Even children from loving homes can be malnourished.
Nutrient deficiencies in children are common and can go undetected for many years and even into adulthood. Do you have a picky eater in your family? Are you concerned that your kids aren’t getting the ideal variety of nutrients in adequate amounts?
Dr. Cardona is our paediatric homeopathic doctor and counsels parents and kids about how to take steps towards nutrient-dense eating.
Here are some signs of nutrient deficiencies in children:
- Difficulty focusing at school or at home, hyperactive, restless
- Difficulty falling asleep at night, frequent night waking, nightmares, bed wetting
- Exhausted on waking, grouchy in the mornings
- Complains of occasional stomach pain or headaches
- Diarrhea or loose stool alternating with constipation
- Thin hair, brittle nails
- Skin rashes, tendency to allergies
- Behavioural issues; bouts of anger, anxiety, sadness, low sense of self-worth
Nutritional awareness in a child’s diet leads to improved cognitive function, immune function, healthy sleep habits, digestive function and therefore absorption of nutrients, hormone balance, and, best of all… happy kids!!
Here are some of Dr. C’s tips for parents to increase nutritional status for their kids:
1- Talk to your kids about food. Bring them into the kitchen. Bring them into the grocery store. Talk to them about your own journey in understanding healthy eating habits. Talk to them about your struggles with food, (We pretty much all want ice cream for breakfast sometimes!) Kids love to learn how YOU have learned to make better choices.
2- Food is fun! Have your child pick one fruit or vegetable each time you’re at the grocery store and get them involved in preparing that food. Let them pick whatever they want and even if they only take a single bite, celebrate them for trying something new!
3- Smoothies are a busy parent’s best friend. If you have 10 seconds and a blender, you can make a nutrient-rich meal for your child. Although fresh ingredients are always best, there are many fabulous professional protein shakes designed specifically for kids that just require adding water. These products are full of concentrated plant proteins and phytonutrients, and best part… even picky kids love them.
4- Make a game of it: One popular food game is the Rainbow Challenge. Take a week and challenge your child, (and the rest of the family), to try to eat something naturally red with every meal. The next day, try orange, then keep going through all the colours of the rainbow. Reward yourselves with a treat day at the end of the rainbow!
5- Your child may need a professional assessment to determine nutrient status and digestive function. There are supplements that help with digestive function that are safe and designed for growing bodies and growing minds. Your child’s health is patterned in the first few years of life. Let’s make sure we are giving them the foundation to develop and thrive into their unique and amazing selves!
Dr. Heather Cardona, BSc. HD
Homeopathic Doctor (MHA)
Mondays: 1:00 pm – 8 pm
Wednesdays & Fridays: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm