Five Creative Ways To Send Supplements To School

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How to Get Kids to Take Medicine

Enjoy these creative tips on how to get kids to take medicine, herbs, supplements, etc.

This is the first year my son has been in school. The transition to sending him away for a large part of the day has been relatively smooth, but there have been a few new challenges.

Recently I wrote about the challenge of deciding when sick children are well enough for school, and doing what I think is necessary for my son while operating within a school sick day policy. Today I thought I would share how I have navigated around another issue – how to get herbs into my child during the day while he’s at school.

Creative Ways to Give Children Supplements

If you’re like me, you’ve had to get creative using herbs with your kids, period. As a young mother I naively believed that my children would drink teas, syrups, and other healthy concoctions. The very first time I tried this theory out it proved to be a disaster. I wound up scratching my head over how I was going to convince them to go along with my plans for their health.

In the midst of this pondering I was reminded of how my mother dealt with this problem when I was a child. She hid pills and vitamins in a spoonful of applesauce. I say “hid,” but I knew they were there. The idea was to swallow the applesauce and the pills would go with it.

In principle this worked, but to this day I chew pudding, applesauce, water; pretty much everything. I’ve come to the conclusion that the little girl inside me believes that there is no smooth food substance that can be trusted to not be hiding a pill in its depths.

I Never Hide Supplements in My Child’s Food

My mother didn’t trick me, and I don’t think I should trick my children either. It’s never a good idea to hide a medicine or supplement in someone’s food (no matter their age) without their knowledge. Everyone has a right to participate in their own healthcare.

Of course, with kids it’s a bit more sticky than with adults. An adult may understand the consequences of eating nothing but sugar for years on end, whereas a child is not ready to grasp this concept in a mature way. So, there is a fine line to be walked with using supplements with kids. I am adamant that my kids be told what is in their food and drink and why they need it. Sometimes, because they are kids, I apply pressure to get them to eat or drink it because it’s my job.

Trouble With Sending Supplements to School

When I enrolled my son in school I had to sign a form that stipulated what I could send him in his lunchbox. There are simply some times that I want him to get some extra health support. Herbs go to school when he has a lingering cough without fever, is having trouble with allergies, or is needing to focus for a particularly brutal week of testing.

He’s at risk for being sent home if I send him certain forms of herbal supplementation that we would usually make use of at home. I can take them to the office and pop in to administer them myself, but this isn’t always practical. So I was left with the challenge of making sure what I sent him followed the rules of the school AND was something he would eat and not throw away without my watchful eye.

5 Ways to Send Supplements to School

Here are some of the ways I send my homemade supplements with him:

1. In water: Flower essences or a child’s dose of tincture in the water (in a thermos) he’ll drink for lunch.

2. In a sandwich: Stir ½ tsp of herbal powder (either a single powder or combination) into 2-3 Tbsp of nut butter and spread onto a nut butter and jelly sandwich. In this case I might stir in elderberry powder or lemon balm powder.

3. Juice/Tea: When there is a tea I would like him to drink throughout the day I’ll often make it up before he leaves in the morning. I mix ¼ cup of the tea with about ¾ cup of juice for each “dose.” One cup he drinks with breakfast and one cup I put into his lunch thermos.

4. No bake cookies: There are all sorts of recipes out on the internet that blend dried fruits, coconut oil, spices, and sometimes chocolate and nuts. If you make a batch and roll them into balls about the size of a 0.5 oz. piece you can incorporate about a ½ tsp of herbal powder into each one.

5. Yogurt topping: Top a container of yogurt with about a tablespoon of herbal syrup and some fruit.

Do you send supplements to school with your child? How do you do it?


About Dawn Combs

Dawn is a wife, mother, farmer, author, ethnobotanist, professional speaker, and educator. She has over 20 years of ethnobotanical experience, is a certified herbalist, and has a B.A. in Botany and Humanities/Classics. Dawn is co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows Farm. Her books include Conceiving Healthy Babies and Heal Local.

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  1. Jen says

    My son needs to take several supplements each day, so this post is wonderfully timely! I usually grind up any tablets and capsule contents in a tiny mortar/pestle, and mix it into some Nutella or Biscoff spread, to be spread onto bread or crackers. My next adventure is to make homemade gummies with the supplements added. I was advised by the supplement company to not add heat, so as long as I add the supplements to cold juice, and let the dissolved gelatin cool a bit, I should be okay.

  2. Brenda says

    Oh, sweetie. ……homeschool!
    If a single mom can do it , you can too! Takes all the stress out of your home…….

  3. Sharon says

    In my defense, as Dawn’s mother, I didn’t use the applesauce so much to hide the pill, but as a way to make it easier to swallow. That’s because that is the way I took pills myself until well into middle age. These days I can easily swallow pills, a skill it took half my life to acquire.