Published: 08/15/2018 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
If there’s just one thing that all parents want, it is so see their children healthy and happy, running around without any ailments that stop them from having fun, exploring, and inventing their own world.
However, wanting sometimes isn’t always enough. Illnesses in children seem to get worse and worse, and allergies, respiratory and stomach problems, headaches, etc., can all prevent children from enjoying what should be their period of growth.
There are several opinions regarding what kind of diet is the best at keeping children healthy. But the truth is, keeping kids healthy is rather easy. In fact, they barely have to do anything to be healthy, health is the body’s natural state. This doesn’t mean that kids aren’t going to cough or sneeze. Their little bodies are in a time of growth, they are forming their systems – including their defense mechanisms – and it is generally quite normal that they have certain reactions throughout this adaptation process, like coughing and having colds. Even fever and headaches are the body’s reaction to different factors.
The problems come in, however, when certain natural laws are broken, and when they begin to develop harmful or excessive health habits. This is principally true when their diets contain very little nutritional quality, which provokes imbalances and weakening of the body’s functions. This leaves room for what is known as “chronic illnesses”, persistent colds, coughs that keep coming back, headaches, rashes, and “bad” moods (constant tantrums, screaming, apathy, frequent anger, etc.), among other things. Even those these symptoms are not categorized as a true illness, they are indeed a sign of the child’s interior discomfort.
Here we will talk about 5 wonderful pieces of advice that will help keep your child’s body healthy, and in optimum condition. You can even allow them a few special sweet treats with them. This advice is fitting for the majority of youth, and can be adapted to special diets.
5 Dietary tips
1. Every morning, try to give your child citrus fruit or citrus juice, for their first food of the day. This will help cleanse their body of toxins. It is important that this be their first food of the day, as this is when the body is full of loosened waste from overnight. The best thing to do is to give them the juice in the morning, and then wait for 20 minutes before giving them any other food. This will allow the cleansing powers of these fruits to take effect. If they go to school, you can give them their juice before they get dressed, so that by the time they eat breakfast, the 20 minutes will have already passed.
2. Avoid white sugar and its derivatives: sugar is one of the most harmful “foods”, and also one of the most consumed by children. Sodas, candy, and even canned foods like tomatoes or fruits in syrups, contain a lot of sugar. This not only causes cavities in teeth, but also inhibits proper nutrient absorption. It is an extremely powerful nervous system irritant. It is very important that your child does not drink soda at dinnertime. The sugar contained therein ferments food before it has a chance to be absorbed by the body. Processed sugar robs the body of minerals and weakens essential organs, an also causes and endless list of consequences that are not at all good for the body. It is true that sugar is necessary for several of the body’s functions, but the sugar that the body truly needs is glucose from fruits and other natural foods, and not processed sugar. It is a huge offense that the media doesn’t communicate just how harmful this “food” is. It is sold and included excessively in foods, especially in boxed cereals that so many children eat for breakfast or dinner. They frequently disguise the sugar as something else, like sucrose, fructose, etc. So if you’re going to give your children cereal, lean towards those that do not contain sugar, and add fruit or honey to them. You can develop a taste for unsweetened foods, the problem is making children used to all things containing sugar. This is not only addictive, but kids will want more and more sugar each time.
3. One fresh fruit juice a day: It doesn’t necessarily matter very much what the child eats, or his/her parents’ habits. What does matter is that the child receives sufficient vitamins and minerals, and vegetables greatly contribute to this balance. Getting children used to vegetable or fruit juices from an early age is a task that their bodies will thank you for. It’s best to give them a glass of juice in the afternoon, and to make the juice with different vegetables each day. The child will not grow bored of this, and little by little, they’ll even start asking for it. They will feel satiated and will not ask for extra treats. We suggest using carrots as the base of these juices.
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4. Drink water: It is important that children drink enough water, so the body is always well hydrated. Water can come from fruit, and lightly sweetened with honey of brown sugar.
5. Candy: The best candies for children are undoubtedly fruits, granola bars (with seeds), vegetables with salt and lemon, and bread with honey, etc. This sounds boring because TV puts ideas in their heads with the spectacular way they advertise. They imbue them with the idea of needing to eat all sorts of products, adding stickers and other things for incentive to eat them. However, parents need to be well aware of this, and negotiate with their children. Try not to buy candies with a lot of coloring, sweeteners, and chemical additives. Try to always offer alternatives, like apples, peaches, nut bars, almonds, marzipan, vegetable with salt and lemon. Have them in sight to offer when they’re watching TV, so they develop a taste for fresh and healthy foods.
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