Nutrition For Kids: 5 Best Natural Supplements For Children

5 Best Natural Supplements For Children | Growing Up Herbal | Ever wondered which supplements you should be giving your kids? If so, here are 5 of the best to start with!

Nutrition is incredibly important during childhood, but unfortunately for some parents, it can be difficult to get kids to eat a nutrient dense diet on a consistent basis, therefore, deficiencies in the diet occur. Although I can’t stress enough how important prioritizing your child’s diet is, if there are times where nutrients are lacking for whatever reason, then thankfully there are supplements for children that can help replace some of the missing things your child needs to grow up healthy and strong. 

Today I want to talk about 5 of the best natural supplements for children that you can have on hand to boost your child’s diet if needed. Let me warn you… this is a LONG post… longer than normal if that’s saying anything. LOL!

5 Best Natural Supplements For Children

If you’ve been reading Growing Up Herbal for a while now, it’s no big secret that using supplements with my kids isn’t my favorite thing. I would rather put my energy, effort, and money into improving my child’s diet over giving them tons of daily supplements. However, I do realize that this idealistic approach isn’t always realistic. It’s unfortunate that our diets can’t always meet all of our needs, especially for growing children, therefore deficiencies are likely to occur. This means that supplements for our children may be necessary from time to time.

1. Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil has been around a while, but it seems that it’s recently making a comeback with the real food, natural mama group.

When I had my first baby, I was all about making his diet as nutritionally dense as possible. As soon as he could take it, I started giving him cod liver oil to boost his consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. Since he was small, he wasn’t eating foods yet that contained omega oils such as fish and nuts. I was giving him an egg yolk every day which helped with brain development, but I wanted to supplement with the cod liver oil because I knew that the added omega oils were great for additional brain development in young children. Did it work? I think so. He has been my earliest and most advanced child by far when it came to his learning, speaking, and memory abilities.

What kind of cod liver oil did I give him? I started out with this brand, then switched to this one. I’ve also heard great things about this raw cod liver oil and this krill oil for kids. Each of these are great in their own way. They will each fit different needs and different budgets, and they can all be used during different times in your child’s life.

For example, I give my children the Garden of Life Cod Liver Oil as needed during the warmer months, but during the winter when they’re not outside as often in the sun getting enough vitamin D or when they’re sick, I use it along with a vitamin d3 and vitamin k2 supplement (more on that below).

2. Probiotics

My second must-have supplement is probiotics. Probiotics do so much for our bodies. In fact, we probably don’t even know how necessary and beneficial they really are… but we have an idea. Thankfully, we can get probiotics in our diets via cultured and fermented foods, but those are two things that are lacking in a lot of diets these days. Even in those that do include these things in their diets, it’s questionable as to what amount is enough to keep our guts healthy with these foods alone. This is where supplementing with probiotics comes into play.

Probiotics help keep our guts balanced with beneficial organisms. This promotes good health as the healthy gut flora help to keep harmful organisms at bay, assist in digesting foods appropriately, break down toxins correctly, aid in manufacturing vitamins B and K2 for us, and aid us in mineral and nutrient absorption. Like I said, there’s probably more they do for us as we’ve probably only scraped the surface of learning about good gut health and the benefits it brings to our bodies.

So why are probiotics needed so much with children? Well, you’ve heard the saying, “all disease begins in the gut,” right? Healthy gut flora has been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system from before baby is born until well after he comes into this world. (Source) We know that the immune system is vital to having healthy, thriving children, therefore consuming probiotics is not something to ignore. Plus, considering the things our kids are being exposed to these days (like the overuse of antibiotics), their guts can use all the help they can get!

When choosing a probiotic for children, there’s debate over whether the best probiotics are from soil-based organisms (strains of beneficial bacteria found in the soil along with our foods – don’t take up residence in the gut) or from traditional lacto-based probiotics (strains of probiotics in cultured and fermented foods – take up residence in the gut). I’m not going to go into the difference in these much, but here’s a great article by Katie from Kitchen Stewardship on this issue if you want to look into this more. She shares a ton of her research on this topic. It’s a long post, but well worth the read in my opinion. I’ve looked around quite a bit about this topic myself and it seems that SBOs are better for children while lacto-based probiotics are better for adults. This seems to be because children have less damage to their guts than adults do and they can handle the SBO probiotics better than some adults that already have gut issues.

So which probiotics are good choices for children? Well, if you’re looking for a soil based probiotic, I recommend PrescriptAssist as it’s powdered and the capsules can be opened and giving to children as well as Garden of Life’s Primal Defense for Kids which comes in powdered form too. When it comes to lacto-based probiotics, my vote goes to Bulk Herb Store’s Happy GutDr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotics, and Garden of Life’s Raw Probiotics for Kids. All these contain the Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 that is so beneficial for the gut.

Note: The vitamin K2 produced by healthy gut bacteria is now thought to not be an absorbable source of vitamin K2. Although it’s produced by gut flora, it’s not a usable source of this vitamin for our bodies. (Source)

3. Multi-Vitamin

Like I said at the beginning of this post… I’m not big into using supplements with my kids, and I don’t use them all the time. I really only use them here and there when I think we need them. This is especially true when it comes to daily multi-vitamins. I definitely prefer for my kids to get the majority of their nutrients in what they eat. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible… for us or for a lot of other families.

Now I’m not going to go into details about why I think a lot of daily multi-vitamins are a complete waste of money. I’ll be talking about that later in the series. What I am going to talk about is what to look for in a good quality multi-vitamin and which ones I think are best for kids.

First off, I’d always recommend going with a liquid vitamin over a chewable or pill/capsule type vitamin. Why? Because liquid is more absorbable, and your child will get more out of it. Sure chewable vitamins are the next best option, but I feel that so much of the pill/capsule type vitamin benefits are wasted in the digestive process.

Next, I’d always look for a whole food vitamin that is processed using low temperatures over a synthetic vitamin any day. Why? Because the vitamins in whole food vitamins are from concentrated food and herbal sources which is something our bodies were actually designed to absorb. Synthetic, lab-produced vitamins are cheaper and more readily available, but they aren’t as easily recognized or broken down by the body, therefore they can cause damage to the body.

So which children’s multi-vitamins make the cut? This Garden of Life Raw Liquid Vitamin is my number one choice. The only problem is that it’s for children 6 and older because it contains iron and iron can be fatal if overdosed on. It tastes good and it mixes well with cod liver oil which can be challenging to get kids to take. My next vote is for this Garden of Life Children’s Chewable Vitamin as it doesn’t contain iron and can be used on children 4 and up. Lastly, if you are busy or need to cut supplement costs a bit, Nature’s Plus has a great multivitamin that has vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and vitamin K2 and D3 all into one chewable! Don’t forget… I’ll be going into more detail about multi-vitamins in another post, so we’ll look into this subject a bit more later.

UPDATE: Garden of Life now has a new daily multi-vitamin called KIND Organics that looks great! It’s made from real, whole foods, it’s organic, and it’s non-GMO certified.

4. Trace Minerals

Trace minerals is something that’s on the newer side for me as far as supplements go. I always knew that trace minerals were those minerals that we needed in really small amounts for our health, but I honestly thought that we got enough of them from our foods so I never worried about it. Unfortunately, thanks to the depletion of our soils and the processing of our water, the trace mineral content of commercial foods and municipal water is diminishing. The majority of diets are lacking in these important elements and mineral deficiencies are on the rise.

Where are our minerals going? It’s thought that the soil’s minerals are being washed away into the oceans because it’s there that these trace minerals are found in sufficient amounts that our bodies need.

Why are trace minerals necessary? Trace minerals play an important role in our health and the health of our children. We were formed from the dust of the ground and these trace minerals are part of what makes up the dirt we came from therefore our bodies need them. Our bodies also function thanks to chemical and electrical processes, and these trace minerals play a vital role in making sure that all of that works correctly. We lose minerals all throughout the day from various activities so it’s important that these minerals are replaced.

How can we make up for the loss of these minerals in our diets? Many trace minerals can be replaced if your child is taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, but again, there are problems with these being natural vs. synthetic sources and whether or not the body is actually absorbing what’s in the vitamin or not. Although a lot of our soils are depleted these days, there are things we can do to make sure we get these minerals in our diets so that our kids aren’t deficient in them. I’ll be talking about this in a later post.

When it comes to a trace mineral supplement, ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops are on the top of my list. It’s from pure sea water that has had most of it’s sodium removed (since we aren’t typically deficient in sodium) and is highly ionic which means it will help with the bodies electrical systems. It can be added to purified drinking water in small amounts to ensure that we replace those minerals that we lose on a daily basis as well as used in remineralizing toothpastes and homemade electrolyte drinks.

5. Vitamin K2

What the heck is vitamin K2? I know, I know… I was with you once. This is not your regular vitamin K that’s found in dark leafy green vegetables and helps with blood clotting. That’s vitamin K1.

“Vitamin K2β€²s role in the body extends far beyond blood clotting to include protecting us from heart disease, ensuring healthy skin, forming strong bones, promoting brain function, supporting growth and development and helping to prevent cancer – to name a few. In fact, vitamin K2 has so many functions not associated with vitamin K1 that many researchers insist that K1 and K2 are best seen as two different vitamins entirely.” – Chris Kresser (Source) To learn more about vitamin K2 and how it works in the body, this Dr. Mercola article does an excellent job at explaining it as does the Chris Kresser one above.

As you can see, this is a much-needed vitamin, especially for children. It’s most commonly found in traditional foods such as grass-fed animal sources (MK-4) and fermented foods (MK-7)… two things modern diets don’t get much of. Vitamin K2 is also produced from healthy gut flora (MKs 6-8 and MKs 10-13) in the GI tract, but like I said earlier, it’s not thought to be an absorbable form of vitamin K2.

So how do you get enough vitamin K2? You can obtain some of it from the food sources recommended above, but it’s thought that even with foods, you can’t possibly consume enough to get adequate levels of this vitamin. (Source) You can, however, take a supplement of course. Currently, there are two forms of vitamin K2 supplements on the market. MK-4 supplements, which are often synthetic so those are a bit “NO” and MK-7 supplements which are the better choice.

Raise Them Well’s Vitamin D3/K2 Drops is the brand I recommend for children (see my notes on vitamin D below), and Garden of Life’s Raw K-Complex is the brand I recommend for adults (the MK-4 portion of this is not synthetic).

The recommended dose for adults is not known for sure, but Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, a naturopathic doctor and author of the book – Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (paperback/kindle), suggests that around 180 to 200 micrograms a day has been show to be enough for adults. Of course, for children, it would be 1/3 to 1/2 that amount. Thankfully, vitamin K2 has no known toxic levels so you don’t have to fret about giving your child too much. Whew!

So that’s it! My top 5 best natural supplements for children.

What About Vitamin D Supplements For Children

I get asked this question A LOT. Many mamas are told by their child’s doctor that children are deficient in vitamin D these days and need to be taking a supplement. This is true… to an extent. Many kids are deficient in vitamin D, but there are a few things you can do to remedy that situation in a natural way.

First, you can get your kid outside more often and skip the sunscreen as much as possible. Next, you can feed them more vitamin D containing foods. Lastly, you can supplement with cod liver oil or a good quality vitamin D3 supplement. 

It’s also important for me to note here that if you do end up supplementing with vitamin D, that you also give your child a vitamin K2 supplement to prevent vitamin D toxicity. This article from Dr. Mercola goes into more detail about why vitamin K2 is needed with supplemented vitamin D and how this helps prevent vitamin D toxicity in children. Remember, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and calcium all work together in the body. Again, I recommend this brand as it’s already combined with vitamin K2 and is easy to administer to kids.

Growing Up Herbal’s Top 5 Supplements For Children

  1. Cod Liver Oil
  2. Probiotics
  3. Multi-vitamin
  4. Trace Minerals
  5. Vitamin K2

To conclude this super-long, jam-packed post, let me just say that these are suggestions only and that every child will vary based on their own individual nutritional needs. Again, diet should come first and supplements second, and it’s always a good idea to work with a natural-minded doctor or nutritionist if need be.

Also, if you feel a little overwhelmed by all these supplements or wanna be a real foods purist, then be sure to come back Friday to learn how I recommend replacing many of these supplements with foods. Again, it’s idealistic, but the more we can work towards that ideal lifestyle, the more it becomes our reality!

Next in the Nutrition For Kids series: How To Replace Supplements For Children With Real Foods

Is there anything else you’d recommend as a must-have supplement for children that should be included in this list? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what it is and why. I’d love to check it out!
  1. Whitney says:

    Awesome article! This was super helpful; thank you! I have a few questions… πŸ™‚

    What age would you recommend starting FCLO for babies? I have a 6 month old exclusively breast-fed baby for who I will more than likely start introducing solids around 9 months. For budget purposes would you still recommend the non-fermented oil? Is the K2 supplement safe for the same age? I don’t like the recommended Poly-Vi-Sol, especially now that my boy is growing teeth! (Glycerin is the first ingredient…)

    Also, I had been curious about your thoughts on trace minerals for awhile. My husband and I have been drinking reverse osmosis water (we have an under-the-sink system) for three years now. We love it and avoid tap water like the plague, but we sometimes feel like the RO water doesn’t quench our thirst fully. Could that be our body showing a need for trace minerals? Does RO water need those mineral drops, in your opinion? We cook with sea salt and Himalayan salt daily.

    Thank you for your thoughts! πŸ™‚

    • Meagan says:

      Hi Whitney… thanks for your comment. I think I started cod liver oil with my little guys when they were between 6-9 months old… depending upon when they started eating more solid foods. I’d sneak a little into their foods at a time. It also would depend on what time of the year it was. I don’t stress about FCLO during the summer because we’re outside so much, and I know they’re getting vitamin D then. I mainly use it in the winter or if I’m focusing on teeth health. If you wanna give a cod liver oil supplement year round, you can go with the cheaper brands during the warmer months. Also, from my understanding and research, the vitamin K2 is a safe, non-toxic supplement. It comes in a powdered capsule so for little ones, like the probiotic powders, you can dump a little in their food to get them to take it.

      As far as putting the trace minerals in your RO water, I’d say that’s a good idea. I know a lot of people don’t care for distilled or RO water just because it removes the minerals. At least you can add them back with the trace mineral drops. My husband and I are working on getting our RO system put in because where we moved, we only have city water. It’s such a bummer, but that’s just the way it is. I’m curious to see if we feel thirsty drinking it only. Before, we had spring water and never had that issue. I suppose feeling thirsty could be a need for minerals, but I’m not for sure about that. As far as cooking with sea salt and himalayan salts… I know those two do give you some of the trace minerals, but I’m not sure in what amounts and I’m not sure how much you’d have to use to get enough. I know that trace mineral drops remove sodium so you don’t get too much of it.

      Hope that answers your questions! Thanks!

      • Whitney says:

        Thank you very much! That answered my questions. πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to trying these things out; I have been meaning to start FCLO and this is the perfect boost I needed!

        Good luck with your RO system! My husband and I had a Culligan RO system (which you can rent monthly or buy) and it was cost effective to rent from them in two of the three states we lived in. Currently we have a Whirlpool brand filter which works just as well, and filters as many pollutants (according to the local Culligan man).

        I will look at the trace mineral links as well! πŸ™‚


      • Aimee says:

        Regarding water sources- why not try a filtration system like the Berkey w/ added fluoride filters for drinking water? Pretty much everything is removed EXCEPT minerals. Trace minerals remain- otherwise RO water should have some sort of sea salt/mined salt added to it, or, try ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops by Trace Minerals Research (these are a favorite of many RO water users). RO water as a primary source of hydration is not a great way to keep the body’s electrolytes balanced (especially in large amounts). Your plants need the minerals in water as well, but don’t appreciate the chlorine or fluoride.
        Cod live oil- our family uses Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil. It’s packaged with nitrogen (oxygen is removed), so there’s no fishy taste (and there’s the option of lemon flavor). If your oil tastes fishy, its fatty acid chains that are supposed to be of a benefit are actually rancid. My kids have no issues w/ the taste of this product.
        Multi-vitamin- we’ve been using Rainbow Light Nutristars for a while now- one of the better kids vitamins that I’m aware of.here

        • Meagan says:

          Yep! That’s what we do Aimee… we have RO water and I put the ConcenTrace Mineral Drops in that. As far as cod liver oil goes, we mostly use the Garden of Life during the warmer months before switching to the Green Pastures fermented oil for colder months. Thanks for you comment!!

  2. Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage says:

    This is so good, Meagan! I’ve got five kiddos, so keeping up with their health and nutrition needs keeps me on my toes! πŸ™‚

    I’m with you on the cod liver oil and probiotics, but the Vitamin K is a new one on me! I’m excited to learn about it!

    Thanks for your fantastic posts. I find myself coming back to your blog very frequently in search of information!

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks Kristy! Yes, keeping up with kids health can be a daunting task… especially when you have more than one! I can totally relate. They all seem to need something different. Vitamin K was a new one for me too. I think we’re just now starting to learn more about it and it’s benefits. Thankfully we get some of it in our grass-fed meats and butters, but apparently it doesn’t give you as much as you need so the supplements help. Checkout this Friday’s post as I’ll be talking more about it and foods.

  3. Sarah D. says:

    Wow. A lot of info! There are so many things that I’m learning when it comes to living naturally. It never stops! =) I love how you put it that we are formed from the dirt and that’s why we need the trace minerals. When learning about natural stuff, we need to keep the perspective of how God created us in the first place. So many natural sites end up talking about some form of evolutionary beginning, whether they realize it or not.
    Thanks for all the work that went into this post!

    • Meagan says:

      I totally agree with you Sarah, and I think it’s important to bring in a different view point as well. There’s so much good info out there… sometimes you have to weed through some things to find what you’re looking for, but here on GUH, I just try to share what I’ve learned from my perspective. Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. Erin says:

    Do you have a multi-vitamin you recommend for little ones under 4?

    • Meagan says:

      I actually don’t know of one off the top of my head Erin. I didn’t do vitamins for my kids when they were too small. Mostly good foods and herbal vitamin balls. If I were going to use something, I would use a half dose of a children’s liquid and keep it well away from them if it contained iron.

      • Jac says:

        Hi Meagan, why is iron so bad? The liquid you recommended in the article only has less than half the recommended intake for 1-3 year olds, surely that won’t be toxic?

        • Meagan Visser says:

          It’s not that iron is bad. It’s not, and it’s a necessary vitamin, which is why it’s added to many multi-vitamin formulas. However, many children have drunk or eaten yummy tasting multi-vitamins that contained iron, leading to an overdose (which can be fatal depending on the dose consumed), so iron was removed from many multi-vitamin brands targeted at young children to prevent that from happening.

  5. Candice says:

    I agree with your supplements-my son has been on FCLO/butter oil blend since 7 or 8 months old. He actually likes the chocolate syrupy stuff from green pastures-I freeze it in halfway filled 2 tsp dome shaped ice cube tray sections and split those in half for him-he gets it for dessert and likes it.

    I was wondering if you have read “the magnesium miracle” and what your thoughts were on supplementing with magnesium (I know some trace mineral formulas have varying amounts-though nowhere near the RDA). We eat a very high quality (weston a price style diet) where we consume bone broth, coconut oil and grassfed meat/raw fermented dairy daily-loads of veggies and almost nothing pasteurized…but after testing-I found out I was still low in magnesium. Since Calcium and magnesium make up bone and teeth structure in a 1:1 ratio, I’ve started giving my son about 100mg magnesium a day to offset the calcium in our diet and restore his teeth (something I haven’t yet seen specifically discussed in WAP literature or in CURE TOOTH DECAY)

    I was hoping to find some natural mamas who were supplementing their family’s dietary magnesium (since with foods-only 50% is really absorbed and most foods-even organic-are deficient). I’d love to know if you have done any research into this supplement yet. If not-I highly recommend “the magnesium miracle”-especially for the fact that it discusses the necessities for vitamin absorption-per magnesium levels in the body. I’d say its crucial to any supplement/dietary discussion/practice.

    Also-I appreciate you pointing out about synthetic vitamins vs real foods or raw vitamins—so many people blindly shop for vitamins-not understanding the HUGE difference. We are geared to go with the BEST DEAL SCENARIO and with vitamins-you can always find synthetics/low doses cheaper…

    I also wanted to suggest looking into the best times to take such supplements like probiotics-which I know many people mix in with foods. Its actually much more beneficial to take them on an empty stomach-hours before you eat, so the digestive enzymes in the stomach don’t damage them when precessing food. Also some supplements should be spread out through the day like magnesium and Vit. C and others taken with food Like Vit. D. I think there are a few online guides as to the best schedule to take your vitamins for maximum absorbency-something I know every mom would want considering the effort and cost involved with supplementing their family. Why not make it count!?

    I also wouldn’t give my child supplemental iron as the levels in most supplements are incredibly high (many low doses are about 10X what your body can safely excrete in a day) and iron can be efficiently added into diet by cooking in cast iron, eating quality meat, liver and cooked spinach etc. Iron is often perscribed by docs when blood levels are low (indicating near anemic conditions) but anemia has a lot more to it than adding iron-you can find articles about iron supplementation problems and toxicity online too (I think Wellnessmama has an article on it)

    ANyway-I largely agree with your supplement suggestions for kids-I believe If we want healthy kids-we can’t rely upon even the most perfect diet alone due to the deficiencies of modern food and the extreme cost/effort involved in obtaining the best diet (its often unachievable for most families-even with the best intentions). Let me just say that even for families who don’t eat great 100% of the time-supplements are a saving grace-especially FCLO with the ratios of vitamin a & d, magnesium and vitamin k as those are so lacking in most foods and can do the most good.

    Oh-and B vitamins…your thoughts?

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for your comment Candice. I’ve actually not looked into magnesium much at all. I know a lot of mamas do supplement with it so I’ll have to set aside some time to read up on it. Thanks for mentioning the book… I’ll look into it too when I do get around to researching it.

      It sounds like you’re doing an awesome job with your families diet… and supplementing in the areas you feel are needed. I don’t know much about taking certain things at certain times as we don’t do many supplements so I’ve not looked into it much, but that is interesting. I’m sure I’ll be learning more about that in the future as I put the vitamin/mineral profiles up on the blog. And I love how you suggested skipping the iron and working on getting it in different ways like via cast iron, liver, and spinach. I love going with food or natural things first before supplementing. I’d also opt for an herbal iron tincture before iron supplements as well when given the choice.

      As far as B vitamins go… I talked just about it in the grains section of this post. I know B vitamins are found in many foods, so again, I’d prefer to get them in that way as opposed to supplementing them. However, if you were doing well eating foods with B vitamins and still showing symptoms of deficiency (or testing that way) then I’m sure supplementing for a time would be a good thing.

      Thanks so much for your comment, and I’ll be sure to update this post as needed if I find any new info!

  6. ticamom says:

    Great post! Just a couple of comments – the Jarrow vitamin K2 supplement you linked to is actually a softgel, not a capsule filled with powder so how do you get a child to take it?
    Also, the garden of life vitamin code for kids chewable multi does have iron. It actually has more iron than the liquid version (5mg vs 3mg). Just wanted to point that out so you’d be aware. πŸ™‚ Lastly, I’d love to hear how exactly you get your kids to take the cod liver oil! I take the green pastures but have yet to try giving it to my son. I have him on Nordic Naturals chewable soft gels but I know green pastures is a superior product so if I could get him on that even better. Thanks for all the info!

    • Meagan says:

      Great questions… thanks for asking them. The Jarrow vitamin K2 is a softgel, but you can puncture it with a needle and squeeze the liquid out into your kiddos food to get them to take it. It works great in a smoothie, yogurt, or applesauce. As for the iron in the multis… I totally missed that in the chewable, and I’m so glad you pointed it out. I like the liquid better anyway and since there’s only a two year difference in the suggested ages, I just go with it, but like I said in my multivitamin post, we don’t really do daily vitamins that much so it’s not often we’re taking it. As far as how I get my kids to take the fermented cod liver oil… yes, it can totally be a challenge… especially since it’s not something we take year round, only during sickness or the winter months. With that being said, I usually buy the orange flavor as it seems to mix well with other things. The main way we take any brand cod liver oil though is that I get everyone of my kids a little shot glass, pour some orange juice, then add the cod liver oil. Then they drink it that way. Most times, they’ll drink it this way with the fermented too. If not, I’ll make some really fruity smoothies and dump it all in the mix so they can take it that way. It helps to mask the fermented flavor a bit more. That’s what seems to work best for us. You can also search Google for it and you’ll get a lot of suggestions and tips there too. Hope this answers all of your questions… just let me know if you have more!

  7. paytin says:

    I am all about natural dietary supplements, and am quite happy with the results of the Lady Soma Detox. I have taken other supplements in the past, but the Lady Soma is one of my favorites. I’ve only been taking them for about a week, but I already feel less bloated, more energized and my appetite isn’t as voracious.

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for sharing Paytin. I hope you’re still getting good results after months of using it. I’ve found that a lot of supplements can help a bit at first, but the real test is if you keep getting results the longer you take it.

  8. Carrie says:

    I love this post. I agree almost 100% with your recommendations … even on the Vitamin D debate! One thing I wish it would add …… the importance of magnesium. Even adding in epsom salt to every bath would be helpful. Thanks for writing this!

    • Meagan says:

      Yes Carrie! When I wrote this post I hadn’t researched much on magnesium. Since then I’ve looked into it more, and you’re totally right… a lot of kids are deficient in it. I’ll have to go over this and add that in. That’s for the reminder!

  9. Monica says:

    Meagan a good magnesium brand is “Natural calm”… it is a powder form and has different favors. A Little bit everyday, I was told by a. Chiropractor,it will keeps us from an heart attack, along with helping absorbing calcium. This product can be put into juice, smoothie, or even your vitamin balls.. Love your article, love hearing more of us mothers are going natural… Beets are source of iron too…kids usually do not like them, but the powder beet roots from bulk herb store could be another source for our smoothies, vitamin balls, etc.. In fact I got garden beets and now drying the roots.. Soon will grind it to powder…thank you for this wonderful article!

  10. Teresa says:

    This vitamin doesn’t say it’s specifically for kids– what dosage would you use? Mine are 5, 4, 2, and 6 months. Thanks!

    • Meagan says:

      Yeah, this one is for 7 and up because it contains iron. I personally don’t have a problem with using it on my younger kids in smaller doses as I keep it put up out of reach so they can’t accidentally get into it. Anyway, I simply cut the dose down a bit for each child depending on their age, and I don’t give it to my kiddos under 2. Hope that helps. If you have questions about it, you can contact GOL’s customer support. They are super helpful!

  11. Stacey says:

    I just found your article while searching for supplements for my kids. (12&8) This post is so helpful but, I’m a little overwhelmed with all of the information. I take several supplements and eat very clean myself but I just can’t get my family on board. I struggle to get my kids to even take the gummy vitamins. I know they’re an awful choice but I figured something was better than nothing. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get much of the Garden of Life liquid into them and it would end up being a waste of money. Can you suggest a couple things you consider to me most important for someone trying (again) to start their children on supplements? I try so hard to give them nutritious meals, snacks etc. but there are many outside (friends/family) influences that often derail my efforts at home. Thank you so very much for your help and information.

    • Meagan says:

      I totally hear you Stacey. Some kids take supplements really well and others don’t.

      If it were me, I think I’d start with simple herbs that are high in vitamins and minerals. If you can find fresh nettle, you can cook in in place of other greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc.) in soups and sides. It’s full of vitamins and minerals. Seaweeds like spirulina and kale (and many others) are a great source of minerals as well. Some are milder than others so if your kids are picky about tastes, go with the mild ones. I also have a recipe for an herbal multivitamin infusion you could try. Just sweeten it with honey to get them to drink it. Here’s a recipe for herbal multivitamin balls. My kids love these because the flavor of the herbs is masked by the other ingredients. You can also mix herbs that have high vitamin and mineral contents into smoothies at breakfast or for snack to get kids to eat them.

      If those cheaper options don’t work and the kids aren’t eating healthy foods like you want, I’d buy a cheaper healthy whole food vitamin (Beeyoutiful has one called Super Kids. I’m not sure on the price. Vitacost has a decent brand. I’m sure there are others.) to get them started taking. I’d set up some sort of system for taking them. Maybe they have to take their vitamins before they get a snack that day. Maybe they get a reward if they take them every day that week. Eventually, it will become a habit and you won’t need the conditions around it. If they don’t take it like you’d like, at least you’re not out that much money. If they do take it, then you can work your way up to better quality vitamins. (You can also mix the GOL liquid multivitamin in smoothies as well if that helps.)

      Hope this helps Stacey, and best of luck mama!

  12. Stacey says:

    That helps more than you know! I’m anxious to check out your recipes. I’ll be using your site to help me navigate through this a lot in the near future so than you in advance!!
    Have a blessed day ?

  13. Jovana says:

    My almost 2 years old daughter doesn’t like dairies very much. She was exclusively breastfeed and she never get into habit to drink milk. She gets yogurt sometime. I constancy read abut recommend dosage for daily intake of dairy and honesty you can not feed little kids with that much green staff on a daily basis as alternative to the milk. We do eat healthy in general and I do supplement her with probiotics, multivitamin and fish oil. Do i have to supplement with calcium and what is the good brand? I also prefer whole food supplement not a synthetic form of it. I am also wandering does a fact that she get her first teeth late (1.3 months) and she is short for her age (considering that parents are taller then average) might be influenced with lack of calcium in her body. I would appreciate your advises a lot. Thanks.

    • Meagan says:

      From my understanding, she should get all the calcium she needs from foods she eats and her multivitamin. However, if you’re concerned, you could talk to her pediatrician about it. I think they can run tests to see her blood calcium levels and tell if it looks low. Hope that helps, Jovana!

  14. Charity says:

    I just stumbled upon your wonderful article researching natural iron supplements for my son. Hoping you can give me some advise ? He’s 5 and I had him to the pediatrician a month ago for his first ever strep infection. It had been awhile since he had been to the Dr (Hes generally a pretty healthy and very active kid) and they noticed a few years ago when he had been there for a checkup that his iron was low. They decided to recheck it and it was the same so I changed his vitamins that I had him on to something with a little added iron hoping that would help. Also, started implementing more iron foods in his diet (I also cook out of nothing but cast iron – not sure how much that helps) added molasses in his morning oatmeal (Ive read molasses is another great iron source) ,Took him back this past week and it was the same! I am at my wits end! They said they like for his levels to be 11 something and his was 10.6? They suggested that I take him to a lab corp for some testing from a “more accurate source”. I am very skeptical as I dont want to put him through that if its not needed. I decided to go to the nearest natural store and see what I could find. I found a bottle of Garden Of Life iron and herbs liquid drink. It says for children 6 and over 10 ml daily. He is a tiny 5 year old so I am not sure if 10 ml is a good dosage. I am just so worried about this as I am unsure of what to do. I called a local holistic pediatric for a 2nd opinion and I am waiting to hear back but thought maybe you would have some advise? Thanks!

    • Meagan says:

      Hi, Charity! Kids are often a touch low with their iron levels just because they’re growing so fast and because they’re very active. His level doesn’t seem startlingly low, but if the doctor is concerned, then there could be something else going on.

      When it comes to iron, two things come to mind as far as trying to get it up with food and natural supplements.

      First, meats will give the body more iron than plants. It’s not that plants don’t work… they totally do. It’s just that you’ll get more iron by increasing the amount of meat he eats. Organ meats like liver are full of iron, and they can easily be added to food. When my baby was small and just starting to eat, I’d freeze liver and grate it onto his egg yolk. You can easily do that in other foods as well, and you’re kiddo most likely won’t know it’s there. Obviously, increasing veggies in the diet is good, but increasing iron-rich proteins may be helpful at this time as well.

      Next, what you eat with your iron-rich foods can determine how much of the iron you absorb. Grains, dairy, and beans tend to decrease the amount of iron absorbed due to the phytic acid in the grains and beans and the calcium in the dairy (they bind the iron so the body doesn’t absorb as much). If you can try to feed him meals with meat and veggies without large amount the grains, beans, and dairy, I’d bet his iron levels would increase.

      Obviously, it’s a good idea for you to look into these things a bit more to learn about them yourself. As for the supplement, you can contact GOL’s customer service to get more help, but my guess is that you could give him 6-7 mL a day and be fine on the dose. I asked them about the age restrictions of the liquid multi-vitamin once, and they said they recommend it to 6 and up because of the iron they put in it. Many children can accidentally poison themselves by eating (or drinking) too many multi-vitamins so they only recommend those that contain iron for older kids. Hope this helps answer your question some!

      • Charity says:

        Thanks so much for your reply! As it turns out it was not his Iron that was causing his levels to be on the low side. His red blood cells are small and this caused his levels to be on the lower side. They have ruled out so many things that could cause this including celiac disease and a gene so since he is a otherwise very active and healthy kid we are just taking him every 6 months to keep an eye on them. He is currently taking a probiotic (Garden of life brand with added vit D) but has had some teeth issues lately. He has a few cavities that he refuses to let the dentists fix and I am unwilling to have him put under for right now. I have heard good things about FCLO/butter blend to help with cavities but I am wondering if that would be too much vit D since he is also getting it in his probiotic also? TIA for your help!

  15. Ella says:

    just curious how much of a dose would you give a 6yr old of the the garden of life-vitamin code liquid? Thanks.

    • Meagan says:

      Hey, Ella! You can find the dosing recommendation is on the bottle, and 6 year olds (last I checked) are old enough to take this vitamin. Hope that helps!

  16. Sanhita says:

    Hi, I have a quick question regarding over-dosing of vitamin A. I give my 2y 4mo son cod liver oil, probiotic drops (Biogaia probiotics with vit D). I’m planning to start Balanced Essentials multi-vitamin soon, but I worry that he’ll end up getting too much vitamin A and D. I’m so confused. Is there any vitamin K drops which does not have vit D in it? Because his probiotics already has vit D, his cod liver oil has some, and the multi vitamin will have it too. What do I ?

    • Meagan says:

      There are vitamin k drops that do not contain vitamin d. You can search Amazon or ask around at your local health food store to find them. As far as overdoing the vitamin a and d… it is a possibility as they are fat-soluble vitamins and are stored in the body for a time. Many experts recommend a set amount for healthy individuals, but that amount increases when a person is sick as their bodies need more nutrients during that time. And, some experts believe that the daily recommended dosages should be increased. With that said, I’m not sure that you need to have vitamin d added to so many of your child’s supplements. If he takes a multivitamin, cod liver oil, and eats a healthy diet every day, then he’s probably getting enough as long as he has a good amount of sun exposure as well. If daily sun exposure is limited during a certain time of the year, you could supplement with vitamin k/d drops during that time only. Lastly, you can have your child tested for vitamin d levels (and I’m assuming vitamin a as well) to see where he’s at with the supplements you currently have him on. It’s also a good idea to talk with his pediatrician about it as well. Most are open to helping you find the right supplements for your little one. Hope this helps, and thanks for your comment, Sanhita!

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Julie says:

    If the dosage of K2 for children is 60-90 mcg. How are you using that brand that you suggested. It only has 10 mcg.

    • Meagan Visser says:

      The dosage recommendation from Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue is for adults and the children’s dosage is an estimate for what the average child may need. The Raise Them Well brand I recommend is designed for babies, so their dosages will be much less than even a child’s dosage will be. When I give the D2/K3 drops to my older kids, I give them more than the suggested dosage on the bottle (which is for babies) because they need more of both vitamins. Hope that helps!

  19. Sherry Righter says:

    Meagan, I have a 4 year old nephew that was born premature at 23 weeks. He was hospitalized at Cincinnati Children’s for many months and went through many surgeries. He has a shunt in his head leading to his heart, due to brain fluid leakage. Though they didn’t even think he would make it, God has brought him a long way. He is very smart, is walking both alone and with the help of braces. However, he eats very little as he gets choked easily with the intubation that he had for so many months. It is hard to get him to eat anything. Recently, he was diagnosed with Chronic Vomiting Syndrome, and Diarhea. The doctors gave him some type of anti nausea Med’s and Miralax. As of this week, they had to take him off of the medication as his EKG came back abnormal, and he now must see a Cardiologist. The docs have told them there is nothing more they can do at this time, until they hear what the Cardiologist says. This is my niece’s only child, and she and her husband are beside themselves with worry. The Doctors also told them that this would last for many years, and then he would most likely have awful migraines for the rest of his life. I refuse to believe that there is not a safe natural remedy, or at least a major help for him. I know God has this, and I believe he uses Naturalists to achieve it when their chemicals have either done as much as it can, or has done too much damage to help anymore. My niece reached out to me for help as she knows I have great faith in Natural Medicine, and extreme faith in God. They are beside themselves with everything that has, and is still going on with their precious Preston. He has gone through far more than any one adult, much less a little child, has had to deal with daily. I just read your article above on Children’s supplements, and am going to forward this info to them, as I think it will help him. If you can give me any more information on this ailment, I would surely appreciate it. I live in TN also in Seymour, between Knoxville and Sevierville.

    Thank you so much,
    Sherry Righter

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Hi, Sherry. Due to your nephew’s medical history, this is the sort of thing that a clinical herbalist or naturopathic doctor would need to help you with alongside your nephew’s doctors. I’m sure there are nutritional and herbal supplements (as well as other alternative therapies) that could help him, but you’ll want to be sure any supplements you give him are safe for him to take alongside the medications he’s currently on. I can’t immagine the supplements I mentioned in this post being a problem, but it would be a good idea to run them by a doctor who knows his history first. I know this probably wasn’t the answer you were looking for, but I wish you all the best in the future. Don’t give up. There are many options out there. You just have to find the ones that work for him and his unique situation. Nice to meet you! I always enjoy meeting fellow Tennesseeans!

  20. Anonymous says:


  21. BWana Holmes says:

    Hi Meagan~

    I AM DESPERATE… Soooo I am a fellow Tennessean Mother of 3.. I have this 5 yo who’s ALWAYS sick with viruses.. I can count on missing several days from work due to him getting sick. Many have said that it’s normal now that he’s in a regular school environment but gee wiz, it’s tiring.. I slap myself on the wrist a thousand time for allow the sugary but we’re in a weaning process NOW.. I cook mostly every day and to get him to eat the green stuff or anything outside of pizza and chicken nuggets, we’re winning.. I want to put him on an Herbal supplement that I’m told will help, but there are soooo many out there.. Juice Plus was recommended.. and then I’m searching and searching all over the internet .. What are your strongest recommendations for my little Joziah.. I feel like I’m, starving the poor kid and with this Tennessee weather, he’s up and down.. from colds to sinusitis, to tummy bugs.. ughhh, tummy bugs,… I need to seriously build his immune system without trying many different things and going broke…Thank you in advance for your help~ Signed, A mother in distress :-/

    • Meagan Visser says:

      As a mom of littles, I totally hear you. Keep in mind that kids, no matter what you do to keep them healthy, will get sick, and as strange as it sounds, it’s a good thing because the sickness itself is strengthening their immune system. Each time they get sick, the immune system learns more and responds faster than the last time. That’s one reason why kids get sick more often than adults… because we have stronger immune systems than children do (since we’ve been sick more).

      Anyway, there are things you can do to help support your child’s immune system. I wrote a post on immune-boosting here. I can’t stress the part about having a healthy diet enough. Your child has to have high-quality nutrition to be healthy, and if they’re getting too much sugar, it can slow their immune response. Diet can take a while to change, but it’s worth it, not only for your kid but your whole family as well.

      As for supplements, if your diet stinks and you want to use supplements to fill the nutrition-gap, you will be spending a good bit of money. Also, there isn’t one magic supplement that’s going to help keep your child from getting sick. There are a lot of options… some good, some not. I wrote a couple posts about supplements I think are worth giving kids as well as how to get these nutrients from food instead of supplements if you’d like. Hopefully, some of this will help. Keep your head up, mama, and know that it’s all a journey–parenting and health–and that you can only do one thing at a time.

  22. Carly says:

    This is all some really great info! You said you give your children some different variations of certain supplements at different times of the year, so I’m wondering, what is your daily routine with all of these supplements? How often do you switch things up? Is it possible for them to become dependent on them, or for them to become *immune* to them (for lack of better words)? It seems like so much for their little bodies, yet it’s all organic, so should I be hesitant?

    • Meagan Visser says:

      My supplement regimen changes depending on several factors. If I’m giving my kids supplements, sometimes I do all of these individually using the products linked to in the post, but at other times, when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed (or broke–LOL!), I like to use these multivitamins as they incorporate almost all 5 must-haves into one supplement. Hope this helps!

  23. Ferryn says:

    Thank you for this post. I am always looking for the best thing for my children. K2 is a new one for me and I was wondering if there was a children’s one located in Canada? The raisethemwell doesn’t ship to Canada from what I can see. I have found a few different ones here but they are meant for adults. Thanks!

    • Meagan Visser says:

      I’m honestly not sure. I did add a link for a new vitamin made by Natures Plus that contains vitamin K2 and D3 together, if that helps. I get mine from Vitacost or Amazon, and I think both of those companies will ship to Canada. Best of luck finding something that works for you!

  24. Vicky says:

    I have a 13 year old grandson who is very very very short. A cousin who is 5 years younger has almost caught up with him. His doctor says he has grown so he does not want to put him on a growth hormone. Hasn’t grown much. Is there anything we can do that you know of that might help?
    Vicky Lindsay

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Since height is mostly determined by genetics, the only advice I have is to feed your child a healthy diet (full of good fats) and incorporating nutritional supplements when needed. There are no herbal supplements that I know of that are used to support the body in increasing height other than basic nutritional supplements. Check out the book, Nourishing Traditions for an ideal diet for growing kiddos!

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