Nutrition for Kids: Simple Ways to Keep Your Children Healthy
We all want the very best for our children. We want them to grow up healthy and happy and we all strive to give them the best start we possibly can. The most important thing we can do for our children is to feed them healthy, natural, fresh foods and good clean water. A diet with lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and a balance of healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates is essential for the health of children and adults alike. Choosing organic foods whenever they are available is important. The less chemicals, pesticides and preservatives in your child’s diet the healthier they will be. Start them with a large variety of fresh vegetables early and you will have less difficulty later getting them to eat them.
After all that you can also recommend supplementing their diet with a few key nutrients that are important for the whole family. Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EPA/DHA), in the form of fish oils, are usually lacking in the American diet. They are very important for making healthy cells in all parts of the body and they are essential for prenatal and childhood brain development. You want to make sure the brand you buy is free of heavy metals and toxins.
Probiotics (acidophilus/bifidus) are the healthy bacteria that should be present in our digestive systems and that help us digest and eliminate our food. Whenever we have taken antibiotics the good bacteria gets killed off along with the harmful bacteria and it may or may not come back to healthy levels again without some help. Taking probiotics will repopulate the digestive tract with good healthy bacteria and help relieve symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea. They are incredibly important in the body’s immune system as much of our immune function is located in our gut. Probiotics should be refrigerated before and after they are opened so as to keep the good bacteria alive.
A multi vitamin for children can also be a good idea. Multi vitamins can fill in the gaps in nutrition that can happen in anyone’s diet. Also have extra Vitamin C on hand when they come down with a cold. Taking extra Vitamin C every day can boost the immune system to fend off viruses but if they do come down with one, adding more to their diet can be a natural decongestant and help their immune system kick the virus quicker. There are also great products like Dynamic Kids Drink from Nutri-Dyn that provide kids with a daily dose of phyto-nutrients from fruits and vegetables. It’s a great product for those picky kids who don’t want to eat their veggies.
When you are taking supplements of any kind, you definitely get what you pay for. Buying over the counter vitamins at a local store seems very inexpensive. However, there are no regulations that require the companies to monitor quality control. They may or may not have in them what is listed on the label. They may not have a form of the nutrient that is absorbable or healthy. If you purchase your supplements from a reputable natural health practitioner or from companies who you know are committed to correct labeling and quality control, you will be getting high quality supplements you know you can trust. The most expensive supplement is the one that didn’t work. You can find most or all of the supplements recommended here in chewable, powder or liquid forms which can be easier for children to take. You can also open up capsules or grind tablets to mix in with food if that is an easier way to go. As very young children we all like the taste of things that are good for us. If you start your children at a very young age by putting the supplement directly in their mouths they will just eat them like anything else. Just don’t make any faces yourself as they chew away! They will usually only think they taste bad if you let on that you don’t like them. That same wisdom goes for vegetables. Kids pick up on our feelings about things more than we know so if you don’t like the broccoli, don’t let on and your kids may grow to love it!