Supplements for a Healthy Child
By Jennifer Simmons, MD
Your child is growing and developing every minute of every hour of every day. In order to support all the miraculous processes happening, they need to put the right stuff in and avoid the bad stuff, like toxins. The standard american diet of processed food is devoid of the nutrients your child needs in order to be healthy and happy. In order to insure your child is getting what he or she needs, you should
- Follow a whole food, plant rich diet.
- Avoid gluten, sugar, and dairy
- Stick to the clean proteins which are grass fed beef, pasture raised poultry and eggs, and wild caught fish and shellfish. Lions of the sea (Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Tilefish, Shark) should be consumed no more than ONCE A MONTH! They contain far too much mercury for the growing brain.
- Make sure to include healthy fat at every meal. The healthy fats are olive oil, grass fed ghee, avocado oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Coconut oil can be healthy for some, others don’t tolerate it well. Have your children snack on nuts, olives, veggies and hummus. You can make hummus out of anything (beets, carrots, herbs, etc.). It is a great way of getting the veggies in.
Remember that children’s taste buds change frequently so even when you are initially met with resistance, do try again in a few days. We like what we know. The more exposure we have, the more familiarity we have, the more we will like it. For those of you struggling, read From Mac and Cheese to Veggies Please, by Jennifer Scribner.
I believe in food first. In those instances where you can not get your kids to eat 6 servings of vegetables a day, a multivitamin is in order.
Your child should also be getting a fish oil supplement (EPA/DHA). For those of you that are vegans, you can get this from a kelp source, but it is far less effective than the EPA/DHA sourced from fish.
If you live in the cold for 8 months of the year, like we do in the northeast, your child needs vitamin D supplementation.
If you’re doing all of this, and your child is still experiencing difficulties, it may be time to seek out the help of a functional medicine practitioner. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, check out RealHealthMD.com. Otherwise, go to the IFM.org website and find a practitioner near you.
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