It feels like chewable vitamins have been around forever. And for me, as a child of the 80’s, they have been. Chewables hit the scene in 1960, and were first called “Chocks” before taking the shape -and therefore the namesake- of everyone’s favorite Stone Age family in 1968. Now, in addition to chewable vitamins, we’ve got gummy varieties, and even “sour gummies.” It’s the age of options!
The basic concept of a decent tasting kids multivitamin makes sense to me, a mom of two. Somewhere between two and three years of age, I had introduced my girls to the most “natural” gummies I could find. Though free of gelatin, artificial dyes, and artificial sweeteners, those little things still tasted like candy to me. (Seriously, I found myself sneaking one here or there when my kids weren’t looking!) And, the serving size was 3 gummies. Three! Practically a snack. (Kidding… but you catch my drift.)
Don’t get me wrong; I think gummies are a great option in the world of supplements, and I’m thankful there’s a tried-and-true vitamin form out there that kiddos love. But, I’m one of those moms. You know, the kind who looks for alternatives to the norm when it comes to what my family ingests. Maybe you can relate. :) So, for me, there was a decision to make. Should we try giving up the gummy? And if so…
How on Earth would I wean the littles from those delicious and easy-to-eat vitamins when the alternative was a non-chewable tablet???
At ages 5 and 6, it was time to at least try. I wasn’t too optimistic, nor was I too surprised when they balked at the idea of a tablet. After all, how many times had I instructed them to take care in chewing their food -or keeping small, hard objects away from their mouths- so that they didn’t choke? For a child, the act of swallowing anything with mass is completely counter-intuitive. Not to mention, the yummy “treat” was phased out of the equation. No fun.
It took me about 6 weeks, but I did it. And while this might not work for everyone, it’s worth a shot if you’re committed to it. Here’s how we gave up the gummy in my house.
I started with myself. Truth be told, I had an adult chewable that was pretty darn awesome. I swapped my fruit-flavored, nickel-sized, bunch-of-grapes-shaped vitamin for a supplement made with real food, and I haven’t looked back. But that’s another story for another day.
When I put my proposal of swallowing a kids multivitamin tablet into action, I was pretty spot-on in my prediction. My littlest, Miss A, loves a challenge. When I bet her that she couldn’t swallow that tablet, she proved me wrong in just a few tries. Gee, that was easy. Gotta love a determined soul. However, once we got past the dare (and the detailed disclaimer that this did not mean we now swallowed everything) she quickly wanted to know: What’s in it for me? “Sugar-free Nutrition” didn’t cut it.
Meanwhile, my oldest, Miss Z, couldn’t get her tablet past her tongue without gagging. And as we all know with a vitamin made from food, that sucker starts to break down in mere moments, leaving behind a not so awesome taste.
Both girls needed an incentive. For Miss A, the pro, that incentive was a chocolate chip. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve just eliminated the sugar only to put it back? Well, yes. But only for a short time. The chip was my “thank you” for switching from a yummy vitamin to a boring one. And, as the chocolate was even more desireable, my little girl felt like she was getting the tall straw of the deal.
For Miss Z, we tried cutting the tablet in half. No dice. We tried enveloping it in yogurt to weaken the mental block that one shouldn’t swallow a hard item (and to mask the taste), but that still didn’t work. She got her gummy, of course, so it wasn’t a total loss… but her eye was on that chocolate.
What finally did the trick was trying a capsule. I had introduced a probiotic to my supplement routine, and decided my girls could benefit as well. Because the capsules are smaller, more smooth, and -unlike the tablet- tasteless after a few seconds on the tongue, both of my girls swallowed them with ease. I think the initial practice had helped Miss Z., too. (Chocolate chips for all!)
Of course, there was still the tablet hurdle to overcome. Wouldn’t you know, after a week or so of swallowing that capsule, Z had the action down, and gave the tablet another go. This time, by using the yogurt trick, she sunk it like a champ. As for the chocolate chips, I waited a few weeks, and then just phased them out, skipping a day here or there until the reward wasn’t even a thought, because the tablets were finally a habit. And, wouldn’t you know it, they still are. We have officially given up the gummy.
This article has been provided to you by Mega food blog.