Remedies

Homemade Herbal Multivitamins For Kids

June 7, 2013

Herbal Vitamin Balls - www.GrowingUpHerbal.com

I don’t give my kids a multivitamin. (GASP!)

It’s true. Today, the majority of the multivitamins on the market aren’t all that… even some of those found in health food store. Plus… when was the last time you walked through the vitamin aisle? We’re you as overloaded as I was? How on earth are you supposed to pick a great vitamin from all of those choices? It’s crazy.

So what do I do to make sure my kids are getting the vitamins and minerals their body needs to stay healthy?

It Starts With Food

It’s all about what we put in our mouths.

Now I’m not one to make my life revolve around food, and no… we don’t do perfectly all the time. I’m a sucker for sweets and having a night off of healthy eating every once in a while. No, we don’t go overboard and eat a ton of junk, but I don’t plan our every single meal when we go on vacation either. That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about.

Learning to eat healthy is a journey. It’s overwhelming to go from not knowing anything to doing perfectly in an instant. We’ve chosen to take it one step at a time, improving our diets as we learn.

What I do try to focus on are home-cooked, whole food meals that are nutritional, not over-cooked, and full of healthy fats… with as little eating out and unhealthy snacking as possible. This way I’m sure that my family is getting the good things that their body needs more than the junk they don’t.

But… most times, food isn’t enough to keep our bodies getting the amount of vitamins and minerals we need. So what then?

But What About Supplements

I don’t like supplements. Some people love them. They live off them. They spend so much money on them. It’s ridiculous, and I find that no way to live.

The only actual supplement we do take is Cod Liver Oil because… well, it’s awesome, but that’s a whole other post! Plus… it’s kinda a whole food on it’s own. It’s whole fish oil… not an individual compound taken from the oil of fish. Sort of.

Using Herbs As Vitamins

As far as getting extra vitamins and minerals that we don’t get from food, we look to herbs. Herbs are plants. They are whole foods. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are nourishing to our bodies. I cook with herbs. I treat sickness with herbs. I decorate with herbs. I LOVE herbs.

So when it comes to finding a great multivitamin for my kids (and my husband and I), I make my own. I call them “Vitamin Balls”. They’re delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Let me show you how to do it! (Printable recipe at bottom of post.)

Homemade Herbal Multivitamin Balls For Kids

First, you’ll need 5 simple ingredients.

 

First, measure out your ingredients. When it comes to your powdered herbs… the sky is the limit. I use the Daily Boost herb mix from Bulk Herb Store since all of these herbs are safe and great for the kids, but sometimes I’ll add in some extra herbs like Slippery Elm Bark and Spirulina. The choice is totally yours.

Herbal Vitamin Balls - www.GrowingUpHerbal.com

Next, combine your nut butter, honey, powdered herbs, and cocoa powder together in a bowl and mix it thoroughly. You should end up with a ball that doesn’t stick to the sides of your bowl and looks a tad greasy.

herbal+vitamin+mixing

After your herbal vitamins are all mixed up, take out a small amount of your mix and roll it into small balls with your hands. The mix should not be sticky enough to stick to your hands and make a mess thanks to the oils in the nut butter. If for some reason it is, mix in a SMALL amount of water to reduce the stickiness or add in some extra cocoa powder.

Once you have a ball (or several), take it and roll it in your unsweetened coconut flakes to coat it and keep it from sticking.

Herbal Vitamin Balls - www.GrowingUpHerbal.com

Once your herbal vitamin balls are rolled up and coated in the coconut flakes, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes to harden them up.

Herbal Vitamin Balls - www.GrowingUpHerbal.com

Lastly, store them in an appropriate container in your refrigerator. They’ll be good for up to a week.

Herbal Vitamin Balls - www.GrowingUpHerbal.com

What I do is I give my kids one vitamin ball with breakfast, one with lunch, and one with dinner… so 3 a day.

For my man and I, we use “Erin’s Super Green Drink Mix” from Bulk Herb Store in our vitamin balls. It contains Alfalfa, Barley Grass, Beet Root, Bilberry Fruit, Burdock Root, Chamomile Flowers, Cinnamon, Dandelion Leaf, Fennel Seed, Ginkgo Leaf, Eleuthero Root, Green Tea, Hawthorn Berry, Kelp, Lemon Peel, Nutritional Yeast, Oatstraw, Olive Leaf, Orange Peel, Passion Flower, Red Raspberry, Rose Hips, Spinach Leaf, Spirulina, St. John’s Wort, Nettle Leaf, Turmeric root, and Wheat Grass. This is a great blend for adults, but it’s not recommended if you’re pregnant or nursing.

So, if you think your kids will like these vitamin balls (and I’d definitely say they will) feel free to print this recipe below to save in your herbal recipe book!

Enjoy… and here’s to you and making your own homemade multivitamins for your kids!

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33 Comments

  • Reply Laura June 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I have the daily boost and Erin’s green drink mix, but have only ever put them in smoothies- this is a great alternative for when we don’t make a smoothie so we can still get all those vitamins and minerals. Thanks!

    • Reply Meagan June 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      That’s exactly the way we do it Laura! If we have a smoothie, we skip the vitamin balls. You’re welcome!!

  • Reply Jamie Larrison June 7, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    These look so delicious! Why is the green drink mix not recommended for nursing mother’s? I’ve been nursing my 2 year old AND drinking the erin’s mix in a smoothie every day so I’m wondering if I should stop. I haven’t noticed any problems though.

    • Reply Meagan June 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      I’m not exactly sure what the problem is. There’s a note on that sale page that says they recommend using it with caution with pregnant and nursing mothers so I thought I needed to pass that info along. And yes… they are delicious!!

  • Reply Rachel June 17, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    This is a great idea and will share for all my grandkids! (BTW, you have a small typo where you say in the paragraph to roll in coconut oil but you mean coconut flakes :)

    • Reply Meagan June 17, 2013 at 11:49 PM

      LOL! Thanks so much! I’ll get that fixed ASAP!!

  • Reply Debbie D. June 18, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    This sounds like a great idea, but I have no idea what kind of herbs you’d be talking about.

    • Reply Meagan June 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      The links I referenced in the post are great starting points for herbs to use. I also included some others like spirulina and slippery elm bark that you can add in which are also great.

      All herbs have nutritional benefits. When choosing herbs for your vitamin balls you can find a list of herbs that are kid friendly online or in children’s herb books like this one.

  • Reply Christy June 19, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    What is it about the Erin’s Super Green Drink Mix that makes you not serve it to your children? Is there something in it that is unsafe for them or does the Daily Boost just taste better? Thank you.

    • Reply Meagan June 19, 2013 at 7:57 AM

      Hey Christy…. there’s no reason in particular that I don’t serve it to my kids. In fact, many times if I have them made up for my husband and I and I don’t have any of theirs on hand, they’ll take the green drink ones. There’s nothing in it that I’m not comfortable with. It can taste a little bit stronger since there are so many herbs in that mix to cover up, but I just use more cocoa, honey, and nut butter.

      • Reply Christy June 19, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Thank you for your quick response. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply Michelle @ Find Your Balance June 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    That’s really cool. How do you know what vitamins you are getting/possibly not getting?

    • Reply Meagan June 19, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      You can take each herb and research it more to find out its nutritional content. You can google it (be sure to use trusted, legit sources) or you can find herb books on Amazon or a local bookstore that gives detailed info on the herbs. I also search sites like MountainRoseHerbs.com and BulkHerbStore.com and HerbMentor.com to find the nutritional values of herbs. This way I have a better idea of what I’m getting and not getting. Nutritional Herbalism is a great book that helps with the nutritional content of herbs (not just medicinal). Another thing you can do if you’d like to make your own powdered vitamin mix is look on the back of a high-quality whole food vitamin like Garden of Life Raw Vitamins and see what foods and herbs they’re including. You can then use those to make your own.

      When it comes to buying herbs… high quality and organic is best. Plus depending upon the grower, you never know exactly what the nutritional content is in herbs… since it’s a plant and so many things can effect it’s health. Just another reason to buy from good sources. I like that using herbs for vitamins is more like a whole food vitamin since your body is getting all the components of the plant and not extracted vitamins. The body needs the other components of the plant to help absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals.

      If you feel like you’re not getting all you need, you can always switch off and on from these during the summer to store-bought vitamins in the winter. Hope that helps some, and thanks for the comment Michelle!!

  • Reply Trish June 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    do you think I could mix in the kids’ probiotics with this as well?

    • Reply Meagan June 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      I don’t see why not… especially since you refrigerate them.

  • Reply Heather June 19, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Just wondering if the super green drink mix you use for these has the daily needs for women like iron, zinc, etc. I noticed you listed a lot of the great things in it but I don’t know what all one needs on a daily basis to be healthy, or what minerals are in those things you listed. I’m semi new at changing to an all natural life and I’m getting there but I feel like the closer I get, the further I am from ALL the things I need to know. You know how they say the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know..There is so much to learn!

    • Reply Meagan June 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      I hear you Heather. There is a lot to learn. For me, I try my best to eat healthy foods that are whole foods, cooked from scratch in healthy ways, and paired together for optimal health. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but it’s a constant work in progress. By starting with my and my families diet, I can do the best possible to get vitamins and minerals from our foods. I also supplement with cod liver oil to help with vitamin d absorption and other nutrient. As far as choosing herbs for my vitamin balls… I can go with premade mixes like the two I talked about in the post since they’re already made based on using herbs high in nutrition.

      If you’re not sure if you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you should be getting… you can check out a high-quality vitamin bottle to see what all you need on a daily basis and then find herbs that are high in those vitamins to add into your diet. It may take a while to get to where you’re comfortable going without a vitamin… I know it was for me, but I’ve not been giving my kids vitamins for a year or two now and they always checkout health at well check ups and they never complain of anything that would make me think they weren’t getting what they needed.

      Again, it’s a constant process. I’m continually learning and changing the way I do things. Welcome to the never-ending process of becoming and staying healthy!! Thanks for your comment Heather!

  • Reply MARIANGELES June 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    FOR KIDS ONLY??? I HAVE BEEN MAKING A VARIETY OF BALLS LIKE THESE FOR YEARS FOR MYSELF & OTHER ADULTS! AND EVERYONE LOVES THEM, SO PLEASE DON’T LABEL THEM “FOR KIDS”. HAHAHA!

    • Reply Meagan June 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      LOL! I hear you! Further down in the post I talk about the herb mix my husband and I use in these balls. We love them too. I steal the kids balls sometimes! Shhh… don’t tell them!

  • Reply Shanna June 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    is there a way to make these without the honey? I’m trying to keep out all fructose from our diets. I just don’t want to mess up the texture.

    • Reply Meagan June 21, 2013 at 8:02 AM

      hummm… let me think. I’ve never made it without honey so I don’t want to tell you “for sure” to do this or that and have your whole recipe messed up. Maybe divide the recipe in 1/2 or even in 1/4 and instead of honey use small amounts of coconut oil and then whatever sweetener you’re using… stevia maybe if you’re trying to stay away from sugars. Taste it as you go to see how it’s turning out before rolling it into balls. You could try that and see how it turns out… like I said, I’d cut the recipe down so if it didn’t turn out you didn’t waste all those ingredients. You may need to up the cocoa/cacao too to give it some extra powder. Let me know what you try and how it turns out for you. I’d love to put a “sugar-free” version in!

  • Reply Sarah June 26, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Hi Meagan, I make my own nut butter (peanut / pumpkin seed / sunflower seed) and include some sunflower oil, agave nectar and salt. Is there a particular type of nut butter you’d recommend I use for this recipe?

    Also, it’s really humid is Singapore and I’m not sure how well the coconut flakes will keep once I take it out of the freezer to thaw. Do you mean the dried dessicated coconut or freshly ground coconut (I can get either at my supermarket).

    Looking forward to letting my twins have these… They take some cod liver oil but I find they are sill getting the flu about every 2 months or so. (they’re 27 months old now).

    Sorry, one more thing… if I can’t find the herbal powder you’ve linked in this article, is organic wheatgrass powder and chia seeds a good combo?

    • Reply Meagan June 26, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      Hey Sarah… I think your nut butter would be fine. The only problem will be if it’s too runny. If it is, you’ll just have to use more powdered herbs or cocoa/cacao powder to firm it up.

      The coconut should keep fine. If you take what you have out of the freezer, thaw a bit, use it in your balls, then store the balls in the fridge, they should last. As far as what kind I’m talking about… just plain old unsweetened coconut flakes you can get at the grocery store. They are usually packaged in the baking goods section and don’t need to be refrigerated (that I know of).

      When it comes to the herbal powder… you can definitely get it from the source I listed, or you can find premixed powdered herbs on Amazon. If you want to use what you have… wheatgrass powder and chia are great, but I’m not sure it would give you everything you need for a multivitamin. By using several quality herbs that are all high in vitamins and minerals, you’re getting closer to an actual “multivitamin” than limiting it to only two things. But… if you want to do something and wheatgrass and chia seeds are all you have, go for it. This makes a great way to get your kid to eat it! Best of luck and if you have anymore questions just let me know!

  • Reply katrina October 2, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Hi, I can’t have nuts or honey so I’d try this with sunflower butter and maple syrup. Sounds good though.

    • Reply Meagan October 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Love it!!

  • Reply Katharina October 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Hi quick question: what -if you can – would you recommend for people like us(me and my kids) that are nut allergy sufferers so can’t do the nut butter or the rolling in coconut flakes as I LOVE the idea of making these balls for us.

    • Reply Meagan October 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      You can totally replace the nut butter with something else that you can use. An the coconut flakes are mainly to keep the balls from sticking together so you could roll them in cacao powder or something else to keep them from getting too sticky. Hope that helps!!

  • Reply miriam February 18, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Can these be frozen too? do not want to re-make them every week ;)

    • Reply Meagan February 18, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Oh sure… you could make a mega batch and freeze them so you’re only thawing them a bit at a time. Great suggestion… I’ll have to add that tip to the post. Thank you Miriam!

  • Reply Annie April 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Yay!! So- I’m on board for this and will attempt them soon. Does it matter which kind of nut butter? I have a ton of organic peanut butter right now.

    • Reply Meagan April 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      No the type of nut butter doesn’t matter at all. Good luck!

  • Reply VG August 22, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Hi!

    Just wondering how large you usually roll the balls or about how many I can expect to roll for the recipe? Also, if you add spiraling, how mush do you typically add?

    Thanks!

    • Reply Meagan August 22, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      I usually try to roll the balls about 1 inch in diameter, but I have no idea how many you’d get from one recipe as it will vary depending on the size of the balls. As for adding spirulina, I always add it to mine since it’s so nutritious, but I just add it to taste. It has a strong flavor so be sure not to add too much.

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