We have an exciting opportunity as parents to create lasting health and happiness for our children and it starts with what we feed them.
Experts believe that nutrition (the food we eat) is responsible for 80% or more of our health. That means that we can create health and wellness that will endure or we can create illness, chronic conditions and lifestyle diseases that set our kids up for a lifetime of struggle with health, misery and discomfort.
What are you going to choose?
The biggest challenge for parents who choose great health for their kids is sifting through the plethora of misinformation about what constitutes a healthy diet. If we are to rely on the information that is presented to us by government health representatives such as nurses or doctors, we are relying on their level of education, which is minimal or non-existent when it comes to nutrition, as well as other sources of information. These sources all have vested interests and profits stand to be made by someone.
The food pyramid as we know it is not a reference upon which any food decisions should be made. There is now significant research that has shown that grain consumption and sugar contribute to poor health and yet these foods are recommended to be eaten multiple times daily. The reality for good health is significantly different, below is a blueprint to follow in choosing the foods to best nourish your child for optimal development, growth and health both physically and mentally.
The primary nutrients needed by the body to support cellular health are quality fats and protein. These macronutrients support nerve and brain development, healthy bone formation and provide optimal nutrition for digestion and assimilation of nutrition.
The ideal first foods for baby include organic liver (frozen for a minimum of 10 days then finely grated) combined with runny egg yolk that has been separated from the egg white after 3 minutes of cooking. Organic lambs brains are another good option as is quality bone broth. Bone broth contains superior nutrition in a form that is immediately available to the body for use making it very supportive of digestion and optimal development. I suggest bone broth be represented daily in the lives of all infants consuming solid foods and of all children and adults for optimal health.
Vegetables well cooked in bone broth with the quality fats retained are another good option, avoiding the starchy vegetables such as potato until after 10 months or more and only if no health issues exist.
The notion that rice cereal should be the first food is based on misinformation and has only been recommended for a few decades. The health of society over the last number of decades is getting exponentially worse. For a blueprint of great health we need to look to traditional societies and traditional wisdom to discover the secrets of people who enjoyed long lasting health and died of natural causes, something we rarely hear of these days thanks to our own lifestyle choices.
To understand why certain foods should be avoided as first foods we need to understand an infant's digestive development processes which all point to quality fats and proteins as ideal first foods.
A child is born with immature gastrointestinal lining. This is essentially the same thing as leaky gut, a condition of impaired immunity and gut function. The first 12 months of life sees this system evolve and develop and provided with the right support this process will happen optimally or in the face of challenges it can set the child up for poor health and lifetime of immune challenges, the foundations of chronic and fatal conditions.
With the gut as it is in an infant, the ideal scenario is to support that maturation and development, the cells in the gut require fat and protein (as these nutrients are the foundation for every cell in the body and the majority of the cells in the body are found in the gut). This points to the significance and importance of the gut, if 90% of the cells of the body belong to the gut flora and 85% of the body's immune cells reside there, shouldn't the vast majority of the things we do to support our health focus on preserving the health on that environment?
The foods that challenge a less than optimal gut, an infant's gut, are sugars of all kinds including complex carbohydrates. These are foods that should not be introduced first and these comprise all grains and legumes, and all refined and processed foods. I believe there is a place for grains in a healthy diet but only if they are appropriately prepared through soaking or fermentation, and only down the track for a child entirely based on their level of health.
Grain consumption is not appropriate for any child with any acute or chronic health issue.
With first foods that are based on quality fats and proteins, maximum nutrition will be derived from the foods eaten and optimal development will be supported. Minerals need fat to be properly absorbed and healthy fats are crucial to support every cell in the body, as are proteins.
To understand more about what it takes to create lasting health and happiness for your child visit http://www.realhealthykids.com to buy the book and join our weekly newsletter with relevant and current information and research and tasty recipes.
Real Healthy Kids has been founded by Sally Gray ND and is committed to providing the relevant education needed to create improved health outcomes for children from preconception and birth onwards.
Sally has specialised in Natural Child Health and is an experienced and recognised Nutritionist, Naturopath and GAPS Practitioner running a busy clinic and presenting a range of workshops to educate families on all issues relating to child health. Sally also consults privately in her clinic and offers distant consultations via skype.
Sally's book, "Nourishing Your Child for Health & Happiness" provides a blueprint for families to follow to create lasting health and happiness for their children and address underlying health issues that can impact their future potential.
Join her weekly newsletter inspiring families to create healthy choices and rewrite the course of your family's health. Visit http://www.realhealthykids.com to sign up now.