Children's Health We live in the most affluent country in the world, yet many of our children’s basic nutritional needs are not met. Studies show over 50% of children don’t even get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) levels of nutrients. Nearly half of kids in America eat less than one serving of fruit a day; one-third eat less than one daily serving of veggies! Chips and French fries make up one-quarter of the vegetables eaten by children, and about one-third of the vegetables eaten by teenagers.
The infiltration of fast food into U.S. schools is particularly insidious. Fast food hamburgers and pizzas are school lunch staples. Soda vending machines are readily available on most campuses. The result? Kids are drinking more sodas than ever—a clear risk factor for osteoporosis later in life.
Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (both related to poor diet and lack of exercise) are on the rise in children. 30 – 50% of new type 2 diabetes cases are children between 9 – 19 years old! Today, one-third of all kids have high cholesterol! Autopsies show that atherosclerosis now begins in childhood. Getting childhood obesity under control through better diet and regular exercise is the best way to solve these degenerative diseases. What's happening to our children?
Because much of our agricultural soils are depleted, and most of our foods are sprayed or gassed, many micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are no longer sufficiently present in our foods. The most common childhood nutrient deficiencies are calcium, iron, B-1, and vitamins A, B-complex and C—the very ones that have the most impact on a child’s health—slowing growth, wiping out immune defenses and impairing learning capacity!
Offer organic foods to your child whenever possible. They are higher in nutrients, and research shows children regularly exposed to pesticides have serious problems, like low stamina, underdeveloped hand-eye coordination, and poor attention span and recall. Graphically show your child what junk and synthetic foods are. Seductive TV ads and peer pressure mean that lots of kids don’t really know what wholesome food is, and think they are eating the right way. Your presence as a loving parental authority is a powerful influence. Gather your family together for a meal at least once a day to establish good eating habits for your kids.
Use superfoods for kids
Superfoods are concentrated nutrients widely popular with adults today (check out the many superfoods listings in this book). They’re just as good in healthy diet programs for kids. Mix them in or sprinkle them on other foods to increase the nutritional content of any meal. Superfood supplements put some great nutrients into fussy eaters. Systems Strength
drink mix is a potent vegetarian blend of seaweeds, herbs, and foods like miso, soy protein, nutritional yeast and brown rice. Add it to soups, sauces, even salad dressings. Kids also like bee pollen, a highly bio-active superfood often called “nature’s complete nutrition,” because it is so full of balanced vitamins, minerals, proteins, EFAs, enzymes, and essential amino acids. Its sweet flavor works well sprinkled on cereals or in smoothies. (Not for bee allergies.)
Diet for Children's Health
This sample diet for optimal health for your child has been kid-tested for taste. On rising: offer a protein drink, and 1 tsp. liquid Multi-Vitamin/Mineral especially if the child’s energy or school performance is poor; or the child always seems to be ill.
Breakfast: have granola with apple juice or yogurt and fresh fruit; or have eggs, scrambled or baked (no fried eggs); or hot oatmeal or puffed kashi cereal with maple syrup or yogurt. Mid-morning: whole grain crackers with kefir cheese and fruit juice; or dried fruit leathers with yogurt or kefir cheese; or crunchy veggies with peanut butter; or trail mix stirred into yogurt. Lunch: have a veggie, turkey, chicken or shrimp sandwich on whole grain bread, with low fat cheese. Add corn chips with a low fat dip; or bean soup with whole grain toast; or have a vegetarian pizza on a chapati crust; or spaghetti or pasta with parmesan cheese sauce; or a Mexican bean,veggie, or rice burrito with fresh salsa. Mid-afternoon: have fresh fruit or fruit juice, or a kefir drink; or a hard boiled egg and some trans-fat free whole grain chips with a low-fat dip; or some whole grain toast and peanut butter or other nut butter. Dinner: have whole grain or egg pasta with vegetables and a light tomato/cheese sauce; or a baked Mexican quesadilla with low fat cheese and some steamed veggies or a salad; or roast turkey with cornbread dressing and a salad; or a tuna casserole with rice, peas and water chestnuts.
Your Holistic Lifestyle
All About Children's Fitness
Our high tech age saturates today’s kids with computers, T.V.’s, cell phones and video games - but much less active playtime, exercise and outdoor play than any previous generation. P.E. classes in U.S. schools, most sports and many extra-curricular activities have been dropped, and our kids are paying the price.
Most kids attend only 1 or 2 physical education classes a week. Forty percent of boys 6-12 can’t even touch their toes; American girls actually run slower today than they did 10 years ago. P.E. teachers have been reassigned to other classes in seventy-five percent of U.S. schools. Today’s kids watch up to 28 hours of TV a week. By the time U.S. kids reach their senior high school year, they’ve spent over 3 years of their lives watching TV.
Exercise is just as important for children as it is for adults. Exercise helps kids: *have stronger bones
*control excess body fat
*decrease diabetes risk in childhood and later in life
*help normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels
*reduce depression and anxiety
Exercise helps children prepare emotionally and physically for competitive sports and also life challenges. Choose activities that are fun for kids like: swimming, skating, riding bikes, basketball, football, baseball and soccer. Kids like rock climbing and hiking, too. Enjoy exercise with your children, so you both reap the rewards. Vacations and camping trips are especially fun during the summer break, and a great opportunity for fun exercise for the whole family.
Junk Food Detox for Kids
A light detox can start a weight control program for an overweight child, who usually has toxic overload from too many chemicalized foods. A gentle detox normalizes body chemistry.
My JUNK FOOD DETOX for KIDS is a 3 day diet. Avoid highly processed, junky foods, red meats and dairy foods, except yogurt during this detox. On rising: give citrus juice with 1 teaspoon of acidophilus liquid, or a glass of lemon juice and water with honey or maple syrup. Breakfast: offer fresh fruits, especially apples, pineapple, papaya or oranges. Add vanilla yogurt or rice milk if desired. Mid-morning: give fresh carrot juice. Add ¼ tsp. ascorbate vitamin C or Ester C crystals to neutralize body toxins. Lunch: give fresh raw crunchy veggies with a yogurt dip; or a fresh veggie salad with lemon/oil or yogurt dressing. Mid-afternoon: offer a refreshing herb tea, such as licorice or peppermint tea with honey. Dinner: give a fresh salad, with avocados, carrots, kiwi, romaine and other high vitamin A foods; and/or a cup of miso soup or other clear broth soup. Before bed: offer a relaxing herb tea, like chamomile tea. Add ¼ tsp. vitamin C or Ester C crystals; or a cup of Miso broth for strength.
Once the light detox is over, begin a healthy diet. (See Diet for Children's Health above.) Breakfast is a key for weight loss for kids. A high fiber breakfast cuts a child’s calories by up to 200 calories a day and holds appetite until lunchtime. Add fresh plant, enzyme-rich foods to the child’s daily diet for energy and fitness.