I recently watched a Dr. Oz show about vaccinations and their possible link to autism. The show was heated and it made me reflect on what parents need to know to keep their child healthy. ADD, autism, autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes, eczema, earaches, hypoglycemia, digestive issues, asthma…the numbers continually rise among children, and particularly in the US. Why? Because children, not just adults, are polluted from a poor diet, infections (candida/yeast, parasites, viruses), vaccinations, stress, and environmental toxins. Science has shown that today the umbilical cord of a newborn already contains 200 chemicals. This means the genes that each generation is passing down are weaker as a result of adults being more toxic and inflamed than ever before.
The starting point begins with nutrition. Nutrition is the key to turn around a health condition that already exists, or to prevent one from occurring. Take one look at the lunches served in schools and you will find virtually nothing healthy on the tray. Instead there are piles of processed and denatured food containing trans fats, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives. Parents are frustrated as to why their child is having difficulties at school and why their grades are poor. How can you expect a child to sit still, focus, and produce positive results when trash is going into their system. They can’t!
TOP FOODS TO ELIMINATE FROM YOUR CHILD’S DIET:
- Cow’s dairy products (milk, cheeses, ice cream, and yes even yogurt) - milk is pasteurized, homogenized, and filled with antibiotics and hormones. Milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized means that it is heated to high temperatures to kill off bacteria. But this process also changes the mineral structure and makes milk acidic. Acidic foods do not add minerals to the body but actually leach them from the body. Calcium and other minerals come from eating dark leafy green vegetables. What other species drinks milk from another species? None. Switching to Lactaid milk, which removes the lactose (sugar) from milk, doesn’t solve the problem because most people are also allergic to the protein molecule in milk. Conditions linked to drinking and eating dairy products:
ADD, autism, eczema, allergies, asthma, constipation/diarrhea, earaches, sinus problems, and joint pain.
- Gluten (barley, kamut, oats (unless Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten-free oats), rye, spelt, wheat, white flour) is found in cereals, breads, bagels, pastries, and snack bars. Gluten is a protein that creates inflammation in the body. I call it “goo and glue” in the gut. It strips the villi on the intestinal tract lining allowing antigens and food particles to pass through the intestinal wall and leak into the body.
Conditions linked to eating gluten grains:
ADD, autism, allergies, anxiety/depression, eczema, autoimmune diseases, candida, gastrointestinal issues, and Celiac disease.
- Refined sugars (high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, dextrose) - are found in candy, ice cream, donuts, fruit juices, snack bars, etc. Sugar creates inflammation in the body and strips it of essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimal functioning. Even unsweetened fruit juices have too much sugar.
Conditions linked to eating refined sugar:
ADD, autism, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia, eczema, anxiety, and autoimmune diseases.
- Trans fats (partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils) - are found in processed foods such as pizza, chips, breads, pastries, donuts, and french fries. Trans fats are vegetable oils heated to high temperatures used only to preserve the shelf life of a food product. These denatured oils clog arteries, increases bad cholesterol, and contributes to heart disease and diabetes.
Conditions linked to eating trans fats:
Diabetes (1 out of 3 children in the US), obesity, high cholesterol, heart conditions, eczema, neurological disorders.
- Miscellaneous (artificial sweeteners, caffeine, MSG, preservatives) - Chemicals are found in all processed foods. They have a direct impact on brain function and energy. High energy drinks such as Red Bull, Rockstar, Cocaine Energy drink, are loaded with sugar, caffeine, and preservatives which over excite the brain.
Conditions linked to caffeine, artificial sweeteners, perservatives:
Epilepsy, allergies, headaches, pms, neurological disorders, autism, ADD, and anxiety/depression.
So now you’re thinking what am I going to feed my child? Food that is not processed. Yes, it is tough to control what your child eats. Yes, they will kick and scream and refuse to eat what you serve them. Do the best you can and start off with eliminating one food group at a time. Shop for healthier items from health food stores, amazon.com, and vitacost.com that have no trans fats, less sugar, better sweeteners, etc. You will notice swift changes in your child’s behavior and health by lessening the load of toxicity in the body.
Making and packing your child’s lunch is the best solution. The USDA will not fund schools if they don’t reach a certain number of calories per day per lunch. The only way that can happen is that the school must serve unhealthy meals. Try to keep your child’s total grams of sugar per day under 10 grams. One 8 oz. soda has 28 grams of sugar.
HEALTHY DIET & FOOD ALTERNATIVES:
A health diet for you child would consist of:
- Vegetables - organic fresh vegetables are high in minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. The most important are dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, arugula, etc.
- Beans/Legumes - are high in fiber, minerals, and protein. Soak overnight before cooking whenever possible to minimize gas and allow for shorter cooking times to preserve nutritional value.
- Animal Proteins - fish (not farmed), antibiotic-, hormone-free eggs, chicken, turkey, lamb, and small amounts of red meat. Amino acids are building blocks of protein needed by every cell in the body.
- Nuts & Seeds - raw and small amounts of dry roasted. Nuts/seeds are high in minerals, trace minerals, and supply good fats to the brain, heart, and skin.
- Fruits - organic fruits are nature’s best sweet snack. Limit to one to two pieces a day. Allow only small amounts of unsweetened fruit juices and dried fruits as they are high in sugar.
- Oils - olive oil (low heat), grapseed, and coconut oil are good choices that can withstand heat. Flaxseed is another good oil but must not be heated or it will turn rancid so use with salad dressings, condiments, etc.
- Dairy alternatives - unsweetened almond, hemp, or coconut milk. If you must get a sweetened one, find one with the lowest grams of sugar on the label. Raw goat milk and raw goat/sheep cheese are better substitutes if dairy is a must. Limit or avoid soy and rice milk. Soy is a high allergen and rice milk is high in carbohydrates if more than 4 oz is used at one time.
- Gluten free grains - quinoa, gluten-free oatmeal, brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, millet, teff, amaranth. Always try to use whole gluten free grains, not those stripped of minerals/vitamins such as white rice or instant oatmeal. Make hot cereals and add stevia, fresh fruit, almond milk, and cinnamon to sweeten. If you must use a tastier sweetener then use small amounts of organic raw honey. Brands that make gluten free items: Namaste foods, Sami’s Bakery (millet/flax products), French Meadows, Edward & Sons, Go Raw Crackers, Food For Life, Authentic Foods.
- Sugar substitutes - stevia, Just Like Sugar, xylitol (Ultimate Life, Ultimate Sweetener), and small amount of raw honey. Read the nutritional facts label on any sweet dessert or food item and make sure the sugars are lower than 5 grams whenever possible.
- Snack foods - you can’t expect your child to never indulge in snack items. Buy trans fat free chips, gluten free crackers, naturally sweetened cereals (honey). Read ingredients and if there are more than 5 to 8 ingredients and you can’t recognize or pronounce put it back…too many sugars, and chemicals/preservatives.
Diet alone is not enough to keep your child healthy. Soils are no longer rich in minerals and therefore produce nutrient deficient foods. Processed foods strip the body of its vitamin and minerals. To make up for the deficiencies baseline supplementation should be considered. These brands listed below can be found on vitacost.com, iherb.com, or amazon.com to save you money.
- Multivitamin & Mineral - Childlife, Nature’s Plus Animal Parade, Rainbow Light, or Greens Today Childrens Formula. Multivitamins and minerals provide the basics for the body to stay healthy.
DHA for kids - Nordic Naturals, Childlife, or Carlson. Omega 3 fish oil is critical for brain, heart, and hormone function.
- Vitamin C - Nature’s Plus Animal Parade, Childlife, or Carlson. A beneficial antioxidant and immune booster.
- Greens - Natures Plus Animal Parade Kidgreenz, or Greens Today Children’s Formula (all in one multivitamin/mineral and greens). To keep the body alkaline vs. acidic from poor diet and stress. Also supply the body with minerals and fill in the gaps when children refuse to eat vegetables/fruits.
- Probiotics - Childlife, Jarrow, Garden of Life, NSI, or Udo’s Choice. Probiotics supply good bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract and keep infections (candida, bacteria, viral, parasitical) away.
Children need exercise and movement to stay healthy and relieve stress. Make it a point to reduce the time your child plays video games or watches television. Replace that time with sports, dance classes, playing games outside with friends. I remember being a young child during the summer and playing outside all day and going to bed exhausted and how good that felt. Our bodies need to move and breath deeply. Instead children are bombarded with electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones, computer screens, video games, and television.
The environment has more toxins now than ever before from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, petrochemicals, electromagnetic frequencies. Be mindful of having non toxic house cleaning products in the house. Buying chemical free body care products and toothpastes (fluoride free). Investing in water and air filtration systems for cleaner water and better indoor air quality.
Vaccine therapy is one of the most pressing issues to become educated on. Just last month a U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes it more difficult for pharmaceutical companies to be sued and found liable for injury or death to your child from a vaccine. Also laws are changing to make vaccinations mandatory in each state. This is an infringement on our right to choose. There are some great resources to get you educated and I suggest you do so. This is a choice only educated parents can make.
Vaccines have live and dead strains of viruses, bacteria, mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum, and other substances that can injure your child now and later bring about retroviruses. When I was born I had about 17 vaccinations. Today a child will have over 32 vaccinations. Hepatitis B vaccine is now given to your infant before she or he leaves the hospital–before a child has a fully developed brain barrier formed. You need to know the law, and your options, including your option to sign a document refusing that your child get this vaccine at birth.