Hi! A friend asked me what supplements I give my daughters and I thought I’d share here. When I worked for Dr. Lipman, the basics he recommended for adults are: multivitamin, probiotic, fish oil, vitamin D. These make sense to me for kids too, with the goal being to keep immunity strong, keep them off of antibiotics and away from the doctor!
My older daughter Leela had pretty weak digestion when she was young, so around age 2, I was giving her probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D, elderberry syrup and Florastor Kids. I didn’t give them every single day, but a few days a week or as needed. For example, I would give elderberry syrup during cough/ cold season, or probiotics and Florastor when her gut was off. (Just for reference – I’ve used a lot less supplements with my younger daughter, who has been a bit heartier.)
For a kids multivitamin, I have used SmartyPants vitamins. Too much sugar? Yes. But when you start potty training and need a bribe, the sugar content starts to seem reasonable. Or I make her count from 1 to 10 in Hindi to get her SmartyPants 🙂
For probiotics, I have rotated brands a ton. I’ve used the Metagenics Kids. We’ve also used this Culturelle Kids. Definitely give probiotics after a course of antibiotics.
My girls are big fans of lemon-flavored fish oil! They drink it by the spoonful and we add it to yogurt. So great for mood and brain development. If you are coming from the US to Mumbai, bring me a bottle and I’ll love you forever! I’ve even gotten the girls to take the Carlsons lemon-flavored cod liver oil, but that’s not as delicious.
For vitamin D, I use the drops that the doctor gives me, and I’ve used Carlsons.
Elderberry syrup is great to boost immunity.
Florastor Kids is great for the gut. It is saccharomyces boulardii, which is good yeast (like probiotics are good bacteria). It’s good for adults too, especially for treating travelers diahhrea. I used to just stir it with coconut water for Leela.
Last year we moved to India. I still get my Carlson’s fish oil and SmartyPants from the US. I have been able to find the Florastor (it’s called something very similar, I can’t remember exactly what) at the chemist here which is great. We’ve also used Enterogermina for a probiotic here. For Vitamin D for kids, I’d check out vitamin D from Unived. And for omega 3s, I’d also check out the vegan omega 3 from Unived. Take notice – if you are a veg family in India, these are both vegan supplements! (It’s a vegan omega 3 blend NOT a fish oil.)
One trick is that this is our version of candy, since we don’t give the kids candy. Some of the kids probiotics are really tasty, and as I mentioned the SmartyPants are a great potty training bribe. In this picture she’s having yogurt with the lemon fish oil, I call it lemon pudding and she loves it to squeeze the fish oil from the bottle and stir it herself. You could throw some of the Florastor in there too!
Another trick – people talk a lot about toddler and terrible 2s. When behavior is off, I think about a few things – is her blood sugar off? Is her digestion off? So often if you can correct for those things, you end up with a better behaved toddler. Don’t get me wrong, she can be a real piece of work and sometimes she scratches my face. But my worldview is always looking at gut health and blood sugar balance.
I hope this is helpful! If you have recommendations for good quality supplements we can get here in India, I’d love to hear from you!