My kids eat healthy foods — is that enough for good nutrition?

My kids eat healthfully…most of the time.

Charlie is obsessed with anything in the Mexican food group with favorites like black beans, whole wheat tortillas and fresh salsa. If I were willing to turn the kitchen island into a Chipotle franchise every night he would be in heaven.

Eve is a pasta, fruit and vegetable lover and willing to try anything new. She even ate soft-boiled duck eggs with her grandmother this summer. Get that girl a beret and some frog legs.

Alice has a passion for cheese. Melted, cubed, shredded, sliced into shapes — as long as cheese is on her plate in some way, the little cheddar chick is stoked.

Grocery store groupie

I make the kids breakfasts, lunches and dinners ninety percent of the time. I have learned that frequent, massive grocery shops are a bigger time saver for me during the busy weeks than eating or ordering out. A stocked fridge, freezer and pantry are a friend to my schedules and our nutrition needs. The meals I make are not fancy, but they are comprised of whole foods. Give me 25 minutes, a bottle of olive oil, a protein, fresh veggies and a whole grain and I can have three bellies full.

Rarely do we eat fast food and when we do we choose sandwiches, baked potatoes and the most health-conscious items we can find. As long as the fridge and pantry are stocked, I think it is faster to just cook at home than ordering food or eating out. My trainer and nutrition coach Hector Vargas says that it is much healthier, too.

All three children play sports or dance. They are act-tive with a capital A. I love that the more exercise they get, the less likely they are to complain about the food set in front of the them and the more apt they are to finish it all.

Nutrition blanks can be filled

But even with the grocery bags and clean plates, I know there are holes in the kids’ vitamin intake. They have vegetable and fruit preferences, individual protein persnickitinesses, different opinions about slow-cooker concoctions and casseroles. One kid is obsessed with my banana protein smoothies, another gags just looking at them. Two kids cheer for kale chips while the other boos.

Honestly, I do not have time to pull out a ledger and estimate everyone’s iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, Bs, C and D intakes.

It is much simpler to just serve up one of these babies at breakfast…


Daily multivitamin for kids

I started giving Charlie, Eve and Alice a chewable children’s multivitamin each morning after school started this year. I feel great about this decision. As an #OTCSafety blogger, I learned how important it is to fill in the blanks in our kids’ diets. This article on vitamin and mineral supplements was incredibly helpful. With three individuals and crazy schedules, simply giving them a vitamin has made me feel confident that I am giving them the best nutrition possible, in addition to my Chipotle-wannabe efforts.

Important tips about vitamins and supplements for kids

* Keep them up and away! I give my children gummy vitamins for their ease of consumption. However, I know how candy-like they can seem to the kids, especially three-year-old Alice. Therefore I have the vitamins stored in the back of my highest, above-the-fridge cabinet. Vitamin overdoses are serious.

* Buy from a trusted source. I purchase my children’s multivitamins at my favorite grocery store. I use e-commerce for many shopping needs, but for an item that my children are consuming each day I want to be super sure all FDA requirements are followed. You can also ask your pediatrician if there is a particular multivitamin she recommends.

This infographic from OTCSafety.org has more great information about vitamins and dietary supplements for children.  Show it to your kids – the pouting girl and her salad will crack ’em up. 


Disclosure: I am proud to serve as an #OTCSafety blogger on behalf of OTCSafety.org. I am compensated for my original contributions and help spreading the word about families’ safe use of over-the-counter products.

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