We all want the best for our little ones – we want to know how to make the right decisions. Making these decisions requires connecting the dots about the power of preventive medicine. Hearing about the various behavioral, allergic, and autoimmune struggles some of today’s children are trying to manage, I can’t help but reflect on how important it is to understand the power our lifestyle choices have on these health outcomes.
So here are some optimal children’s health tips :
Read every label
Right from a bowl of processed food snacks and boxed juices, so many of the choices that we make as parents are easy to leave unexamined because “everyone does it and most people are just fine” – default assumption. The truth is, most people are not fine, and it is all too easy to dismiss the relationship between our dietary intake and our health. Often these effects are delayed, variable, and cumulative.
Plastics are toxic
The microwave was humming at our gathering and I’m sorry that I was preoccupied by nagging thoughts of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals leaching into the hot food. Even those plastic water bottles contain Bisphenol A (BPA) have likely been sitting in the sun at some point in their lifespan. The water that we give to our children is best filtered to remove fluoride, pesticides, and other chemicals to minimize negative effects on their thyroid and brain development. When we worry about development in our children, we should think about the effects of plastic toys, food containers, and even the hidden sources of these chemicals in our processed food and girly cosmetic kits.
Creams,lotions and hand sanitizers
Hand wash and sanitizers has become synonymous with careful parenting, but is it? But excessive use of antibacterials often promote a “hygienic” state not supportive of the biodiversity of flora we are now learning is so important for our bodies to have. Yes, we are outnumbered 10:1 by micro-organisms that inhabit our body and help us to function. We were born with much of this colony, but we can subtly shape it all the time. These bugs that we live with determine how we absorb nutrients and fend off unwanted germs. It is an intelligent network that we need to protect.
Natural immune support
Colds, flus, coughs, and sneezes have become part of “normal parenting life”. While infections, even serious ones, are part of natural immune building and fortification, the persistent low-grade immune compromise we see in so many children around us is representative of a flagging system.Some of the basics like having lots of raw fruits and vegetable, good sleep and physical activity like walk/run and sports, supports kids’ immune system. Despite what you may have heard, the current vaccine schedule has been implicated in eroding immunity. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a formal vaccinated vs unvaccinated study, now 200 years overdue.
If most moms knew that the choices they were making every day mattered to their children’s guts, immune systems, hormone balance and brains, once they get these basics taken care of, we can all relax and have a good time. In my mind, it’s sort of a “deal with it now, or deal with it later” scenario. I suspect that many of you know these things, but don’t want to be “high maintenance” about the details. Once you know that others feel the same way, I’m hoping you will react too!