A healthy life starts early. The health and habits developed during childhood can carry with you throughout your life.
I am sure you have heard the expression, "children are our future". When you think about that statement, you realize how true it is. If we look at our "future", what do we see?
I have had quite a bit of experience with children and health issues. My wife and I have been working with kids as teachers for over 15 years and we have 6 kids of our own.
We adopted 5 children from Child Protective Services that were born to mothers who were using drugs and alcohol and who knows what their nutrition level was like. Our kids just like those I see in school have a long list of issues they are dealing with.
Even for the most conscientious parents, it is getting close to impossible to avoid the toxins and hazards of modern life. Our kids are being bombarded with a myriad of chemicals during the most important developmental stages of their lives. It starts in the mother's womb and continues throughout childhood.
These daily health hazards are increasing the incidence of childhood chronic disease, reducing children's health, and creating a society where the next generation is the first one not expected to have an increased lifespan over the previous generations.
A quote from Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., sums up the impact of environment and not genetics being the cause of much of the increase we have seen in chronic disease.
"Recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool as those changes take much more time to occur. They must be due to changes in the environment, including diet and physical activity, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons."
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Evidence to US House of Representatives Committee May 2006
I have seen how taking supplements can help children's health. I have also seen what taking the wrong medicine can do to them.
I have come to the realization that no matter how good their intentions, Doctors don't know everything. Most of them have very little education in nutrition and how it can benefit the body. It is up to us as parents to educate ourselves and work with our physicians to best help our children no matter what their ailment.
Many times it can be an environmental or nutritional problem that is creating the unwanted poor health of our kids as well as us. Many cleaners, disinfectants, soaps and shampoos contain toxic chemicals that can create harmful side affects such as asthma. The EPA (environmental protection agency) warns about the dangers of indoor air pollution.
Like you I understand the challenges of raising children. Giving them a good healthy diet that can include supplements and providing them with a safe non-toxic environment is one step we can take. We have enough to worry about in their lives without creating more problems with their health.
One thing my wife and I have tried with our kids is to start the dinner with a salad. It is like our pre-meal. But to make it more fun for the kids we put everything in little bowls like a salad bar and let them make their own. It takes a little extra setup at first but then its pretty easy and even my picky eaters now like their appetizer.
We have also removed the whole milk from the house along with almost all the sweetened drinks. Even the "sugar-free" types that contain toxic sugar replacements. Water is now our main drink. We invested in a pitcher style water filter to make the water 'taste better' for me and the kids and to remove the harmful toxins that can be found even in tap water.
We aren't fanatics about everything and we still let the kids (and Dad) have a sweet treat or go out to a fast food restaurant, but it isn't all the time. I am a a big believer in taking the little steps we can take and not stressing too much over the other stuff. It really is amazing what a few little steps can do to improve things.
Another thing I have added into our lives and the kids lives are supplements. The more I learn and read about food and nutrition, the more I find that most of the food we buy and eat doesn't have the nutrition we need.
Fresh food really isn't so fresh anymore and the stuff in cans in boxes is very over processed - this means that lots of the good stuff is lost and lots of toxic chemicals are added in.
So even though we are changing some of the foods that make it to our table, it is getting almost impossible to get the kids all the nutrition they need to grow and be healthy.
I started adding a healthy protein shake each morning with a few supplements including a multivitamin. But just like our foods, many of the health and supplement products out there are filled with toxins and chemicals especially those products aimed at kids.
I have noticed a change with my kids. They improved their focus at school. The amount of sick days has gone way down and my little one who had skin problems doesn't have them anymore. So I am a big believer in supplements - well at least the right supplements that have been researched and are safe and effective!
Times have changed from when I was a kid. Our lifestyles and eating habits are much different and so our those of our kids. But it is up to us as parents to change with the times and do what is necessary to keep our kids safe and healthy. Children's health takes work.
Today, we see more and more children with Attention Deficit, overweight problems, dry-problem skin, no energy, and behavioral problems.
A recent study has shown children on Ritalin tend to not have the normal growth as their peers, they are shorter in height. One of the side affects of Adderall could be increased rage and anger, restlessness and excitability. I thought these were some of the things this ADHD drug were supposed to decrease.
Drugs are not always the answer! Nutrition is!
Our children face a lot of issues that we didn't face when we were growing up. They are under stress , just as we, the adults, are under stress. It is becoming evident in children at younger and younger ages.
Our children ARE the "future", so let's be sure they have the nutrition for their brains, muscles and organs. Let's get them started on the right track when they are in the womb. It is time to make the change to give our children their best chance to grow up and become as healthy, strong and intelligent as they can possibly be.
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