Back to School Supplements to Consider

You might think I have a closet full of pills and voodoo I force my kids to take.  Things that thicken immunity shields, hone in hyper-focus, and enable extra special outstanding-ness.

Surprise! I am not one to spend money on things I don’t absolutely believe in. I give my kiddos very few things that come out of a bottle with a child proof cap. But there are a few things I feel very strongly about giving them.

Let me back up a few steps to so you can see the perspective I am coming from. For 16 years, I worked in the legal department for a publically traded dietary supplement company. Days were spent proof read labels looking for compliance with FDA and FTC regulations and digging up documents when we were sued. 

With my direct experience in that environment, I am extremely leery of most products that come in a bottle. Watching aggressively poor business decisions be made in the hopes of bringing in more money may have jaded me a little bit.

Claims on packages are what get us to buy products. We sincerely hope a product will change, energize or improve our situation.  It’s not often a product can really do magical things but the placebo effect will convince you otherwise.

The placebo effect is what happens when you take a product and it solves your problem even though you were given a pill with no active ingredients. The active ingredient was your mind.  Our minds are incredibly powerful.

Long and short. Save your moola for a fun adventure somewhere new.

So what do I give my kiddos, especially as we gear up for a new school year?

Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. That’s it. No chewable shapes, no gummy treasures, no fizzy bubbly water enhancers.

VITAMIN D = in my opinion anyone living north of Florida should be taking vitamin D. Most of us are woefully deficient. Vitamin D not only strengths bones, it strengthens your immune system. I give my youngest a sublingual (it dissolves in his mouth) and the rest of us take a tablet.  It’s also very affordable.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS. We take krill oil because the capsules are small, kids can swallow them easily and they are absorbed more efficiently that fish oil. There is also no nasty burp back flavor. We don’t eat a lot of fish at our house so I know our bodies can use omega-3 fatty acids from a supplement. It’s powerful for your heart , your noggin and for fighting inflammation.

 What brand? Hands down, PRIVATE LABEL STORE BRANDS! Humongo companies bid for business from stores like Costco, Walmart, Walgreen’s, etc. to make a private label product.

Many times the ingredients are almost identical to the branded product. BUT you save gobs of money because PRIVATE LABEL products don’t pay for marketing. They piggy back off the marketing dollars the BRANDED companies spend, riding the wave of popularity.

Learn from this and laugh all the way to the bank because you were smart enough to buy the private label.

What is a private label?

Think Kirkland, Spring Valley, Member’s Mark, Kroger - all private labels with exceptional ingredients, quality testing and significantly less money = saving you more. Almost any store you shop at has their own private label product on the shelf next to the fancy branded product. Outsmart them and save yourself some serious dinero!

WAIT just a minute. Just to be totally clear there are plenty of exceptions to what a person should take given their particular situation. Consult your doctor if you need further advice. This is what works for our family and my kids.

And just to be extra clear. I am much better at giving these supplements regularly during the school year when our routine is more predictable.

Gearing up for back to school, I set the Vitamin D and Krill Oil next to our lunch boxes and the kiddos get them with their breakfast each day. It’s the only way I can remember to get it down the hatch on a regular basis.

Ultimately, I give them these supplements because I believe they will help my kiddos stay healthier. They miss fewer days of school if they are healthy and school is exactly where they should be.

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Happy End of Summer!