Increasingly more and more children are being medicated with prescriptions for conditions that are related to lifestyle and environmental choices. In fact 25% of all US children are currently on drugs for depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure to name a few.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that in addition to taking drugs for conditions like; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and asthma, children are now taking things like sleeping pills, diabetes drugs and even statin drugs, which are typically only prescribed for adults. The report cites an eight-year-old boy, for example, who has been taking blood pressure medications since he was a baby.
Dr. Danny Benjamin, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University, admitted to the WSJ that prescribing chronic medications to children is a serious problem. “We know we’re making errors in dosing and safety,” he said, noting also that parents must do more to question the safety of medicines their doctors prescribe.
Another headline caught my attention stating that because of childhood obesity children will be predeceasing their parents. It has been warned by the doctors from the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool that thousands of overweight children could die before their parents.
This alert comes after a considerable increase in avoidable conditions that result from obesity such as heart problems and diabetes are examples of such avoidable diseases. It has been revealed that such cases would result in an entire generation of children dying before their parents.
Medical Director, Dr Steve Ryan remarked, “It shouldn’t be happening. These children should not be suffering from these problems and they should not be here in hospital”.http://topnews.us/content/216676-doctors-warn-generation-children-could-die-their-parents-due-unhealthy-lifestyle
Children are the greatest gift we will ever receive don’t you want to protect them? How can that be done?Excellent nutrition is the greatest safeguard you can employ to maintain, protect and recover any current health issues your child may be affected by.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates are the 2 “food” groups that will pack on the pounds of any child. By “sugar” I mean cane juice and beet sugar, raw sugar is still sugar. Our bodies do need sugar just not a lot of it. The problem is that we get too much of it in processed foods such as Gatorade (56 grams), Apple juice (20 grams). Currently the average consumption of daily sugar is a whopping 48 teaspoons, 4 grams of sugar equal 1 teaspoon of sugar. I would avoid anything that is highly processed but if you must, be an educated consumer and read all labels.
Because we are fed at regular intervals throughout the day it is no longer necessary to have the energy stored from sugar into fat. This is what happens when we consume above what we need for energy. The sugar that is circulating through the blood stream causes the liver to convert it into fatty acids (think Triglycerides), the body releases the fatty acids and it is deposited as fat throughout the body. Another reason to control circulating glucose is glucose is used by cancer as energy.
Does your child have a sweet tooth? Offer fruit, make a smoothie, home baked goods made with raw honey, substitute 1 cup of sugar for 1/3 cup of honey. Keep them busy and distracted as you are weaning them off of the typical sweet foods, turn off the TV and computer.
Focus on whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and millet too name a few. Because these grains digest slowly and have a low glycemic response they are the perfect antidote to an unstable blood sugar. Remove simple carbohydrates from the house such as boxed cereals, cookies, cereal bars and the like. Substitute the aforementioned grains. I am frequently asked what should I feed my child for breakfast.
- Steel cut oats with fruit
- Soft boiled or poached eggs nestled in collard, spinach or turnip greens
- Quinoa made with Almond Milk
- Soup ! Try butternut squash soup, black bean, lentil
- Why not a quesadilla filled with black beans and cheese in a rice tortilla
What about school lunches? Invest in a wide mouth stainless steel thermos.
- Layer chicken, brown rice, vegetables
- Hearty soups and stews; use beans, grains
- Leftovers from dinner
What are the good fats for my child?
- Coconut Oil, it is a Medium Chain Triglyceride and it nourishes the brain
- Olive Oil
- GNLD Salmon Oil Plus with 500 mg of DHA
Fats are very important for brain development and it aids in helping the child feel satisfied. Avoid all vegetable oils they are high in Omega 6, and cause an imbalance in the cell with Omega 3. They are also very unstable in high heat and become rancid easily.
Avoid all synthetic sugars, especially aspartame. Aspartame shuts off the circulating the hormone leptin which is responsible for appetite suppression. This causes the child not to feel full and overeat, forgo the diet soda and have water with lemon.
By now you are muttering to yourself “You don’t know my children!” I do, I have 3 that just about hog tied me and threw me overboard more than a couple of times. Time and patience need to be on your side as you slowly and gently make changes that are going to positively affect your children’s health for the rest of their LONG life!