So many parents these days agonize over what seems to be a steady decline in their child’s (or children’s) attention, behavior, ability to self-regulate, and overall health.
Kids seem to be more susceptible to illnesses, cognitive dysfunctions, food sensitivities and allergies than ever before, and it is taking a huge toll on their family life, school performance, and the innocence of childhood itself. No one enjoys spending their waking hours between hospitals and clinics, trying to figure out what is happening.
Living this way drives everyone involved into exhaustion.
While there are often other complicating factors, such as neurological injury or delayed development, in most cases food and lifestyle are central components of kids’ health declining. So-called “kids’ menus” and “kids’ foods” are among the worst culprits. Not only are they packaged with favorite movie and cartoon characters to evoke fun and social acceptance, but also they are generally devoid of nutritional value. Removing these kinds of cheap “fun” and replacing them with quality home-cooked foods and time spent with family has a powerful effect on kids bodies and brains during their formative years.
In our clinical practice, we have seen children make remarkable progress in a very short period of time, just by having regular sit-down meals made from carefully prepared, nutrient-dense, and nutritionally balanced ingredients—not to mention unstructured times to play, be creative, and have contact with nature.
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Whether adult or child, our bodies have the same essential nutrient needs—and children need even more consistent support to maintain proper nutritional levels, due to the fact that their bodies are still growing and developing. Attending to these needs cannot help but bring our bodies out of a state of chronic metabolic deficiency and improve our total expression of health.
Even when our bodies seem to be limping along, they still give us everything they’ve got. But like a bank account, if we keep withdrawing funds and never make any deposits, we’ll quickly end up in the red and suffer needlessly. It’s up to us individually and as parents, to make sure that we keep paying back into our “metabolic reserve” and giving our bodies, and our kids’ bodies, every chance to receive the nutrients they need to thrive.
Kids are typically quick responders to nutrition and lifestyle protocols, and attending to their basic daily needs goes a long way to support their healthy growth and development. With just a few tweaks to daily lifestyle patterns and food choices (like avoiding junk “foods”, and making sure they have plenty of protein, good fats, probiotic foods, and vegetables), their future can shine even more brightly!
(This piece was also featured on the Denver Post's Your Hub website.)