Supplements for Picky Eaters (aka Kids)

PickyEaterJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

While some of us may describe children as either “good” or “picky” eaters, many toddlers develop a preference for a limited variety of low-nutrient dense foods, preferring sugary or salty empty calorie foods to proteins, fiber-filled vegetables, and fruits. To a certain extent, it’s normal for very young children to have aversions to certain foods largely due to their perceptions of the texture, color, taste or smell of individual foods. When infants first start eating solid foods, many will eat or at least try different foods offered to them. However, once a toddler reaches two years of age, around 50% will develop eating preferences with specific likes and dislikes, and may refuse foods they have previously eaten or decline to try new foods. Many parents worry about their child’s nutrition or lack thereof, especially when children refuse to eat all but very few foods. While children who eat well one day and practically nothing the next may worry a doting parent, it’s natural for a two-year old’s appetite to be erratic.

It’s best not to get into a power struggle over food, as for the majority of toddlers fussy eating is a fleeting stage. It may help parents to know that according to guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, toddlers actually require less calories per pound than infants. Yet, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that up to 85% of parents admitted to pushing their children to eat more by praising or rewarding children for taking a “few more bites.” For frustrated parents, changing a child’s eating patterns takes time, patience and strategies. The long term goal is to raise a healthy eater, so put the focus on helping a child learn to like vegetables rather than stressing over whether or not they eat their broccoli today.

  • Set an example by eating healthy meals yourself. Let your child see you enjoy your food and maintain a neutral attitude throughout the meal. Make mealtimes pleasant and avoid distractions, such as TV or cellphones. As much as possible, be consistent about meal and snack times.
  • The least amount of fuss you make the better. Encourage, but don’t force your child to eat or punish when they don’t. This behavior can result in anxiety, obesity and other eating disorders, which can have lifelong consequences.
  • Plate a very small amount of food you would like your child to try. Start small by serving just a few peas or two strawberries and don’t make a fuss if the child doesn’t eat it. Present the food again in a systematic way at another time. Keep at it and at some point your child will decide to try it.
  • Children like to participate and make their own choices. Let the kids choose some vegetables or fruits at the grocery store and don’t be persuaded to buy unhealthy processed foods or snacks. Get them involved as much as possible in helping and preparing meals. Create a snack box with healthy snacks kids like, such as small boxes of raisins, dried fruit, or cereal bars that kids can access on their own at appropriate times.
  • Serve fruit, yogurt or other healthy foods as dessert and select a special night or two each week for sweet desserts.

As parents work through the process of transforming a picky eater into a more adventurous and inclusive one, deficiencies can be addressed through supplementation of micronutrients, and small dietary changes that a child might accept. Parents can try adding a serving of protein powder to a smoothie and switch from refined grains to whole grains to add fiber to the diet. A study that compared picky eaters and non-picky eaters found deficiencies of folate and vitamin E in both groups. Additionally, they found picky eaters to be deficient in calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D, B1 (thiamine) and B3 (niacin). Children require sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals for growth, development, bodily functions and overall wellness. Parents of children without adequate nutrition should continue to support and guide their child toward healthier eating and should consider providing a daily age-appropriate multivitamin and mineral supplement.

There are, of course, always exceptions. When a child’s refusal to eat continues and gets in the way of normal living, there may be an underlying medical condition, such as digestive issues, food allergies, or hypersensitivities. Short term picky eating is normal, long term finicky eating may be a sign that all is not well. Rejection of entire food groups, anxiousness about food, refusing to eat unfamiliar foods despite hunger, or an actual repulsion in regards to food are signs of Selective Eating Disorder, which can follow children into adulthood. When a child gets upset or anxious about food, or the pickiness escalates or continues as the child moves from toddlerhood to childhood, or when eating habits hinder a child’s social life, a visit to a health professional or a referral to a dietician may be in order.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality kid friendly vitamins to support your child’s nutritional needs and overall wellness:

Ultra Preventive Kids Grape (201035) by Douglas LaboratoriesUltra Preventive Kids – These great tasting chewables are designed for children aged 4 and older and are carefully formulated to contain correct proportions of highly absorbable vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Available in natural grape or natural orange flavors. Sweetened with purified stevia and xylitol. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formulation.


Kids Complete by SmartyPants VitaminsKids Complete by SmartyPants Vitamins – These yummy gummies provide appropriate doses of bioavailable key nutrients often missing from diet. Designed by parents and doctors for their own picky eaters without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  Natural orange, lemon and cherry flavors. Lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.


Junior Nutrients by Pure EncapsulationsJunior Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations – This comprehensive, hypoallergenic formula is designed for teens and children aged 4 and up. The small easy-to-swallow capsules provide nutrient rich, highly bioavailable vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Kid's One Daily by MegaFoodKid’s One Daily by MegaFood – These convenient mini-tablets provide 24 essential nutrients to support healthy growth and development. Formulated with FoodState Nutrients™ and an organic FoodState® Farm Fresh Fruit Blend with protective antioxidants and no added sweeteners. Gluten, soy and lactose free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Children’s nutrition: 10 tips for picky eaters.
Proven Strategies for Picky Eaters.
Why You Should Worry About Picky Eaters.
Are You a Picky Eater?
How Much Does My Kid Need to Eat?
How to Handle Picky Eaters.
Is Picky Eating an Eating Disorder? Living With Selective Eating Disorder and No Vegetables.
Picky Eating in Childhood.

What Nutrients Are Missing in Your Diet?

WhatsMissingDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you are focused on losing body fat or increasing lean muscle mass, chances are you are concentrating on your caloric intake, as well as placing your focus on your macronutrient intake, the proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fats that are all a necessary part of a healthy diet. Or, perhaps you follow the standard American diet consisting of foods high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, leading to hunger and overconsumption of far too many empty calories, as the body strives to get the nutrients it needs for proper function. While one of these dietary approaches may be viewed as healthier than the other, chances are neither will consistently deliver sufficient micronutrients necessary for overall good health and bodily functions, leading to a dietary deficiency in vitamins and minerals or micronutrient malnutrition.

While the general nutrition advice is to eat a “balanced” diet, many of us are not sure what that really means and so tend to make choices we like, not necessarily those that are best for heath. Dietary trends over time show Americans are not following healthy eating patterns and are deficient in the micronutrients necessary to maintain optimal health and prevent nutrient deficiency diseases. According to the American Dietetic Association, although deficiencies of essential nutrients have decreased over the last century, the rates of chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality diet and a sedentary lifestyle, have dramatically increased to the point where approximately 50% of American adults have one or more preventable diet-related chronic disease.

Key dietary recommendations suggest following a healthy eating pattern that focuses on variety across all food groups, nutrient density and portion size. An eating pattern can be described as a combination of foods and beverages that constitute a person’s complete dietary intake over time. Nutrient density encompasses foods and beverages that provide vitamins, minerals, naturally occurring components such as fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients, all of which have positive effects on health. Variety refers to consuming a diverse assortment of foods and beverages from all food groups, without exceeding limits for calories and other components, such as added sugars and sodium.

Nutrition and physical activity-related health conditions include:

  • Obesity – For the past 25 years, more than half of the adult population has been overweight or obese, especially those aged 40 and older. Abdominal obesity prevalence now affects half of U.S adults of all ages. Nearly one in three youths aged 2 – 19 are overweight or obese.
  • Cardiovascular disease – Three-fourths of those who are overweight and half of those who are normal weight have at least one cardiometabolic risk factor, including high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, diabetes or smoking.
  • Diabetes – 2012 statistics showed that over 29 million adults have type 2 diabetes. Highly prevalent in the senior population, the rates of diabetes among young adults and children is steadily rising.
  • Cancer – Breast cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., followed closely by colorectal cancer, the second leading cause.
  • Bone disease – Bone disease is common in the U.S., especially among the elderly, which puts them at risk of fractures. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 10 million people currently have osteoporosis and another 18 million are at risk of developing the disease. By 2020, one in two Americans is expected to have or be at risk of developing osteoporosis of the hip.

With the abundance of food available in the U.S., one might assume that Americans are well nourished and that nutrient deficiencies are no longer a health issue. Contrary to what the media may have you believe; deficiencies are very much present. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is responsible for producing vital health statistics for the U.S. This includes an assessment of the health and nutritional status of American citizens. A 2015 analysis showed that approximately 31% of adults had one nutrient deficiency, 6% had 2 nutrient deficiencies, and 2% had 3 or more deficiencies. They concluded that about 1 out of 3 Americans have at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Despite recent arguments that dietary supplement users are wasting their money, data shows that adults who take full-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplements have a significantly lower prevalence of deficiency as compared to non-users. In fact, non-users are 2.5 times more likely to have a deficiency compared to a full-spectrum multivitamin user. Data continues to show that individuals, even those who follow a whole food diet, who take a daily multi are more likely to fill any nutritional gaps and achieve micronutrient sufficiency. As far as your money goes, the cost of a multivitamin supplement is likely the least expensive health insurance you can buy!

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality vitamin and mineral supplements to support optimal wellness:

UltraNutrient by Pure EncapsulationsUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This advanced formula provides exceptional broad spectrum, bioavailable nutritional support with a full spectrum of core vitamins and minerals, advanced antioxidants, standardized phytonutrient extracts and botanicals for enhanced antioxidant, cardiovascular, liver and overall wellness support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Ultra Preventive Teen (201036) by Douglas LaboratoriesUltra Preventive Teen by Douglas Laboratories – This unique, carefully designed supplement is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of teenagers. Vanilla flavored, easy-to-swallow tablets provide over 30 vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients in bioavailable form to support growth and development and good health maintenance. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formulation.

Multigenics® Chewable Orange by Metagenics®Multigenics® Chewable Orange – This comprehensive bioavailable formula provides a broad spectrum of essential vitamins along with highly absorbable mineral amino acid chelates. Suitable for children and adults who prefer a great tasting, chewable tablet. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell LaboratoriesComprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories – This micronutrient test kit offers an accurate, scientifically proven assessment of nutritional deficiencies, including 31 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and metabolites. This kit includes a complimentary post-test consultation with our Registered Nurse by phone or in person at our Sarasota location.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 -2020.
Overall Numbers, Diabetes and Prediabetes.
The Frequency of Bone Disease.
Osteoporosis/Bone Health in Adults as a National Public Health Priority.
Think Nutrient Deficiencies are History in the US? Think Again.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Featured Brand – Sombra

SombraSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now offers Sombra, a line of professional therapy products.  Sombra was founded in 1974 with a mission to provide quality topical therapy solutions formulated with pure and natural eco-friendly ingredients and no unhealthy agents or solvents.  Manufactured in the U.S.A. under strict quality control in their own facility, the Sombra Professional line of products is available solely through healthcare practitioners.

For chronic conditions and basic aches and pains, try Sombra‘s natural pain relieving topical analgesics:

Cool Therapy Gel by SombraCool Therapy Gel – This quickly absorbed, natural pain relieving gel relieves minor muscle and joint pain associated with arthritis, simple backaches, strains, sprains and bruises.  This quickly absorbed, natural lemon scented gel provides controlled cooling for acute conditions or injuries and is great for post-exercise cool down. Ingredients include 6% menthol along with aloe vera extract, yucca extract, grapefruit seed extract and rose water.  No artificial colors, fragrances or alcohol.  Also available in an easy to tote, convenient Cool Therapy Roll-on formula.

Warm Therapy Gel by SombraWarm Therapy Pump – This fast-acting, botanical and natural ingredient formula provides safe and effective pain relief for chronic conditions such as neuropathy, bursitis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, arthritis and neck pain.  Convenient 32 oz. pump container makes this non-greasy, quickly absorbed, refreshingly orange scented gel convenient and easy to use.  Ingredients include 3% menthol and 3% camphor along with aloe vera extract, capsaicin and green tea extract.  Also available Warm Therapy Gel and Warm Therapy Roll-On.

See Sombra’s complete line here.