet, liquid, or capsule. You will then ensure that the amount taken
per day fits your exact requirement. The supplements should generally be
taken with food unless otherwise specified by your practitioner.
Some individual supplements, such as amino acids, should not be taken with food to maximize their absorption.
Most nutrients work synergistically—that is, with other
nutrients—and can be taken together just as they are found in foods, and
for most individuals this seems to work well. For more sensitive
individuals, however, it might be worth introducing each supplement one
at a time and checking for any adverse responses. In each
nutrient description, we have provided information on interactions with medication and toxicity.
generally find taking supplements relatively straightforward; however,
encouraging a child to take supplements might be a completely different
challenge. Giving your child supplements may not be easy. The following
information is based on the excellent guidelines by Lori Knowles in her
online article “Getting Children to Take Supplements”. Below are some
suggestions that have been tried and tested to help overcome the
problems of children running away, clenching their teeth or spitting
back out what is put into their mouths. Whether the supplements you are
giving are in capsule, liquid or chewable form, following these steps
should help with getting your child to comply.
Take a No-Nonsense Approach
Give supplements with the same level of intensity that you use to
give your child a lifesaving medication. Your child needs these
supplements to support his or her brain, immune system, and overall
nutritional status. Children can sense when you mean business and you
cannot allow them to think that taking their supplements is optional.
Do not mix into food or drink and pretend that it’s not there! They
may taste it, and this may further reduce their dietary intake. This is
very important to those children who are already picky eaters.
Choose the best method for your child when administering
supplements. You need to consider the sensory/swallowing issues that
your child has. Does your child do better with liquids or semi-solids?
The two most common mediums in which to mix supplements are baby fruit
purées or one to two tablespoons of strong-tasting liquids. Other
liquids suitable to mix supplements in include pear, pineapple, orange,
or water. It is recommended that you only use one to two tablespoons of
liquid. Only use the liquid of choice for giving supplements, not for
regular drinks, in order to avoid confusion.
Remember that the choice of liquids or purées used should be based
upon your child’s condition, so you need to take into consideration any
allergies, phenol sensitivities, and sensitivity to sugar.
Use the concept of “first—then”. This is a critical concept to
ensure compliance. Parents can reinforce this concept by repeating it in
everyday life experiences, such as, first we turn on the water, then we
wash our hands. Even a very young child can learn this concept if it’s
repeated enough. Once the concept is understood, you need to use it
consistently to ensure the child learns. Next, choose a favorite
activity (eating the next meal, watching a video/the TV, favorite toy,
blanket, and so on) for the purpose of withholding it until or after the
child takes the supplements successfully. It is important to be firm
and never waiver on this, because it will ensure that success will come
Use rewards. This comes in handy when a child needs extra
reinforcement. Always give lots of praise and hugs as well as one
good-tasting reward that they can associate
with taking supplements.
Be consistent and firm. If you are firm and do not give in over the
conditions you have set down, most children will start to comply within
two to three days, because they now that they cannot win the battle.
Wait them out for as long as you need to, and when they finally give in
and take the supplements, quickly give them praise, the preferred
activity, and the small reward that is given every time they
successfully take their supplements. This positive reinforcement will
encourage them to be more willing next time.