I recently went to an amazing conference called ShiftCon where many of the attendees were “scared straight” accidentally as we listened to all the ways that many of us (and our families) were vitamin deficient. Moment of truth: it was super scary! I began to think of how many fruits and veggies my kids were really eating and how many times I forgot to give them their vitamins. But here’s the thing: it wasn’t just me sitting there wondering how I could create a healthier and vitamin/mineral-rich environment for my children. We all were!
Understanding How To Get Your Vitamins & Nutrients
Did you know that popping all the iron in the world won’t make your iron levels in your blood increase without the use of vitamin C for absorption? There are some key vitamin/mineral combinations to pay attention to in order to maximize the effects of them. Here’s a chart from LiveLoveFruit.com that helps with that:
As is illustrated here, you can also get these, along with many other vitamins and minerals, from foods. And yes, your kids will even love these!
Eating Your Way To Healthy
I remember when I watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for the first time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an enlightening documentary on Netflix. In the documentary, you follow a rather large man from Australia who took off a year from work to take control of his health. Starting out, he had multiple ailments from high blood pressure to others. By the end of the documentary, he had healed himself from everything and was no longer required to take the slew of medicines that he was originally prescribed. He healed his body using a juicing combination that he developed with his doctors but something he said has always stuck with me. Mother Nature has given us everything we need to heal our bodies and this is so true.
Here are 3 tips on how to incorporate more nutrient rich items in your family’s diet:
1. Green Drinks
I feel like everyone knows about green smoothies. Toss some fresh spinach into a blender with some frozen fruits and boom! You’ve got a delicious drink that is nutrient rich! Green juices are becoming increasingly popular as well with brands like Suja, Odwalla, and Arden’s Garden making them readily available. Something that most don’t think to do is even add green powders to your normal juices. I like this Powdered Greens from Barlean's. You can buy powdered Spirulina, Wheatgrass, and Green Superfood which add nutrients directly to your everyday drinks. Drinking these do take some adjustment to your taste buds and can be difficult to get your kids to drink at first but making them more diluted helps that adjustment period.
2. Don’t Overcook Your Veggies
Eating lots of vegetables is so good—unless you’re overcooking them! How can you tell when you’ve overdone it with the cooking? Your veggies have lost their coloring and look drab. To be on the safe side, leave your crunchy vegetables with a little crunch. Have kids that aren’t the greatest fans of veggies? I learned that letting my kids help me prepare the vegetables while talking about how good they are for their bodies makes them more invested in the eating them. Also, just put a bunch on your plate—kids will never let us eat and if involves vegetables, I’m all for sharing! People often remark at how my kids love vegetables and ask how I get them to eat them. All I do is make them the way I like them and start to eat and then the “Mommy can I have some?” whines immediately follow! Make your veggies delicious!.
3. Use Supplements!
I used to think that I was cheating by giving my kids vitamins and extras of things. It’s not cheating. But make sure that you’re choosing the vitamins that are best for their bodies—and yours! After speaking to my dentist, she shared that gummy vitamins aren’t the greatest for your kids’ teeth and can lead to cavities in between the teeth. My favorite brand of vitamins are Alive. They make multivitamins for everyone in the family. During pregnancy, these were the only ones that I could take and not end up coming back up. My second favorite brand is MegaFood. They also have vitamins for the family but their supplements are truly amazing. My favorite one is the B12 and now the Baby and Me since I’m pregnant again. MegaFood believes that health starts with real food and their vitamins and minerals are derived from real foods such as blueberries and brown rice.
While making sure our families are in optimal health can be difficult, there are resources out there to help. Mix things up. Get creative but don’t forget to make it delicious!
What are some tips that you have for getting all your vitamins and nutrients in?