Getting kids to take vitamins can be tough in general, but getting your child with special needs to take them can be even more of a challenge. That’s because children with special needs may be especially sensitive to taste and textures or especially resistant to trying new things.
Here are a few methods you can take to get your special needs child to take vitamins:
Important Note: Before you provide your child with vitamins, please first consult your pediatrician to make sure the supplements are best for him or her. Some children with Autism do not respond well to vitamin supplements.
1. Blended Vitamins
Smoothies are a great tactic for anyone looking to increase their vitamin intake, but they’re especially great for kids. Smoothies are basically just desserts you get to drink for breakfast – or lunch – or whenever the smoothie-mood strikes you.
If you use a blender or a magic bullet to make smoothies for your child with special needs, just drop in some vitamins. They’ll be crushed up seamlessly into the blend so your child won’t even be able to taste them. If you’re not making smoothies for your child, consider making the switch! They really are a great, sweet treat.
2. Chewable or Gummy Vitamins
The chewable Flintstone vitamins or gummy vitamins are a clever trick to make your child with special needs think they’re eating candy and not something that’s really good for them. The trouble here is making sure your child understands that they can’t have more than one or two vitamins (depending on the serving size).
You may consider giving your child an assortment of gummy snacks and sneaking a few gummy vitamins into the mix, so they don’t feel cheated or teased by the tiny gummy serving.
3. Hidden Vitamins
If you know your child with special needs doesn’t pay too close of attention to the food in front of them, then hiding vitamins in their food might be a good method for you. Vitamins are usually too big to try to slip unnoticed into another type of food though, so you might consider breaking them into halves or thirds or crushing them up.
Foods that are great disguises for vitamins include:
- Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter
- Mac ‘n’ Cheese
4. Nutrient-Rich Superfoods
Rather than trying to sneak a supplement into your child’s diet, you might consider changing their diet instead. We know how important routine is to children with special needs, so rather than changing all their comfort foods to fruits and veggies, you might change one meal so that it includes a nutrient-rich superfood.
Here are some great superfoods that kids love:
- Greek Yogurt
- Milk (Can Be Non-Dairy!)
- Black Beans
Encouraging Your Child with Special Needs to Take Vitamins
Caring for a child with special needs often involves unique challenges, and ensuring they get essential vitamins is crucial for their overall well-being. Here are practical tips to make the vitamin-taking experience positive and beneficial for your child:
1. Choose Appealing Forms: Opt for vitamins in appealing forms like gummies, liquids, or chewables to make them more enticing for your child.
2. Incorporate into Routine: Integrate vitamin time into your daily routine, associating it with a specific meal or activity for consistency.
3. Offer Choices: Allow your child to choose from vitamin options, providing a sense of control and making the experience more enjoyable.
4. Make it Fun: Turn vitamin time into a fun and interactive activity, incorporating games or rewards to create a positive association.
5. Gradual Introduction: Introduce vitamins gradually, starting with small doses and gradually increasing to help your child adjust.
6. Consult with Healthcare Professionals: Seek advice from healthcare professionals to ensure you choose the right vitamins and determine appropriate dosages for your child’s specific needs.
Remember, patience and creativity can go a long way in fostering a positive attitude towards vitamin intake for your child with special needs.
Important Notes Before Giving Medicines to Your Child With Special Needs
Caring for a child with special needs requires careful attention, especially when it comes to administering medicines. Here are crucial notes to ensure the safe and effective use of medications for your child:
1. Consult with Healthcare Professionals: Always consult with your child’s healthcare team before starting any new medication. They can provide guidance on dosage, potential side effects, and interactions.
2. Understand the Medication: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the prescribed medication, including its purpose, recommended dosage, and potential side effects. This knowledge empowers you to monitor your child’s response accurately.
3. Consider Individual Sensitivities: They may have unique sensitivities or allergies. Inform healthcare professionals about any known sensitivities to avoid adverse reactions.
4. Ensure Proper Administration: Follow precise administration instructions, considering factors like timing, whether the medication should be taken with food, or any specific administration techniques.
5. Monitor for Side Effects: Regularly monitor your child for any potential side effects or changes in behavior. Report any concerns to the healthcare team.
6. Communicate Effectively: Maintain open communication with healthcare professionals, sharing updates on your child’s well-being, any observed changes, or concerns about the prescribed medications.
7. Keep a Medication Log: Maintain a detailed log of medications, including dosages, administration times, and any observed effects. This log aids in tracking your child’s medication history.
Prioritizing your child’s health involves proactive communication, understanding, and meticulous attention to their medication. Always seek professional advice to tailor healthcare decisions to your child’s specific needs.
At Special Strong, we don’t just offer personal training sessions to children and adults with special needs. We also have a nutritionist who can help you improve your child’s diet, ensuring that their vitamin and mineral intake is where it should be. Speak to a representative at Special Strong today to learn more about our nutrition services.