Shared by J. M., Mom, Seattle, WA
“I am sharing this story in case there are other parents out there who are struggling with a child who exhibits aggressive, irrational behavior on a regular basis. If anyone is looking for a research-backed alternative to meds that addresses the root cause, then read on.
My oldest son is 7 years old and he is incredible. He is super smart, passionate, talented and an all-around impressive kid. I get compliments from people all the time about how bright he is, and how far he’ll go in life. This picture is of him on the first day of first grade last year.
Even though he seemed like a great kid in most public situations and to outsiders, every day was a huge struggle for us at home and very often at school. Especially when our routine changed suddenly, regardless of my exhaustive efforts at “good parenting”. He would freak out about the littlest things every day. Getting him to take a bath or brush his teeth or change his clothes was like World War III. Anytime I wanted to clip his fingernails, or help him with homework, I had to literally chase him around the house and talk him into it using repetitive logic for over an hour. It came to the point where I was dedicating 2 – 3 hours per day to work with him on completing regular, every day tasks.
At school he consistently disregarded the boundaries of others, which instigated all sorts of problems. He would cry at the drop of a hat and took a long time to calm down once he got worked up.
Consequences didn’t seem to phase him, he just didn’t really seem to care about anything unless it interested him in that moment. If I told him he was grounded or I was taking away a privilege, he would just shrug and say he didn’t care. I have already gone through the process of blaming myself, blaming his father’s absence, reading tons of self-help books, going to play therapy with him, and seeing several different types of healthcare professionals for help. I also removed all food dyes, processed foods, dairy and gluten from his diet, which helped a little bit.
I am not a “completely holistic person” by any means, but I am also not the type of person to immediately medicate my child with stimulants. I use western medicine in basically every other way in my life and my kids’ lives. We vaccinate in most cases, (though we wait until they are a little order to be safer and we don’t double-up), we use antibiotics when necessary, we go to a “mainstream” pediatrician. But when it comes to mental health medications, especially the ones our doctor recommended, like Ritalin and Adderall, I really don’t feel comfortable using them as a first option for my child.
So, I set out to see if there was an alternative with actual research behind it and found Hardy Nutritionals®.
Unlike pyramid scheme or MLM products and unlike drugstore multivitamin supplements, the formulation found in Hardy’s Daily Essential Nutrients has been researched at Harvard and 18 other universities for pediatric and adult ADHD, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, and is designed to address the behaviors my son was exhibiting, and so I ordered it from GetHardy.com and got it two days later. What did we have to lose? Their money back guarantee is pretty strong, so we bit the bullet.
The problem was, I thought it came in only capsules at the time (I didn’t know they had a powder mix). I figured I could spend 5 hours a day trying to get him to swallow capsules (which he has never even tried in his life out of some fear of instant death that stems from who knows where), or I could try and make his micronutrient powder into a semi-tasty treat that he can tolerate and try to use it as a reward for good behavior that hopefully perpetuates itself.
You can’t bake or cook the micronutrients into food, according to the nice lady I talked to on Hardy Nutritionals’ home page chat. So I went the smoothie route, we call them shakes at our house. I also later found out that Daily Essential Nutrients now comes in a new powder form as well as the capsules, and the powder is really easy to mix with chocolate milk, milk, applesauce or a shot glass of vanilla almond milk or egg nog for more of a “treat” and tastes way better than opening up the caps.
Before I knew about the powder form, I tried for a week to make a smoothie out of the opened capsules that tasted like a delicious shake with literally no hint of grit or vitamin taste or chalkiness. The first few tries were without yogurt, which turned out to be an important addition. Then I increased the amount of milk (we use almond milk or cashew milk) and that really helped. That was a huge victory to find a tastier way for my son to get this level of clinical micronutrients so as a fellow mom, I wanted to share it with you because it has been a life saver for us for going on seven months now.
We have gone from spending hours a day trying to get him to do “normal” stuff to an organized reward system that works. He is calm, but not drugged. He is focused and understanding about his consequences. He doesn’t throw himself down on the floor anymore, he pauses and takes a breath instead. Literally. Pauses, and takes a breath before reacting. It is amazing to me.
He sleeps through the night. He puts legos together without throwing a fit when they don’t “work”. He is nicer to his brother, and kinder to our family cat. He is doing even better in school, speaking out of turn less, and making friends instead of “enemies”. It is amazing–he even apologizes when he starts to overreact. He literally stops himself and says “Sorry, I was overreacting.”
And he likes the shakes, especially since we found out Daily Essential Nutrients now comes in a smoothie powder form as well. When we just mix a scoop of the Daily Essential Nutrients powder with 3 ounces of vanilla almond milk. It is a quick and easy way to get him 40 essential elements. The dosage on the bottle says he needs to take 3 scoops a day, so we do 1.5 scoops in the morning before school and 1.5 as soon as he gets home from school, before he gets to play or have free time. The first couple weeks he resisted, so we had to take things away and incentivize him. Nowadays he asks to take it.
I have found that the best way to get him to take the Daily Essential Nutreints is by making a “shot glass” amount of vanilla almond milk with a hint of honey, and mixing in the 1.5 scoops powder. I sometimes also make larger, healthier smoothies by adding the Daily Essential Nutrients powder to some Greek Yogurt, frozen fruit (no sugar added), 1-2 cups of almond milk (or regular milk), and 1 banana and mix it in the blender. If you add organic Agave, it tastes a lot like a Jamba Juice drink. I have actually gone to Jamba Juice and ordered a small drink for him there and mixed the powder in as well, and that has worked, especially when traveling.
As for longer term results, his behavior started noticeably calming after day two of actually getting half a dose into him (we started at 1.5 scoops per day and worked up to 3 over time), and has continually gotten better as time goes on. We really notice when he misses a few days, because when he doesn’t take it, we really notice his behavior regression. There are more recipes that we have tried available here, if you want to try and experiment with this yourself.”
One Year Update: “I recently found out that Hardy Nutritionals® also formulates a micronutrient product called Daily Self Defense that is considerably less expensive and also safe for kids and adults. It’s similar to Daily Essential Nutrients, but in a lower dose with a few other differences. This may help those who can’t afford the $129 price tag, though I feel it is worth every penny to have the full clinical dose of Daily Essential Nutrients if you can afford it. We are forever grateful to Hardy Nutritionals® for their role in bringing peace back into our home. Our son is himself again…and we know it because when he misses it the mood swings and aggression come right back.”
Two Year Update: “My son is now 9 and I can confidently say we would have not have made it this far without Daily Essential Nutrients. We have our son back, we have “normal” afternoons and he is truly thriving. I give him 1.5 scoops of the powder in the morning and 1.5 scoops after school so he is getting the full therapeutic dose. If he misses a couple of days we REALLY notice. I concentrate the “smoothie” these days into a shot glass type situation and he just downs it really fast and rinses his mouth with water afterwards. Works like a charm, but be forewarned… It took a couple of months to really work up to the full dose, and there was resistance. I ended up giving him prizes every time he took his vitamins for the first few weeks until they really kicked in and he became much more agreeable.”
The Research Behind Hardy Nutritionals® Daily Essential Nutrients:
Daily Essential Nutrients has been thoroughly researched for mood stability and mental health. ALL of the research has been done at universities and funded by third parties, which is an important fact to consider.
This well-known Integrative Psychiatrist and author of the popular book “Please Don’t Label My Child” has been using Hardy’s formulations for over 16 years with patients and says that 97% of them never end up needing medications and get better without much help from him, simply taking the Daily Essential Nutrients. Watch as he describes his clinical experience with micronutrition.
See this feature from NewsHub which highlights research on DEN done in New Zealand on pediatric ADHD:
Hardy Nutritionals® formulations were recently featured on Modern Living With Kathy Ireland®, where several psychiatrists and their patients were interviewed and shared their experiences with Daily Essential Nutrients (below):
Consider this 5 minute video explanation on nutrient deficiencies from Hardy Nutritionals® founder David Hardy (below):
To learn more, visit the Hardy Nutritionals® website.