We all know the importance of getting enough Vitamin C. Vitamin C is such a crucial nutrient for so many reasons – most notably for keeping away colds and flus – but getting adequate vitamin C every single day can be tough with children. Vitamin C is actually a water soluble vitamin meaning that the body uses what it can and flushes the rest. It isn’t able to store extra Vitamin C for a rainy day like it can other nutrients, which means we have to consume Vitamin C every single day.
Fortunately, Vitamin C is in a whole lot of foods like oranges, strawberries, blueberries and even surprising foods like bell peppers, potatoes and onions. Unfortunately, Vitamin C is a very delicate vitamin and is destroyed by heat and exposure to light and air. That means that your pasteurized, store bought orange juice (even the organic!) is devoid of its original Vitamin C content. It then has synthetic vitamin C added back in, which is fine, except there is no real reason to drink the orange juice when you can just take a vitamin C supplement and get the same effect.
Also, most people think that as long as their child is eating lots of fresh fruits that its fine, however there is very little Vitamin C in fruits like apples, bananas and grapes – common childhood favorites. Additionally, the RDA amount of Vitamin C listed for children is about 25-45mg per day, but what most people don’t realize is that the RDA is set for the absolute minimum to prevent scurvy in children. To keep children in optimal health, they need more like 100-200mg per day. To put that into perspective, to get 200mg of Vitamin C per day that would be 5 entire oranges or 25 apples – per day! Not only is that a lot of food, but that is a lot of sugar.
So while my house generally tries to eat generous amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, we also supplement with some quality whole food vitamin C supplements to help fill in the gaps when we may not be getting enough Vitamin C. One of the easiest, and tastiest, ways to do this is with Vitamin C gummies. And by making them myself, I know exactly what is in them. Plus, by involving my 4 yr old in making them, she’s playing an active part in her health, which is building a lasting foundation for the future!
Its important to note that my family chooses to use Whole Food Vitamin C (WFC) instead of synthetic versions like ascorbic acid (AA). This is a personal preference and I will have a blog post up soon of why we made that decision but the simplest answer is that I believe whole foods are almost always better for us than synthetics. There are a few select situations in which I choose synthetic nutrients but they are very rare. That said, WFC works completely different than AA and I have found that for health and immunity purposes that 100mg of WFC is equivalent to 1000mg (or 1gram) of AA. So all of my notes are referring to WFC (and I believe the RDA is referring to WFC as well) so if you choose to use AA then you need to understand its around a 10:1 ration (AA:WFC) as far as those numbers go.
Aside from the Vitamin C in these gummies they also contain gut healing gelatin so its a double whammy! Beef gelatin is great for gut health as well as healthy hair, skin and nails. And its low sugar, aside from the honey (which can be omitted if necessary) and the juice, so you can give them to your children guilt free! Best of all, what kid doesn’t LOVE gummies?? And this way you can say “Yes!” to gummies any time they ask.
(I am still experimenting with an plant based version of these gummies and I will update when I have it worked out)
This batch of gummies is 480mg of Vit C for the entire batch. I give my 4yr old about 1/10th of the batch – which is around 15 of our small sized gummies. This gives her 48mg of Vit C per day just from the gummies.
Actual serving size will vary depending on the size of your mold but to find your Vit C amount per gummy just count how many gummies one batch makes for you and divide 480 by that number. So if your mold makes 100 gummies per batch then it would be 480 divided by 100 = 4.8mg Vit C per gummy.
If you try these gummies, I’d love to know what you – and your kids! – think of them! Please drop me a comment here, on my social media or shoot me an email!
Homemade Vitamin C Gummies
- 1 cup Juice
- 3 tbsp Beef Gelatin (I use this brand)
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp of Vitamin C powder (I use this brand)
Add gelatin to cold juice and gently stir. Let is sit for 20-30 minutes to “bloom”. (While blooming the gelatin absorbs the juice and kinda puffs up. You’ll know its done blooming when there is no liquid left and only jelly left in the bowl.
Add the gelatin/juice mix and honey to a saucepan. Heat on medium until liquid. If using raw honey, be careful not to overheat or you’ll cook off the benefits of the honey.
Mix Vitamin C powder with 2tbsp of water or juice. Gently stir until fully dissolved.
Remove gelatin mix from the stove, check temperature. When mix is below 100degrees, mix the Vitamin C liquid in. Gently stir to combine.
Pour into molds and place in freezer for approx 30 min. Putting it in the freezer preserves the Vitamin C and properly sets the gelatin. Leaving it in for longer than 30 minutes will start to break down the gelatin and juice and can cause it to become mushy.
After 30 minutes in the freezer, pop the gummies out of the mold and place in an airtight container. Store in a cold part of your fridge (preferably not in the door or right up front).
Eat within 2 weeks. Any longer and the Vitamin C will be less potent and the gummies may begin to mold. Consume faster if you leave them in the door where they are exposed to light and varying temperatures.
- Any juice works! We have used orange, apple, pineapple, cranberry, blueberry, grape, pear and more. We have blended juices to make “custom” flavors. Apple was probably our least favorite because its so thin and has little flavor. Tart juices like cranberry may need a little more honey while sweet juices like orange can use less honey.
- Do not stir too vigorously as it causes the Vit C and gelatin to foam up and then you end up with some gummies being nothing but foam.
- You can easily double the Vit C powder to 2tsp to add more Vit C. Just note, this will make the gummies pretty tart as the powder is tart. My daughter doesn’t like them with the extra Vit C so thats why we do 1tsp. I’ve never tried anything more than 2tsp so I’m not sure if it would affect texture with more.
- Don’t have a gummy mold? No problem! Molds make it easier but you can definitely use a flat bottomed pan or bowl and pour the gummy mix in then cut into squares (like tiny brownies.) This is a great idea if you want to try this recipe before investing in gummy molds.
- If you prefer not to use the freezer to set the gelatin you can place it in the fridge instead, it just takes longer to set and they tend to not be as firm.
- Quality beef gelatin is important. Its said that the gelatin contains many nutrients but also can have many toxins so you want a quality gelatin that won’t have toxins. We currently use Zint and like it!