Feeding Kids of All Ages
By Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.
This article is dedicated to everyone who takes time to pack healthy lunches for themselves, their kids, and/or spouses – and parents who make nourishing breakfasts for their kids before sending them off to school.
You all deserve kudos! “Brown bagging it” doesn’t always save money. But the true costs come in the form of obesity, diabetes, cancer and other diseases associated with substandard nutrition.
A deterrent to making homemade food is finding foods that taste good to everyone. This used to be much easier. Our ancestors figured out what to eat by trial and error. Those who ate the right things survived and the rest didn’t make it.
Fortunately, our genes guide us to eat the right foods as long as we aren’t eating artificial foods. Unnatural foods containing MSG and other excitotoxins damage the internal programming we use to help discern the difference between good and bad food, and help determine which nutrients are needed immediately compared to nutrients we’ve already stored.
It’s frustrating when children, spouses, or elderly parents turn up their noses at lovingly prepared foods. I believe there are two types of picky eaters. The first includes children who are actually choosing wisely. If they’re used to eating healthy, it’s interesting to see what they want. The next includes those who grew up with poor nutrition who have fits if they don’t get the carbohydrates or sweets they are craving (like cereals with refined sugars or corn sugar, Mac and Cheese, pastas, breads, or other refined foods.) This problem escalates if not addressed. Bad teeth, bad bones, and a bad attitude are just some of the problems that start out this way.
If your child wants only donuts for breakfast, don’t be afraid to say no, and then bring only acceptable foods into the house. Your first duty is to be a parent, not a friend to your children. If you’ve figured out that you were – or are still – that kid, can you recover? Absolutely! You can make new decisions when you take responsibility for yourself and strike out to become who and what you want to be. This includes learning to eat the right foods knowing they are building blocks for rebuilding yourself. Remember that your nervous system directs this whole process so be sure to get your structure/nervous system checked out and/or maintained by a good chiropractor (like me – lol!)
Foods for life should start with mother’s milk whenever possible for every baby. If supplemental milk is needed, goat or sheep milk is next best. Healthy carbohydrates, such as pure maple syrup, should be added. This helps compensate for the slower physical developmental rate of humans over animals and the reason why supplemental milk should be chosen from animals similar in size to humans. Milk fat globulins in cow’s milk are too large for an undeveloped digestive system, and often lead to allergies.
The next food for infants should be organic vegetables and fruits. Healthy children are drawn to certain colors and tastes and are usually interested in trying each taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Ayurvedic medicine suggests adjusting these six tastes according to one’s specific constitution for good health and overall balance. Healthy kids of all ages intuitively know what they need!
Protein should be obtained through humanely raised/pasture raised animal foods, including eggs, cheese, yogurt, raw milk, and whey protein powder. Be sure to find a reputable source of whey protein because of differences in manufacturing and sourcing of ingredients used in flavoring and sweetening.
Additional protein may be obtained from raw organic nuts, as milk or nut butters. Remember, nuts are primarily omega 6’s and we must strive to keep the proper balance between omega 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s. Hemp hearts are a good source of healthy protein with balanced fats and fiber. Quinoa and legumes are other protein sources that are best combined with other foods.
Omega 3 fish oil is essential for developing and maintaining healthy brains. Wild caught fish used to be the best way to obtain omega 3’s but now should only be eaten occasionally (once a week) due to the mercury and hydrocarbons from plastics dissolving in our oceans and lakes. When the oil is squeezed from the fish the mercury remains behind and the oil is micro filtered to remove the hydrocarbons. A side benefit is that fish oil can control pain pathways better than many drugs without side effects.
Healthy snacks include raw nuts and seeds, veggies, and fresh fruit. The ratio should be 10 % fruits (mostly berries and tropical fruits) and 90% vegetables. A whole food based powdered drink mix, such as Fruit and Veggie Plus with 20,000 antioxidant units per serving, is a delicious way to add important phytonutrients. Fermented foods, herbs, organic seasonings, and healthy oils help round out meals and snacks.
I recommend coconut oil for cooking, baking, and spreading on other foods. In addition to being associated with brain health, memory, and learning ability, it benefits those with sugar handling problems. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil provide an alternative food source actually better than glycose.
Besides getting the proper amount of calories, nutrients, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates from whole foods, supplements are designed to help improve functioning throughout life at every age. For example, phosphatidylserine (PS) is a concentrated phospholipid that is important in the brain for neural energy production and communication but is hard to find in foods.
Other brain specific supplements include N-Acetyl-Cysteine, a precursor to glutathione, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine which supports production of acetylcholine needed for learning and concentration.
Other necessary supplements include probiotics for their positive impact on immune function, GI health, and the body’s response to inflammation. Specific strains that support oral and upper respiratory health also help with the throat, tonsils, and middle ear.
Let us help you determine what nutrition your body wants through muscle testing (kinesiology) and the Zyto Biocommunication scan. Our Chiropractic patients receive FREE monthly scans which are also offered to nutrition patients.
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.