NUTRITION FOR CHILDREN
Sam Rose, CN MS
If you are a parent, there
is nothing you wouldn’t do to spare your child even the smallest discomfort.
So know this... the foods you offer your children today have an immediate and
direct impact on their physical, mental, and emotional health. The quality of
those foods determines whether they will enjoy optimal health as adults or be
constantly battling to regain their sense of well-being.
The epidemic-like rise of
childhood asthma and obesity and the increase in adolescent diabetes and
attention-deficit disorder testify to our failure as parents to nutritionally
protect our children.
For moms and dads who have made
the decision to feed their children well, it often seems that all the forces
of nature and man conspire to sabotage our best efforts. Junk food temptations
are everywhere, and are vigorously promoted by an industry far less interested
in your child’s health than it is in its own profits.
The quality of food that kids eat
has deteriorated over the past few generations. Many kids eat a large
percentage of their meals at fast food restaurants. Some schools have
MacDonalds or Burger Kings as the only source of food in the lunchroom. School
lunch programs are still fueled by the surplus foods of the dairy and meat
industries who continue to have a powerful impact on the foods served in
schools. These high fat, high sodium, low nutrient foods slow our kids down
and contribute to forming bad eating habits for the rest of their lives.
Many moms believe that if they
are following the basic four food group approach - meat, dairy, vegetables and
fruits - their child is well-fed. This is an old concept - bought and paid for
by the Dairy Council and Cattleman’s Association. Cow’s milk is terrible food
for humans. Cow’s milk is designed to build a cow - a large animal that
attains adult size in a short period of time. The protein in cow milk is
poorly digested in humans and in young children, the undigested protein can
cause everything from allergies to rashes to diarrhea or constipation, chronic
colds and ear infections. In addition, no other animal on earth continues to
drink milk after weaning from its mother. The human GI tract is built like
vegetarian animals - low HcL in our stomachs, flat teeth and long intestines.
True carnivores, such as lions and tigers, have ten times the HcL in their
stomachs, sharp teeth and much shorter intestinal tracts.
When we urge parents to take their
kids off dairy products, they always ask “Where are they going to get their
calcium from?” So we ask then, “Where do you think a cow gets its calcium?”
Cows don’t drink milk, they get it from vegetation, the same way your children
can get it. One and a half ounces of tofu has as much calcium as a glass
of milk. Ounce for ounce, broccoli has as much calcium as milk.
We also recommend that parents
cut down on their child’s meat intake. Our need for protein is grossly
exaggerated by the Cattlemen’s Association and Dairy Council. At no other time
in our lives are we growing as fast as we grow in our first year. And human
breast milk is only 5% protein.
How a mother feeds her baby from
birth to age six months has a strong influence on its future health. Infants
are born with a powerful instinct that governs their nursing habits. They
nurse until they are no longer hungry, then they stop. They let you know in no
uncertain terms when its time to eat. If a child is breast fed, he or she can
go their entire first year taking only breast milk as nourishment. Breast milk
has everything he/she needs, including water.
A baby’s first teeth appearing is
a sign that the child is physically and emotionally ready for solid foods.
Introducing solids too early is bad for two reasons: One, solids crowd out the
breast milk, which is the perfect food. Two, babies immature digestive systems
can’t handle the solids and can open the child up to a lifetime of allergies.
Pediatricians suggest that a mother wait at least 6 months before introducing
solids. Steamed vegetables such as carrots, summer squash, peas, asparagus and
broccoli, put through a food mill is a good start. Raw vegetables will not be
well digested. Avoid commercial baby foods high in starch and sugar. Whole
grain cereals can be added after the ninth month. From then on, a diet of
legumes, grains, vegetables and fruits will supply a child or grown-up with
everything their body needs.
Another common source of
confusion is the eating schedule a child should be on. From one to three
years, let their instincts dictate - feed on demand. Keep healthy, whole foods
around, and let kids eat when they want. Forcing children to eat when they’re
not hungry, or depriving them of food when they are, can set up an unhealthy
attitude around food and lead to problems. Once a child is four to five years,
they will probably be able to have regular meals with the family plus snacks.
Don’t be alarmed if the child has no appetite at a particular meal. He will
eat when he needs to.
Most kids seem to like to snack
their way through the day as opposed to sitting down to three meals. Animals
in the wild graze through the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are artificial
and arbitrary notions designed for convenience and don’t necessarily reflect
the way humans are supposed to eat. Rather than forcing our kids to adjust to
our eating schedule, we would do better to observe what they do naturally and
learn a few lessons. Try these healthy snacks: Vegetable sticks, fruit, almond
butter and crackers, popcorn… and these healthy desserts: Baked apple, fruit
smoothy, fruit juice popsicle, home-made cookies (whole grains, sweetened with
honey or molasses), dried fruits (apricots, raisins, apples, bananas,
pineapple), or halvah (sesame seeds and honey).
Once a parent decides to change a
child’s diet for the better, they are often met with resistance. You want to
appeal to the child’s priorities, not yours. You can talk to three and
four-year olds about how eating the right foods will help them grow big and
strong. With older children, talk about all their activities and how they’ll
play better eating good food as opposed to french fries and milk shakes.
Teenagers care about their looks. High fat, high sugar and fast foods cause
acne, weight gain and oily skin and hair. Keep in mind that poor diets can
lead to frequent illness, obesity, skin problems, poor mental function, all of
which affect a child’s self-esteem.
Common Problems – Natural Solutions
unchecked can lead to appendicitis, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and internal
Herbal support - liquid cascara sagrada
Soaked raisins in senna tea
Licorice or mullein tea
Molasses in warm water
Powdered fiber - 1 tsp in aloe vera juice twice a day
Carob powder in apple juice 3 times a day
Eating apples and bananas and brown rice
Friendly bacteria – acidophilus and bifido-bacteria
Herbs: red raspberry and chamomile tea
Herbs: mullein and garlic oil
Mixed vegetable glycerine and witch hazel - dip cotton balls -
insert in ear to draw infection
Lobelia extract for pain
Lobelia – expectorant (use only as directed)
Vaporizer with eucalyptus or tea tree oil
Peppermint or raspberry tea
Tiger balm, white flower, or calendula oil on chest to loosen
Lobelia extract under the tongue (use only as directed)
Decoction of mullein (simmer in pot of water 1 hour)
Green or ephedra tea, stinging nettles and pleurisy root
Often weak adrenals are involved
All vitamins and minerals are important, but especially adrenal
hormone pre-cursors: Vitamins C, B-6, pantothenic acid, A
Friendly bacteria to help crowd out bad bacteria that convert the
amino acid histadine in partially digested protein to histamine found in high levels in the blood of allergic children and adults
Avoid MSG, sulfites, refined, processed, preserved, salty, or heavy starches
Often tied to food allergies - milk, wheat, eggs, corn, potatoes
and citrus are the most common culprits
Vitamin E and mycelized A form barriers to allergens
Vitamin C and linoleic acid - develops strong cell walls and help
heal membranes through which allergens can pass
Gas trapped somewhere in the 20 feet of intestines
Enemas might not be effective
If nursing, eliminate garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables
from your diet.
Cow’s milk drunk by nursing mother can often be a cause.
Allergy to milk protein
Usually caused by a virus - antibiotics have no positive effect
Vitamin C has anti-viral and antihistamine properties
Some children respond to Vitamin C, some to Vitamin A
Vitamin E helps Vitamin A do its work.
Is child eating sugar? Sugar paralyzes the immune response.
Eliminate completely until the child is well.
Drinking milk is mucous forming and will make cold symptoms
worse. Eliminate completely.
B-6 helps build immune system
Sam Rose, CN MS is a licensed and certified nutritionist
and owner of Rose Nutrition Center in West Los Angeles. He can be reached at email@example.com or 310-473-8835.