Not only are our children are most precious possession, they are also an incredible responsibility. The number 1 purpose of most species on this planet including ourselves is to create the next generation, and make it as good as it possibly can be. Are we doing this for our children?
- This could be the 1st generation of children who live shorter lives than their parents.
- The epidemic of obesity and our children
- one of 3 children born after the year 2000 is expected to develop diabetes.
- ADHD, depression and other neurological conditions are becoming increasingly common.
- Youth suicide is a major cause of death in young people.
- Allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema
- and the list goes on.
What we all can do
In a generation where information is it everybody's fingertips, we are still allowing this to happen, and it is our fault. Our children and teens are also building the foundations for their life, and if these foundations are weak it's not surprising that we are developing an unhealthy new generation. The tragedy is that we could so easily fix this with 5 simple steps:
- Caring – if we spend more time with our children, counselling them and talking the way that we used to before the development of television, mobile phones, iPads and gaming machines – we would have a whole different relationship with them. (I remember we had a holiday house near Lake Taupo in New Zealand, and told our children that television didn't reach there. The evenings with games, talking and friendship were magic for us all.)
- Stop poisoning them – our children are being exposed to numerous poisons not only from the world around, but also the food we eat and the drinks. Trans-fats in many processed foods can damage the neurological system as well as the arteries. Allowing dentist to put mercury in their teeth, PCBs dioxins and methylmercury from fish, pesticides and preservatives in our food etc.
If we bring up our children to enjoy good wholesome food, preferably as organic as possible, they will enjoy that for the rest of their lives – "mums food was always best".
- Reducing the sugar in the diet – this is the major cause of obesity and diabetes, and is so easy to stop provided be start it early. Developing a sweet tooth is very hard to undo, but there is no debate that sugar is the major culprit of today's health problems and youth, and to some extent adults.
- Encourage them to exercise – unfortunately most of today's children spend their time in front of TV or gaming machines, and the only muscles they exercise are their thumbs. There is huge evidence that exercise is beneficial for children, and we should encourage them to do this. This may take some of our time, but not only is it crucial for their health, but can be fun for the adults and children as well.
- Provide them with the nutrients they need – it is very difficult to provide children with all their growing bodies require, even if we feed them as well as we possibly can. However we should always try. In most cases however providing optimal levels of all the vitamins, minerals and essential oils to help them build growing bodies is almost impossible, and thus a regular supplement can only be beneficial.
There is good evidence that children provided with all the nutrients, especially omega-3 fish oils improves their mental functioning and even IQ. (with the fact that eating a lot of fish can provide toxic levels of PCBs, dioxins and methylmercury, the only way to achieve this is with quality supplements.)
Children's diseases –
while it is impossible to list all children's diseases in the single page, and many of them can also be applied to the adult diseases listed on the right side, we will mention a few important and common ones.
Infections – infections are part of growing up, and are to some extent essential for our bodies to be exposed to viruses bacteria and fungi so they can develop resistance against these in future. We can however help them through these times.
What doctors can do – we have no treatment for virus illnesses, and while many children are given antibiotics, for the symptoms of flu, doctors are doing their utmost to discourage this. Not only does it increase the risk of developing resistant bacteria, but also is not good for the children and their immunity. If there is a genuine bacterial infection such a streptococcal sore throat, inner ear infection, sinus infection, boils etc. then the appropriate antibiotic is undoubtedly required. It is important to complete the course of antibiotics, not to stop when the infection appears to be subsiding.
What we can do – at this time it's important to boost the body's immune system, making sure that taking all the vitamins and minerals they need, possibly boosting this with some grapeseed extract, and it is absolutely crucial after a course of antibiotics to take probiotics to recolonise the bowel with good bacteria which have been killed by the antibiotics. High doses of vitamin C if taken early in a virus infection can often reduce the severity of the illness.
ADHD and similar illnesses – in most cases doctors reach for a prescription of Ritalin,which is much easier than approaching the cause of the condition. Ritalin is a drug of addiction, and does have significant side-effects and the long-term effects on children we still really don't know.
Dealing with social problems, school problems, etc. is very difficult, but essential in helping these children, and coming home to a caring loving warm family that is willing to listen is crucial. (I would strongly recommend any parent reads "PET" - parent effectiveness training by Thomas Gordon, to learn how to really listen to your children.)
For some children these conditions Have an allergic cause, and simplifying the diet and excluding or reducing sugars, fast foods, food additives etc. can make a big difference.
Nutrition is also very important, and there are many studies showing that the essential fatty acids (fish oils) can make a real difference in these cases. Sometimes nutritional deficiency can also be present, and a good multivitamin and multi mineral and especially extra magnesium can have a significant effect.
Allergies such as asthma and eczema – while doctors have many drugs and creams and inhalers, once again they do not go to the basis of the condition. Good food, removing additives pesticides poisons etc. from the diet, reducing the amount of sugar in the diet can help. Providing their bodies with an excellent multivitamin and multi mineral, omega-3 fish oils and calcium and magnesium is more effective in many cases in preventing these diseases than any other medications.
Our recommendations –
- All children should take a regular children's multi, and a pure children's fish oil supplement. (Most of us recall being fed cod-liver oil as children, it wasn't a bad idea but does give an overdose of vitamin A.)
- For most of the other conditions, continue with this, but maybe add more fish oils and magnesium. Taking a probiotic powder during antibiotic treatment, and maybe once a fortnight can also keep the bowel healthy.
- Spend time with your children, talk to them (read "PET" - parent effectiveness training by Thomas Gordon, to learn how to really listen to your children) and encourage them to exercise, if you join them this will double the benefit.
The Nutritional supplements I use and recommend to my patients
All Children- USANA - USANIMALS and Fish oil (biomega junior), and when needed Probiotics and active calcium chewable.