These ideas have been used successfully with enzymes by families giving enzymes to their children, and most may work equally well with other supplements. last updated 8.25.05
last updated 8.25.05
What Can You Mix Enzymes With
Digestive enzymes need to be in contact with the food to work. In general, enzymes can be mixed with any food or drink. Liquids used include:
- milk or milk substitutes
- fruit juices
- soda pop, spritzers
- Gatorade®, sports drink
- syrup: chocolate, strawberry, cherry, other flavors
- Kool-Aid®, Wylers®, lemonade, other drink mixes
- a masking or base solutions may be available from your local pharmacy or compounding store, as well as other sources
Foods parents have used include:
- applesauce, pear sauce
- chocolate syrup or something similar
- frozen fruit concentrate
- oatmeal, mashed potatoes
- peanut butter, other nut butters
- sorbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt
- mixed with butter, jelly, jam and served on a cracker, bite of muffin, bread, waffle, biscuit
Can enzymes be mixed with other supplements?
Since most supplements are not substrates for enzymes, the enzymes usually do not interact with them. You should be able to mix most supplements and medicines with enzymes. Check with your doctor about specific medicines, especially time-released ones. Enzymes may affect the properties of time-released medications increasing the rate at which they are broken-down, and thus, released.
There is a question about giving enzymes with probiotics, especially the proteases. Some people see better results when proteases and probiotics are given separately, some do not. So check with others using specific brands, try it both ways and see what works best for you. Probiotic formulations and encapsulation methods can be very different, influencing results. The safe bet is to give enzymes at the beginning of a meal and probiotics at the end of the meal or at a different time altogether.
If the capsule is vegetable-based (veggie), you may want them to swallow it about 30 minutes before the meal if the capsule is vegetable-based. This ensures enough time for the capsule to break down in the stomach and the enzymes to be released and make contact with the food. This is not an issue with gelatin capsules because they usually dissolve immedidately. If taking enzymes with food, it is also advisable for the child to drink some water or other liquid to wash the contents down to the stomach, and wipe their mouth, if necessary.
There is a big benefit in teaching your child to swallow capsules, if possible. It may just make life easier for everyone. I taught my younger son by putting the capsule or pill on the back of his tongue, then had him take a drink of liquid, then look at the ceiling as he swallowed the drink. Gravity takes over. Now he downs four capsules at a time. Another mom shared she taught her child by telling him to put his chin to his chest to help with swallowing.
Does chewing the capsules invalidate the effect of enzymes?
I do not know about other supplements, but I don’t think many enzymes taste good. Some have no taste and others are extremely strong. If you take them out of the capsule, make sure you wash them down with a couple of swallows of liquid. Enzymes sitting in the mouth (and this may include chewing) may start to irritate the surface tissue. The ‘irritation’ is not harmful, just uncomfortable – like when you get a sore or raw spot in your mouth.
Mixing with a Liquid for Later
Cindy suggested her method of using pear juice in the four-ounce plastic bottles from the Gerber baby food company. They are perfect to keep in your purse or in the glove box of the car. At a restaurant, she says she usually dumps out or drinks half the bottle, then empties the enzymes into the rest. Then, she puts the lid on and shakes it up. It is a great way to mix the enzymes. She reuses the empty bottles.
Sometimes she pre-mixes the enzymes, then puts them in a lunchbox with a freezer pack and takes them with her if she does not want to deal with pulling out capsules. That is how she handles sending the enzymes in her son’s lunch, too. You can buy the pear juice or other type you like in a larger size also and just fill the little saved bottles as needed. Larger sizes are available at the grocery store, or other juices at health food stores.
If you pre-mix the enzymes in liquid, they should remain active for about four hours, if kept cool. Adding ice is good. Enzymes are ‘activated’ when they become wet. This is also why enzymes need to be stored in a cabinet and not a refrigerator (moisture may collect with the opening and closing of the door).
So, if you were going out, you could mix up a batch ahead of time, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until you leave, and then take out with you. Putting this in a drink bottle to take for school lunch, a restaurant, or shopping trip works well. Also, you can use a bottle with a dropper to take out away from home, and dispense mixed enzymes in this way. Oils do not have this effect of activating enzymes, so mixing enzymes with peanut butter, or the frosting or chocolate chip ideas, work fine.
Mixing with a Solid for Later
The famous chocolate wafers
First, melt a few chocolate chips (or something similar your child can tolerate) in a small bowl in the microwave; be careful not to scald. Make sure you do not microwave the enzymes themselves because high heat destroys them. The chocolate should not be too hot before you add the enzymes. A good test is to see if it is cool enough to put in your mouth. Anything cool enough to eat is fine for the enzymes. When ready, dump in the amount of enzymes you would like for a ‘dose’ and any other supplements you want. Mix, and then transfer to waxed paper and freeze. The mixture will freeze in about two minutes. These will last up to two weeks. The person can eat one at the beginning of a meal or snack. They are fine to eat frozen, or sit out to ‘thaw.’ One boy called this his chocolate cookie. No more battles and there is much less waste. These are good for school, vacations, and traveling. One mom does this instead of packing all her supplements in a suitcase. She mixes up all the supplements in chocolates. These have been very popular with both parents and kids.
How can I tell if the food or liquid is too hot or cool enough to add in the enzymes?
General rule of thumb is if the food/chocolate is cool enough for you to put in your mouth comfortably, it is cool enough for the enzymes. Reasonably cool to the touch if you touch the food/drink with your finger. If it 'burns' your finger or mouth, then wait a few seconds longer before adding the enzymes. Enzymes are fine in cool, cold, or freezing temperatures.
1. Give the child a choice: either put the whole capsule on the back of the person’s tongue a few minutes before eating and wash down, or eat it mixed in the first few bites of food. Offering a choice gives the person some control over the situation.
2. You can put the capsule on a spoon with a little pudding, chocolate syrup, or something similar and let him ‘eat’ it that way. Try not to hide the capsule, just say he needs to take it that way, but he can choose the food. This gives him choice. Taking the capsule is not a choice, choosing what to take it with is his choice. Since this may become a routine, you might just wantto have a ‘talk’ with him and say, ‘Look, you need to take this. You choose what you want to take with this.’ Hiding things in food may cause a child to not trust you (not good), and not trust food (also not good), and then downright refuse to eat for fear that something may be slipped into the food.
3. Putting a little butter, jelly, or similar stuff around the capsule makes it ‘taste’ a bit better, and maybe it will slide down easier. One boy liked to coat the pill with peanut butter. Even dipping the capsule in plain water may help it slide down better.
4. Do rewards work?! Cindy’s son has a reward system using colored links that connect to make a chain. She starts it on the refridgerator door and when the chain touches the floor, he gets a reward. Or try a token system. One mom gave her son a bank he carried around. Every time he took his supplements he was rewarded with either a penny, nickel, dime, etc. At the end of the week, he counted his money and bought a little something. He loved it. He loved the bank, the coins jingling, and getting the reward. You do not have to use money. It can be tokens to play a special game or whatever you think will be motivational. Be very excited about doing this. Let him pick out a bank or the tokens.
5. Syringe: You can buy several kinds of infant oral syringes (pharmacy or grocery store), or use some that came with different medicines used previously. They may be slightly different sizes. Hold the tube with the left hand with your index finger covering the hole. Pour in whatever liquid you want to prepare (juice then crushed capsules, liquids, cod liver oil, etc.). Then get a piece of dry spaghetti and mix the solution up. Then get the pusher part. You can push it all the way down by gently moving it at an angle, wiggling to let bits of air out. At this point, you can take your finger off the hole and none of the solution will come out. It’s airtight. At first you may need to hold your child still to be able to shoot it all in his mouth, until he learns to just open his mouth. Placing more toward the back of the mouth will lessen any taste. Washing it down with a drink right away also helps. Some kids think this is really fun.
6. There is a chocolate sauce that you keep at room temperature but when you put it on ice cream it sets hard straight away. One mom poured a little in a small cup, threw in the supplements, tipped out the mixture on one of those smooth ice blocks from freezer and zip – hard – slide off – in mouth.
7. One mom empties the dry enzyme powder into a plastic sippy cup or drink container with a lid, and adds some dry lemonade or flavored drink powder. She sends this to school with instructions for the teacher to just add water and shake really well before snacks or lunch, and give to her son. Fresh enzyme drink, no mess or hassle.
8. You can mix enzymes in a little frosting or peanut butter. Add a little powdered sugar to stiffen the balls if needed. Keep these in the freezer and get one out to eat before each meal. Enzymes will last about 2 weeks this way.
9. Using a straw may help some people tolerate the taste of the enzymes better if this is a concern. Otherwise, be sure to have your child wipe his mouth after drinking the enzymes from a cup. If something does not taste good, have your child hold his nose while he swallows it, either from a spoon or straw, then while still holding his nose take a drink of straight water or juice to wash it down (as a chaser). You can breathe through your mouth while you do this but keep your nose closed. A lot of taste is in the smell.
10. Recently a mom gave me a new idea. She got orea type cookies, unscrewed them and mixed the enzymes into the cream filling, then put it back together. The kids were to 'eat their cookie dessert first' which went over quite well. She said it is 3 oreos a day but for the great amount of improvement the enzymes brought including her kids would eat more wholesome foods, she figured it was an easy tradeoff.
Masking Flavoring Syrups
Some places sell flavoring liquids or syrups you can used to mix other medications or supplements into to make them more palatable. Some local pharmacies may offer some. Pfeiffer Treatment Center offers a variety in their pharmacy including a xylitol syrup. You don't have to be a patient of Pfeiffer to use their compounding place. Their information follows:
Health Research Institute Pfeiffer Treatment Center HRI Pharmacy
4575 Weaver Parkway - Warrenville, IL 60555-4039
(630) 505-0300 - (630) 836-0667 fax
Questions or Comments: info@HRIPTC.org
Call toll-free number (1-800-505-2842) to discuss compounding and place orders.
Here are the flavorings they offered as of 2003. You will need to ask or see what the is the difference in the dyes and if there are other ingredients:
Natural Dye Free Flavored Syrups:
Dye Free flavors:
FlavorSyrup 5.00 $ 4oz liquid
FlavorSyrup 6.50 $ 8oz liquid
FlavorSyrup 11.50 $ 16oz liquid
Xylitol Syp 1XYL8 8.50 $ 8oz liquid
Xylitol Syp 1XYL16 15.00 $ 16oz liquid
Xylitol Syp 1XYL4 6.50 $ 4oz liquid