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I get a lot of questions about how to get my children to take vitamins. While mine take their fish oil, probiotics and magnesium with no problem…it got me thinking.
I combined one of their favorite natural snacks (homemade gummy bears) with vitamins. The result is these healthy, gut-strengthening and child-friendly multivitamin gummies.
Why we need vitamins
Decades ago, all we had to do was eat a well-rounded diet, low in processed foods and added sugars, to get the nutrients we needed. Now things are a little more complicated. Unless you grow everything you eat in very nutrient-rich soil (or buy from someone who does), food simply no longer contains the essential nutrients it used to.
In fact, fruits and vegetables contain less than 50% of the essential vitamins and minerals they once did. And even then, certain nutrients are no longer in the American food supply. We need these nutrients to help our immune system, protect against heart disease and for overall well-being.
As a mother, I am more intentional in my approach to nutrition with my children. We get vitamin D from the sun and vitamin A from fish oil. My kids also like to take healthy, non-GMO and gluten-free vitamin supplements (no added sugar!) like this one. Adding an extra nutritional boost from homemade gummy vitamins is a fun way to pack more nutrition into your day!
Bowel softening gelatin
These rely on gelatin for their texture. Not only is it a good source of collagen, but it also helps with healthier hair, skin and nails. Gelatin is also a big plus when it comes to our gut health. As Hippocrates claimed many years ago, “All diseases begin in the intestines.” Science continues to confirm how important our gut health is to overall health!
A healthy gut has health benefits, including immune system support and better mental health.
One caveat: If your kids aren’t drinking bone broth regularly (they should be), start slowly and only give them a few of these at a time. Their intestines may need time to adjust, or they may have slightly loose stools. Gelatin has a soothing effect on the digestive system.
Adjust your gummy vitamins
Depending on your preference, you can add different vitamins and nutrients here. However, keep in mind that these do not contain the full spectrum of nutrients like ready-made nutritional supplements or prenatal vitamins. Certain oil-based vitamins, such as vitamin E and fish oil, will also not mix very well together.
Making your own chewable vitamins allows you to skip the sugar alcohols, additives and corn syrup sweeteners found in many gummy supplements.
I can think of endless uses for this, but these are the ones I’ve tried so far. By changing the juice you can make different fruit flavors.
- Add vitamin C powder and use lemon juice to make sour vitamin C gummies for immune health.
- Adding probiotics with a fresh juice base to create GAPS-friendly gummy vitamins
- Use homemade elderberry syrup as a base to make flu-fighting chewable vitamins
- Addition of Natural Calm for chewable magnesium vitamins
- Just make plain flavors and put them in cute molds to make gummy snacks. They are nut-free and sometimes approved for school activities.
You can also try adding some calcium powder (along with magnesium and vitamin D). AB complex vitamin with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin and folic acid (not folic acid) is also a good option.
I use Just Thrive probiotics because they are proven to get into the gut (unlike many others). If your probiotics need to be refrigerated and can’t handle heat, they generally won’t get past your stomach acid. They even have a probiotic gummy for kids that my kids love!
Choose your juice
Most store-bought juices contain a shocking amount of added grams of sugar. They are often flavored sugar water concoctions. Freshly squeezed is the best option, but if you need a store-bought option, look for something that is just organic juice. No added sugars, flavors or colorings.
Pineapple juice doesn’t work in this because it contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins. Great for digestion, but not so great when trying to make gelatin gel. I have found that it gives a strange slimy texture and does not work. Papaya has the same problem here.
Our favorite fresh juice combinations are mango/orange, lemon/lime (sour) or elderberry syrup as a base. They are packed with 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
Homemade chewable gummy vitamins are a great way to give kids some extra protein and make their vitamins delicious and easy to take!
- 8 teaspoon gelatin
- 1 cup juice
- 2 TABLESPOON Honey (optional)
- 2 teaspoon vitamins of your choice (vitamin C, probiotics, magnesium, etc.)
Combine the juice, vitamins or probiotics, and honey in a small saucepan.
Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let it bloom for about 1 minute.
Heat slightly over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. It will be thick and slightly syrupy.
Quickly pour the mixture into molds or a small glass bowl lightly oiled with coconut oil.
Place the molds in the refrigerator for several hours or until firm. The exact time depends on the size of your molds.
Remove and pop out of the molds. Cut into squares if necessary.
How to make gummy vitamins
Amount per serving (1 gummy)
% Daily Value*
Saturated fat 0.004 g0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.01 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.002 g
Fiber 0.04 g0%
Egg white 2g4%
Vitamin A 0.2 IU0%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutritional data does not include added supplements.
Figuring out dose
Since this is more like food, I’m not too concerned about the exact dosage. If you want to know how much your children will receive, there is a simple way to find out. Take the mg or mcg of the vitamin you took and divide it by the number of servings.
For example, suppose you added 400% of the RDA vitamin C. If you used fun gummy molds and ended up with 20 vitamin gummies, divide 400 by 20. This amounts to 20% RDA of vitamin C per gummy. An even easier way is to make these in a square glass bowl and cut the gummies into squares. You can perform this calculation for each added vitamin.
Have you ever made your own vitamins or supplements? What combinations would you add? Let me know below!