My darling husband has become a "health nut" in the last half year. First, he started to eat more raw fruits and vegetables every day, and then, he started a daily exercise routine and finally he has started taking a regular dose of a dozen or so different vitamins.

Actually, they are not really called vitamins anymore. They are now called "nutritional supplements"… sounds way more important, right? "Your nutrition is in a terrible state and it must be supplemented!" AAACK! I'm running for the health food store to buy more as soon as I'm done writing this.

Anyway, after reading a book about nutrition, my husband bought us an assortment of supplements that he thought would round out the nutrients we get in our diet. I'm not just talking about regular old Vitamin C – we're now taking "supplements" like they never had in my childhood: Omega 3, CoQ-10, Glucosamine, SamE, and more.

I don't know what these things are, but I assume if it has a fancy name with a few Capital Letters or numbers in it, then it's probably good for me. If my husband gave me "GlibbleGlobble 35" or "OatenGravel XR" I would think it sounded very healthy and take those, too. That's how much I trust his knowledge and judgment in the area of vitamins and nutritional supplements!

Once I became aware of my vitamin intake, or lack thereof, I noticed all the places vitamins are showing up these days. My mascara claims to be "vitamin enhanced"… heaven forbid, I should have a vitamin deficiency in my eyelashes. My hand lotion has vitamin E added – I guess for when my hands are feeling low in energy and need a boost. Maybe I should use it before I try to knead five pounds of flour into challah dough.

Supplements are appearing in drinks, too. From years back, orange juice companies have been adding calcium. But have you noticed a new beverage touting vitamin enhancement? Diet Coke Plus… Yes, you can get a day's supply of niacin, B6 and B12 in your can of soda! Wouldn't it be better just to go drink some tomato juice?

Where else could vitamins possibly be added? Hmmm... "Give me half a dozen Vitamin C bagels and the other half-dozen, zinc bagels. We're all fighting off colds this week."

Or how about pizzas? "Hello, is this Pizza Delight? We'd like a thin crust pizza with mushrooms, olives and magnesium toppings for delivery at 5:00."

Maybe we can all boost the vitamin content of our Shabbos foods. "Moshe, would you like some Beta-Carotene kugel with your cholent?"

What is a vitamin anyway? Webster's Dictionary defines a vitamin as "any of a group of organic substances essential in small quantities to normal metabolism, found in minute amounts in natural foodstuffs or sometimes produced synthetically."

It's funny, because I have always referred to my kids' hugs and kisses as my vitamins. Every hug and kiss I get from them gives me so much energy – it feels like taking a big dose of Vitamin C. Well, actually Vitamins Y, P and S – based on my children's initials.

Now, I see from the vitamin definition that I wasn't so far off. Of course, hugs between parents and children are essential in (not-so) "small quantities" to "normal [emotional] metabolism."

Those essential hugs and kisses get me through long days of missing them while they're in school. They energize me to do my best to be a more patient Mommy and to be ever mindful to show them unconditional love. Those special "vitamins" reinvigorate my intense determination to raise them with positive character traits and a love of Torah!

There are also times I wish I could encapsulate some of Mommy's "essential substances" for my children to have in their pockets when they're away at school or other activities. I imagine they could take these "Mommy Vitamins" when they suffer an insult from a classmate or to weather the disappointment of not winning the class raffle.

No OatenGravel XR for them! In every "Mommy Vitamin" I would provide all the essentials of Mommy's love and care: a hug and kiss, an Elmo band-aid, a mug of hot chocolate, a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, a gentle word of advice, an inside joke combined with a smile, a vote of confidence, and of course a mother's prayer to G‑d for that child's well being and success.

Okay, I might sneak some Vitamin C and calcium in there too, but don't tell anyone!