I’m not one to advocate for supplements, powdered shake mixes, or fortified foods, but there are a few instances where I definitely think they can help.
During pregnancy, I recommend a good quality food-based multivitamin. I say “food-based” because the vitamins and minerals harvested from actual food (like fruits and veggies) are more easily absorbed by your body. Your body is like “yeah, that looks familiar.” Whereas with synthetic it might be like “stranger danger.” I love Prenatal One from Rainbow Light, and you only have to take one a day!
I spent a long time studying omega-3 fatty acids for my thesis, and trust me, you want more of this in your life. Back in the day (like caveman times) we would take in a lot of omega 3 and not quite as much omega 6 or 9, like we do today. So the ratio of these fats in our diet was more like 1:1. Today it’s more like 1:50. Omega 6 and 9 are in EVERYTHING — like olive oil, chicken, eggs, grains, peanuts, soy, fried foods, avocado, and canola oil.
While there are some vegetarian sources of omega 3 like walnuts, flax, and chia seeds, the body cannot convert them to a usable form as easily and efficiently as marine sources. So fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna are by far much better sources.
But if you’re like me and were less than thrilled to down 2-3 servings of fish per week during pregnancy, you should without a doubt use a supplement. I love ProOmegaD from Nordic Naturals, because it also contains vitamin D, which the majority of us are lacking. I also trust Nordic Naturals’ standards for purification (i.e. removing all the bad stuff like pollutants and mercury).
If you’re a geek like me and want to read more about this, check out my thesis, Pregnant and Eating Fish, here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/
Now for kiddos (over 18 months) who also despise fish (like mine!) you can also try a yummy gummy supplement like Nordic Omega 3 Gummy Fish also from Nordic Naturals. Yeah, they have a little sugar, but I believe the benefits outweigh the harm from a little sugar. Plus your kiddo will think you’re the coolest. (If you’re wondering, I don’t work for NN and don’t get any kickbacks. I just trust them.)
For kiddos who don’t particularly like fruits and vegetables — and seem to eat the same 5 foods every. single. day. — it offers some peace of mind to sneak in a little multivitamin. I like to stir the Baby Toddler Multi Powder from Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company into Joaquin’s yogurt. It’s food based and contains nothing suspect. And they come in convenient little single-serve pouches.
That’s it! Get the rest from lots of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, good quality fish, meats and dairy.