tricks for supplements and children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-25-2010, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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My son has some attention difficulties and some mild-moderate Sensory Integration difficulties. I have read in several places about several supplements to help. Over the summer I started him on extra magnesium and some B-complex vitamins. The store I bought the magnesium no longer carries it alone. I've also read about calcium and zinc with the magnesium.

I found capsules of calcium, magnesium, and zinc combo and 1/2 the serving would equal what I calculated for the amount he would need, so I bought them. They are too big for him to take, though, so I was planning on mixing the powder into applesauce like I did with the straight magnesium.

They do not mix into the applesauce or any liquid I can find without clumping and he complains of an awful taste. (I tasted - the applesauce tasted really bitter, so we tried and failed to doctor it up; the chocolate almond milk tasted okay, but had an icky texture because of the clumps and most of the powder remained on the sides when he drank it.) I've tried smoothies, but he won't drink them consistently. I tried dissolving the powder in a little warm water with the idea of mixing them more easily into something else - they will not mix (maybe I should have known that).

Are there tricks I haven't tried to get these supplements into him? I did not see a kids' version of this combination.
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#2 of 4 Old 10-25-2010, 11:41 PM
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Instead of mixing it *into* the applesauce, try making a thin layer of applesauce with a dent in the middle, put the powder in there, and then cover with another thin layer of applesauce--so it's all one bite. I get my kids to take nasty-tasting powders that way.

You can also repackage into smaller capsules, I've read that dipping them in a bit of honey or maple syrup or the like can help with teaching young kids to learn to swallow pills. DS learned with gel-type capsules when he was, um, 3.5 yo, and that was regular size capsules (started with gel-type, not big, but quickly moved to adult-size caps).

You may want to be cautious adding in calcium, some kids are fine with it, some need it, but it can be tricky to balance in some kids, I think mostly because they tend to need the magnesium so much more.

As a last resort, you can put powder into a strong-tasting liquid, I used black cherry juice for a long time. It doesn't really mix in, it's more a suspension, so it's grainy and doesn't taste good, but with practice, the kids would take quite a few supps in about 2 tablespoons of black cherry juice--the smaller quantity of juice worked better than a larger amount for us, I gave it to them like medicine. I had to slowly increase the amount of the supps I was giving them---really, really slowly. I went too fast several times and had to restart.
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#3 of 4 Old 10-26-2010, 12:57 AM
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If he can swallow smaller capsules, by far and away the easiest is to repackage into smaller capsules (you can buy empty ones in a range of sizes for exactly this purpose).

My son is autistic, and mag helps a lot with his sensory issues - calcium makes them much worse.

What form is the mag in the mixed capsules you have? Often it's mag oxide, and that has poor absorption. I like glycinate (first choice) or citrate. You can buy Now brand mag citrate powder in most stores. I order from, they have a far better selection than even the wonderful stores in my area, and fast shipping.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#4 of 4 Old 10-26-2010, 01:45 PM
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Magnesium oil is trans dermal. There is a trans dermal zinc as well. I LOVE them. My son will not swallow any pills so these are a life saver. Epson salt in the bath works too. I first heard of then on the special parenting board. Maybe ask around there for info.
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