quantum health & wellness blog
quantum health & wellness blog
Yes, I have a lovable, sweet, precious, and picky boy. When I was pregnant, I had all these plans about how I was going to feed my child. My career as a chef convinced me that I would provide delicious and nutritious homemade food that my child would love. It started great; he loved breast milk! He was one of those children who didn’t sleep a lot, so at six months I was convinced that if he started to eat food, he would sleep better. Well. That backfired. He did not like food. Nevertheless, he was thriving even though he was not gaining as much weight as other babies, but he was alert and reaching all his milestones. I kept the practice of breastfeeding alive.
Now, at almost ten, he eats well, although he does not eat everything, but that is okay. He always tells me that when he is older, he will like salad, but for now, he eats lots of broccoli, carrots, peas, celery and cucumber, and I can live with that.
When my son was four years old, I decided that my path was to go back to school to study nutrition. Here is the heart of what I learned about nutrition:
1. Never bribe you children with candy as it creates an unhealthy relationship with food. If your child does not want vegetables, try again tomorrow.
2. Children have different needs than adults. They need to build, whereas adults need to sustain or cleanse, therefore too many vegetables and not enough building foods can be too cleansing for children.
3. Making homemade cookies is one hundred times better than buying them at the store.
4. Really limit sugar.
5. Start the conversation about food choices young; eventually they will get it.
6. Be consistent, but not dogmatic. Allow them some fun.
7. Talk to them about listening to their body and noticing how they feel when they eat and when they are full. If a child says he is full halfway through the meal, respect that and let them stop eating, but tell them there are no snacks, or if they are still hungry later, they will have to eat the rest of their dinner.
8. Focus on whole foods including grass fed and free range meats and eggs, organic vegetables and fruit, complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole breads, quinoa, oats) and healthy fats. Avoid all foods with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Eat most meals at home. Avoid all packaged breakfast cereals because the cardboard box it is in is probably more nutritious.
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By Michelle Pascal, Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Essential fatty acids (fish oils, omega 3s) are fats that are essential in the diet because they can't be produced by the body. These fats help build cells, regulate the nervous system, strengthen the cardiovascular system, build immunity, and help the body absorb nutrients. EFAs are also vital for healthy brain function and vision.
Clinical studies have confirmed that supplementation with essential fatty acids can improve symptoms of ADD, as well as many other mental disorders and dysfunction including depression, learning disorders and dyslexia. The brain is more than 60 per cent fat, and it functions far better with essential fatty acids.
When a child’s diet contains a lot of sugar and junk food, it will cause an imbalance of fats to simple carbohydrates. A fatty acids deficiency is also related to eczema, allergies and fatigue, in fact, children suffering from ADD and learning problems have a higher incidence of eczema, asthma, and other allergies.
Upon supplementation, the good fats are slowly incorporated back into the tissue of the brain. Over several weeks or months, improvement may be seen in behaviour, learning, and symptoms of ADD. Continued supplementation is necessary to maintain positive results, although intake may be lowered after about four months of continuous supplementation.
Please stop in to speak with Michelle, owner of Quantum Vitamins and Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), to learn more about supplementing with essential fatty acids.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria or yeast organisms that populate in our digestive tract, providing numerous benefits. Here is why parents should consider supplementing with probiotics especially when going back to school.
1. Probiotics help boost the immune system – With students now heading back indoors and spending large amounts of time in classrooms with each other, there is a dramatic increase in germ exposure and potential for kids to fall prey to illness. In one study, 326 children aged 3-5 years were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, probiotic supplementation. Treatments were given twice per day in divided doses for 6 months, including the winter season. Compared with placebo, the probiotic group had the following results; fever reduction 53-73%, cough reduction 41-62%, decreased runny nose 28-59%, decreased need for antibiotics 68-82%, reduced absence from school 28-32%.
2. Probiotics help with allergies – The rates of childhood allergies are growing all the time. Heading back indoors can trigger many students who are especially allergic to dusts and moulds. With regard to asthmatic children with allergic rhinitis, studies have shown that the use of probiotics resulted in a significant reduction in the inflammatory immune chemistry produced by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Further studies have shown specific down-regulation of T cells (immune cells) which beneficially alter the balance of pollen specific antibodies in seasonal allergic rhinitis. In short – probiotics lower the allergic load and decrease the “gunk.”
3. Probiotics help with mood – This is quite a new discovery on the probiotic front. The incidence of learning challenged students continues to rise. Everything from ADD, AD/HD, Asperger’s and Autism along with students experiencing anxiety and depression in school settings, can prove challenging for both parents and teachers. Recent research is showing new gut-brain connections, as happy gut ecology seems to make for happier brains. In one particular study, anxious mice dosed with probiotics showed lower levels of anxiety, decreased stress hormones, and even increased brain receptors for neurotransmitters vital in curbing worry, anxiety and fear. With better mood comes greater ease and ability to learn in school settings and beyond.
If you are thinking about a probiotic to try for any or all of the above reasons, remember that not all probiotic supplements are created equal. Many of the inexpensive varieties have much lower strains of beneficial bacteria and as such are often clinically ineffective.
As discussed in this article, probiotics are very helpful for kids going back to school. Probiotics are a great preventative medicine to help ensure your student’s health and wellness throughout the year.
Stop by Quantum Vitamins to discuss which probiotic is best for you and your family and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a chance to win our Back to School Giveaway including probiotics, vitamins and greens.
Leyer, GJ et al. Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children. Pediatrics 2009; 124-179.
Walker, WA. Mechanisms of action of probiotics. Clin Infect Dis. 2008; 46 (Suppl 2): S87-91.
Yang, G et al. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Probiotics: An alternative approach. N Am J
Med Sci. Aug 2013; 5 (8): 465-68.
Javier, AB, Forsytthe, P & Cryan, J. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in mice via the vagus nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci
USA. Sep 20, 2011; 108(38): 16050-55.
Michelle, owner of Quantum Vitamins, is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and chef who lives in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. >>More