They Are What They Eat….
We know that diet is crucial to make sure kids have plenty of energy to cope with the day to day demands of school life, after school clubs, peer pressure, exams etc. We also know that diet has a huge impact on behaviour, learning ability and concentration levels. So, take this time to review what your children are eating.
A lot of parents are now waking up to the idea that school dinners may not provide their children with the healthy nutritious meals their kids need.
Packed lunches are a good way to control what your children are eating. However, there is a lot of peer pressure when kids take lunches that are different to what’s in their friends’ lunch boxes, so you do have to get a good balance to keep them healthy, but not make them appear too different.
A good packed lunch could include
Try to avoid rubbish foods like pre-prepared sandwiches and salads, fruit yogurts, sweets, crisps and sugary drinks. Remember, if you give them junk or money to take to school, they will always choose junk. If they have no choice, they’ll eat what they’re given and eventually their palate will start to change for the better.
Remember, that if you can’t control what your kids are eating at lunchtime, try not to worry about it – do what you can, and make sure they’re eating really well, preferably organically, when they’re at home.
A good breakfast and tea will go a long way to helping you nourish your kids well. If they are eating in this way most of the time, the odd bag of crisps or sugary snacks here and there won’t hurt. We have a rule in our house that there will be no junk foods in the house, but if they have the money and the inclination to walk down to the shop, they can have what they like. It usually puts them off!
If you are still concerned or want to make sure your kids are getting enough of what they need to avoid colds etc during the winter months, we have a ‘Back To School’ prescription for children.
We recommend Nutrigold's Child’s Play capsules or Biocare's Kids Complete Complex Powder multi-vitamin and mineral daily to ensure nutrients. The small capsules can be swallowed or split and the powders then stirred into cool food such as yogurt, porridge, apple juice or smoothies. These supplements have been specially formulated along naturopathic guidelines to suit children’s needs and the number of capsules depends on age and size. .
Nutri's Eskimo Kids essential fatty acids is also recommended to feed the brain and for bone development. This contains all the main fatty acids including 3, 6 and 9. It has a tutti frutti natural flavour with no sugar and is guaranteed free from dioxins and PCBs, unlike many other children’s fatty acid supplements. If they prefer a capsule, we also recommend Nutrigold's Omega Smart.
Finally, a short course of Nutrigold's Pro-otic or Trenev's Lifestart probiotic will solve any tummy troubles and boost their immune systems ready for winter. The bowel flora and bacteria in our guts are a crucial but often little understood part of our immune system. Getting these levels right is really important for good immunity and development. Use this especially when children have upset tummys, keep getting infections, don’t pass bowel movements at least once a day or with any course of antibiotics.
If you need help with what your child needs precisely, we can send you a questionnaire to complete and then analyse it for you. We will then recommend specific levels. This might be useful, for example, if you've got a child struggling with puberty or who have symptoms like muscle cramps, mouth sores or recurrent problems. We simply charge for time taken to analyse and report back - normally an hour at £47. Contact me if this would help you (and we can do that for you too, of course!)
If you need other help, perhaps with skin troubles, period problems or behavioural issues, please ask – we can normally sort most of them out.
For supplies of stuff mentioned, look here.
General Healthy Guidelines
Looking after children’s nutrient health is a real priority, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore their emotional and physical health. It is important they get plenty of fresh air and exercise to encourage muscle strength, Vit D conversion for bone growth and to keep weight nice and stable.
Try to encourage them to join after school clubs, football teams or dance classes, for example. Manage their TV viewing and game time. Get out as a family at the weekends and do something active. Emotionally, kids need attention and love. Give them hugs and tell them you love them, even when you don’t feel like it! It’s their job to challenge boundaries so bear with them! And remember, if you’re calm, so will they be…..if you need energy or stress help, look at ideas in those sections!
Remember - always check out with your health practitioner or GP before starting anything new especially if you are taking any other medicines, are pregnant or trying to conceive or have high blood pressure. See here for more advice on interactions with meds and general cautions.
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The information given is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a health professional. It is our opinion only, based on several years of natural medicine practice and research. We're sure you'll find it useful, but please use it wisely and always exercise common sense.