January 22 2018
For those of you who have babies or young children, regardless of your varying parenting styles, it is safe to say that you all want what is best for your children’s health. With information about natural health being on the up and up for people of different ages, it is safe to assume that many parents try to opt for more plant based solutions for their children’s developmental needs as opposed to many more unnatural solutions. We are beginning to find natural solutions for so many childhood problems from treating a colicky baby to helping get rid of hair lice and many other issues and ailments. Good nutrition is essential for every person at every age, but it is especially crucial for growing babies and children; however many parents could probably empathise with one another on the fact that this is not always easy. Kids can be very picky eaters, they also do not typically love to take any kind of supplement or medicine and if their school gives out free lunches, it is likely not the most nutritious meal. Not only that but many parents are probably concerned about what supplements are okay to give to their kids. Just because something is natural it does not always mean that they are right for a child or baby.
A high quality diet should always be a top priority for growing children and infants, unfortunately, as previously mentioned. Children can be very picky eaters. They are at a stage where they are mentally developing and wanting to establish themselves more as their own person. This is the stage where many parents hear their children saying “no” quite often and this can happen quite a lot around mealtime. We can only empathise with parents who try hard to feed their kids all the different food groups but have a hard time and eventually cave in because their little one absolutely refuses to touch a particular set of foods they just do not like. More often than note these foods that are actually very healthy for them, especially vegetables. This unfortunately can result in nutritional deficiencies such as a lack of iron, calcium and vitamin A just to name a couple. Many of us know that threats, arguing constantly and prodding will likely make your child resist even harder and it will likely create a negative association with any mealtime. Why try to constantly fight when you can try to come up with a solution? If your child does not like to eat their vegetables too much, there are many agreeable alternatives. Find a dehydrated green food supplement that does not have any added stimulants in it. Many of these supplements are naturally flavoured with fruit extracts and are safe for children to take. You could incorporate it into a breakfast smoothie for them and they will get a healthy dosage of their daily nutritional requirements. The same thing could be said for children who do not like to eat a lot of fruits. There are many dehydrated fruit supplements that are perfectly safe for children to take and can even be used as an alternative to most commercial juice brands. Dairy products are another food item that many kids either do not want to eat or have intolerance to. Thankfully, we are starting to realize that as humans we do not really need dairy in our diets at all, what we do need, however, is calcium, probiotics, magnesium and vitamin D which are found in dairy products. Before supplementing your child with anything that can help prevent a deficiency in any of these categories, it is important to try to search for food alternatives that could do just that. If you are lucky enough to have a child who actually enjoys vegetables or dairy alternatives, you will have an easy time giving them their daily dose of vitamin D, calcium and magnesium; probiotics on the other hand can be a bit tricky (most children would probably not like the taste of fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut as an alternative). In this case it may be easier to supplement your child with probiotics. Probiotics are pretty safe to take at any age, even in infancy. Probiotics are the healthy active bacteria that help maintain the proper function and health of the digestive system which is crucial for growing children and will not disturb their lactose intolerance if they have that (especially if the strain used is lactobacillus acidophilus). Having a picky eater for a child can prove to be a bit challenging if not frustrating. As a parent it is normal to be concerned with your child’s health and to want to make sure they get the nutrients they need to grow up healthy, this is why nutritional supplements and alternatives exist, so that everyone can have a chance to grow up healthy.