from the blog.

Nutrition and Your Children: Creating a Balance of Optimal Health and an Empowered Eater

Raising children is hard enough without having to think about every little thing they eat. But, like it or not, nutrition is a key component to raising healthy, happy kids. Especially in children, nutrition and exercise play an essential role in brain development, taste development, and food behavior far into adulthood. Because it’s National Nutrition Month, we think it’s apt to discuss nutrition and your kids (with most of our tips applying to adults, too).

First and foremost, have your kids “eat the rainbow” (and we’re not talking skittles, or M&M’s). Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes are all great sources of vital micronutrients (read: vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (read: proteins, fats, and carbs). A safe rule is that for every meal, you should incorporate 5 colors into each meal from these sources. And to be best equipped with all those 

When we think about our children’s nutrition, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind 

NUTRITION & THE BRAIN

Eat the rainbow. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes are all sources of vital micronutrients and macronutrients essential for optimal health and brain function.

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” – Michael Pollin

Juice is not a health food, because of its high fructose content without the fiber, it’s a treat.

Table sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup are almost the same biochemically. Both have negative health effects.

Healthy Fats. Boost omega 3 fatty acids with fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, pasture-raised eggs.

Protein. The best sources of protein include some vegetables, legumes, wild-caught fish, and pasture-raised meat.

Whole-fat milk. Whole-fat dairy, in moderation, if at all, may be better than non-fat milk.

Avoid Food Dyes. Especially if your child had ADHD tendencies, avoid food coloring.

 

DEVELOPMENT OF TASTE

• Taste develops during pregnancy. Introduce flavors early.

• It takes multiple exposure to foods, maybe 10 or more, for a child to assimilate new foods of flavors. Don’t give up!

• Avoid the kids menu. These flavors are bland, but often don’t give your kids the nutrients they need. 

 
FOOD AND BEHAVIOR

Obesity. Restriction parenting behaviors are most correlated with obesity. Overly permissive with unhealthy options are also correlated with obesity. The key is balance by encouraging and empowering your child to make healthy food choices.

 

Below are some good links for additional information about nutrition and children.

GetzWell Book Recommendations

 

GetzWell Article Recommendations

 

Breastfeeding

 

Co-Sleeping

Guidelines to Sleeping Safe with Infants

FODMAP Diet Tools

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App

GI Index info

http://www.gisymbol.com/

Fertility

https://www.kindara.com/app

Family History

https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/fhh-web/home.action

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