I get a lot of questions about how I get my kids to take vitamins. While mine will just take their fish oil, probiotics, and magnesium without a problem … it got me thinking.
I combined one of their favorite natural snacks (homemade gummy bears) with vitamins. The result are these healthy, gut-boosting, and kid-friendly multivitamin gummies.
Why We Need Vitamins
Decades ago we only had to eat a well-rounded diet low in processed foods and added sugar to get the nutrients we needed. Now, things are a little more complicated. Unless you’re growing everything you eat in really nutrient-dense soil (or buying from someone who does), food just doesn’t have the essential nutrients it used to.
In fact, fruits and veggies have less than 50% of the essential vitamins and minerals they used to. And even then there are certain nutrients no longer in the American food supply. We need these nutrients to help our immune system, to protect against heart disease, and for overall wellness.
As a mom, I’m more targeted in my approach to nutrition with my kids. We get vitamin D from the sun and vitamin A from fish oil. My kids also like taking healthy, non-GMO, and gluten-free vitamin supplements (without added sugar!) like this one. Adding an extra nutrient boost from homemade gummy vitamins is a fun way to pack more nutrition into their day!
Gut Soothing Gelatin
These rely on gelatin for their texture. Not only is it a good source of collagen, but it helps with healthier hair, skin, and nails. Gelatin is also a big plus when it comes to our gut health. As Hippocrates reportedly claimed many years ago “All disease begins in the gut.” Science is continuing to confirm how important our gut health is for overall health!
A healthy gut has health benefits that include immune support and better mental health.
One caution: If your kids aren’t regularly drinking bone broth (they should be!) then start slow and only give them a few of these at a time. Their guts may need time to adjust or they could have a little loose stool. Gelatin has a soothing effect on the digestive system.
Customize Your Gummy Vitamins
You can add different vitamins and nutrients here depending on your preference. Keep in mind that these won’t have a full spectrum of nutrients like premade dietary supplements or prenatal vitamins though. Certain oil-based vitamins, like vitamin E and fish oil also won’t mix in very well.
Making your own chewable vitamins means you can skip the sugar alcohols, additives, and corn syrup sweeteners found in many gummy supplements.
I can think of endless uses for these, but these are the ones I’ve tried so far. You can make different fruit flavors by changing out the juice.
- Adding vitamin C Powder and using lemon juice to make sour vitamin C gummies for immune health.
- Adding probiotics with a fresh juice base to make GAPS friendly gummy vitamins
- Using homemade elderberry syrup as a base to make flu-busting chewable vitamins
- Adding Natural Calm for chewable magnesium vitamins
- Just making regular flavors and putting them in cute molds to make gummy snacks. They’re nut-free and sometimes approved for school activities.
You can also try adding some calcium powder (along with magnesium and vitamin D). A B complex vitamin with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin, and folate (not folic acid), is also a good option.
I use probiotics from Just Thrive because they’re proven to make it to the gut (unlike many others). In general, if your probiotics need refrigerated and can’t stand any heat, they won’t make it past your stomach acid. They even have a kid’s probiotic gummy that my kids love!
Choosing Your Juice
Most store-bought juices have a shocking amount of added grams of sugar. They’re often flavored sugar water concoctions. Fresh pressed is the best option, but if you need a store-bought option look for something that’s just organic juice. No added sugars, flavors, or dyes.
Pineapple juice doesn’t work in these because it has bromelain, a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein. Great for digestion, but not so great when you’re trying to make gelatin gel. I’ve found it gives them a weird slimy texture and doesn’t work. Papaya has the same problem here.
Our favorite fresh juice combinations are mango/orange, lemon/lime (sour), or elderberry syrup as the base. They’re full of antioxidants and vitamin C, and taste delicious!
If you’re short on time or can’t make chewable vitamins, Hiya would be my next choice. They have clean ingredients and a wide variety of what kids need.
How to Make Gummy Vitamins
- Small silicone molds (or square glass dish)
- Combine the juice, vitamins or probiotics, and honey in a small saucepan.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and allow it to bloom for about 1 minute.
- Heat slightly over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. It will be thick and somewhat syrup-like.
- Quickly pour the mixture into molds or a small glass dish lightly oiled with coconut oil.
- Place the molds in the fridge for several hours or until firm. The exact time depends on the size of your molds.
- Remove and pop out of molds. Cut into squares if needed.
Figuring Out Dose
Since these are more like food, I’m not too concerned with the exact dosage. If you want to know how much your kids are getting, here’s an easy way to figure it out. Take the mg or mcg of the vitamin you used and divide by the number of servings.
For example, say you added 400% DV vitamin C. If you used fun gummy molds and ended up with 20 vitamin gummies, divide 400 by 20. This ends up being 20% DV vitamin C per gummy. An even easier way is to make these in a square glass dish and cut the gummies into squares. You can do this calculation for each vitamin added.
Ever made your own vitamins or supplements? What combinations would you add? Let me know below!