There are 13 different B vitamins that everybody, including your children, need in order to function optimally, and when any of them are in short supply, your health can be negatively affected. Oftentimes, a vitamin B deficiency can be hard to pinpoint, because the effects of a deficiency can be both bizarre and far-reaching. From abdominal pain to forgetfulness, when your child is short on any of the B vitamins, trouble may follow, and it can be hard to know how to solve it. So make sure no deficiency develops in the first place. Here are six tips that can help you ensure your kids are getting enough B vitamins in their day-to-day lives.
1. Eat Real, Unprocessed Food
Eating whole foods that are devoid of chemicals and preservatives is one of the easiest ways to start the process of ensuring your children get the B vitamins their developing bodies need. While the appeal of packaged food products is hard to deny — convenience, saved time, saved money, easier cleanup, etc. — the results of a processed and pre-packaged diet are anything but appealing.
Besides the fact that they keep your and your children’s bodies from absorbing the nutrients and vitamins present, processed, chemical-laden foods also don’t provide much by way of B vitamins. So, head out to your local farmer’s market. From mushrooms, spinach, and organic cheeses to bananas, squash, peas or even green juice powders, you can begin efforts to get plenty of B vitamins with a diet full of real, whole foods.
2. Drink the Right Tea
Being well-hydrated is an easily achievable health goal, and if you get your children to drink the right kinds of tea, you can make sure it aids their health in other ways at the same time. In particular, chaga mushroom tea is an herbal tea option that’s veritably bursting with nutrients and vitamins. A natural source of numerous B vitamins, it has especially high levels of the B vitamin known as Pantothenic Acid or B5. Just adding mushrooms, oily fish, or rich cheeses — like Roquefort — to your kids’ diets will help them get this important vitamin, but when you drink chaga tea, you’ll gain additional benefits like antioxidants, iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium, too.
3. Reconsider Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is often considered to be one of the healthiest ways to live, and given the state of the commercial meat industry — and the West’s addiction to red meat — that’s largely true. However, one of the main sources of B vitamins is meat and fish. In fact, the vitamin B12 can only be found in animal products, so if your family practices veganism you need to make sure everyone in your charge is taking a B12 supplement. If you reconsider your stance against animal products, there are many small ranches, farms, and fisheries committed to humane practices. Buy your meat and fish from them, and let the fish, liver, beef, eggs, and cheese in your diet supply your little ones with B12.
4. Sweeten With Blackstrap Molasses
One of the healthiest foods on the planet, blackstrap molasses is a great choice for sweetening if you want to get a hefty dose of nutrients and vitamins in your diet. It contains four of the 13 B vitamins in it, as well as a host of other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that range from calcium and magnesium to copper and iron. Use it on French toast in place of maple syrup and to sweeten cereal, too. The flavor is distinctive and can take some getting used to, but once you do, you and your brood will experience an undeniable health boost.
5. Daily Multivitamin
Obviously, one of the easiest ways to go about making sure your kids get their fair share of B vitamins is to take a daily multivitamin, and if your lifestyle prevents you from cooking too much or you’re completely committed to a diet that’s devoid of animal products, this route is probably the one for you. However, if you and your children struggle to remember to take vitamins on a daily basis, you may want to reconsider. Forgetting to eat isn’t something your kids are probably prone to. If remembering to take a multivitamin is an issue, follow these other tips to make sure your family’s intake of B vitamins is up to snuff.
6. Add in Wheat Germ and Brewer’s Yeast
Wheat germ and brewer’s yeast make great additions to any baked goods that might come out of your kitchen, whether you make muffins, pancakes, cookies, or cakes on a regular basis. Just add in a few tablespoons of each when you’re baking, and you’ll help your children’s B intake with little effort or fanfare.
Don’t let your children get less B than they need. From drinking chaga tea to adding wheat germ to recipes, it’s pretty easy to help them get all 13 vitamins every day.