With the start of the new year, you may be trying to focus on improving your health and that of your family. If you’re a busy mom like me, you probably prefer small changes that can make a big impact. Adding vitamin and mineral supplements into your routine can help fill in the gaps created by our busy and sometimes stressful lifestyles. Plus, it can help boost immunity, which I’m sure we all would appreciate in today’s world.
But have you ventured down the supplement rabbit hole? It can be overwhelming! Taking time to research and decide on a brand and supplement regimen can seem daunting. I’ve been there and I’ve don’t the work for you. Below is a quick outline of what I have found are the most important supplements for parents and kids.
My Favorite Supplements for Parents
Our bodies require certain basic nutrients to function. Think of incorporating a multivitamin as a way to insure against nutritional deficiencies. Try to find one that contains high-quality nutrients like folate, vitamins A, B, C, and E, calcium, and potassium. Be sure your multi contains folate, not folic acid. If you’re looking for a prenatal multivitamin, look for one that includes choline, which is important to baby’s eye, brain, and spinal cord development.
Maybe you’ve heard people talk about the critical role our gut plays in helping us stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Many of us don’t consume enough probiotic foods, so adding a high-quality probiotic supplement can be a great way to populate our guts with beneficial microorganisms. Look for an SBO (soil-based organism) probiotic that can withstand the acidic environment of the stomach and survive until it reaches the gut microbiome where germination happens.
Recommendation: JustThrive Probiotic
The best way to get Vitamin D is through sunlight exposure, but busy parents don’t exactly have time to sit around sunbathing – especially living in the Midwest. Vitamin D is necessary for mineral absorption and plays a critical role in bone, immune, and metabolic health. When looking for a Vitamin D supplement, look for one that contains D3 (not D2) and Vitamin K2, which is necessary for Vitamin D absorption.
Recommendation: Thorne Vitamin D/K2 Liquid Drops
This little wonder of a mineral is instrumental to hundreds of chemical reactions in our body. A magnesium deficiency can manifest in a variety of ways including anxiety, PMS symptoms, leg cramps, migraines, and fatigue. There are multiple forms of magnesium, each with its own target benefits. Some common ones are: Magnesium citrate for digestion; Magnesium glycinate for sleep and stress regulation; Magnesium malate for muscle pain and relaxation; and Magnesium L-threonate for cognitive function.
Our bodies don’t produce omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and beneficial to our brain function and heart health. Unfortunately, the best source of long-chain omega-3’s is fish, so if you’re not a big fan of fish (like me) then you may want to consider adding these to your supplement regimen.
Recommendation: Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
Supplements for Kids
When choosing a multivitamin for kids, colorful and fruity gummies can be appealing. After all, you want your kiddos to actually take them! However, it’s important to look for one that excludes artificial dyes or added sugars.
If you’re a parent, chances are your pediatrician recommended Vitamin D for your baby right after birth. Vitamin D is important for children as they grow for the same reasons it’s critical to adults. If your baby is only formula fed, a Vitamin D supplement is probably not needed as most infant formulas are fortified with Vitamin D. But as children begin taking in solids and perhaps develop some picky eating habits, supplements can be a good way to ensure your child gets enough Vitamin D every day.
If your kid is like mine, chances are he or she has been through a few rounds of antibiotics. Antibiotics dysregulate the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Incorporating a probiotic into your child’s routine can help keep the digestive tract healthy and aid with a variety of digestive symptoms common in children, like constipation and diarrhea.
Recommendation: Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic
Bonus recommendation: Propolis
This wonder of a product is made by honeybees and has grown in popularity recently. Propolis is believed to have antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It can be taken as a spray for immune support for the entire family (not to mention that it tastes great!). Check out Bee Keeper’s Naturals B.Immune Throat Spray and Kids Propolis Throat Spray.
Disclaimer: The recommendations above are general advice based on my own research and experience. Nothing contained in this article or linked materials should be considered a replacement for professional medical advice, nor is it a substitute for medical expertise or treatment. Consult with your medical provider before making any changes to or starting a new supplement regimen for you or your child.