5 Important nutrients for Kids (Including why I love Immunped)Jul 03, 2018
As a functional medicine doctor and mom of 4, I understand how difficult it can be with ensuring your child eats nutritious foods all the time.
There might be points in time they've only been eating one colour of the rainbow, or a single texture, and you rightfully are thinking, "Maybe I should supplement their diet!"
For this month's blog post I have compiled my top essential supplements for the modern-day baby and child.
It is unfortunate that many mums start out low in Vitamin D (despite it being free from sunshine) and as a result pass very little vitamin D to their babies in the womb, and through breastmilk.
This means many babies, especially breastfed babies have low vitamin D, and are often recommended drops by the paediatricians.
Vitamin D is an essential hormone for the building of bones, brains, and hormones.
My ideal upstream strategy is to ensure mummy has had enough sunshine during the pregnancy or at least has vitamin D in her supplement regime, and to have naked babies out in the sunshine more often.
However, this is not always the case and babies need D supplementation.
From birth til around age 3: DHA is most important for a growing brain.
For kids and adults aged 3 onwards: a mix of DHA and EPA is required.
This is found in any food that is orange in colour, such as sweet potato, papaya, carrots, pumpkins and is crucial for skin and tissue growth, eyes and immunity.
Cod liver oil is therefore a wonderful supplement to take that contains the above 3 nutrients (Vitamin D, Omega 3, Vitamin A) especially if your family hasn't been having enough fish on a twice weekly basis.
The taste may be the limiting factor, but if you start young, your child may not mind it.
If you live in 2018 and beyond, chances are your gut bacteria is that of "modern man" ie. dysbiotic, from generations of industrial toxins, half a decade of drugs, hormone residues, pesticides and a "germ-phobic" and antibiotic loving lifestyle.
This means that the balance of good and bad bacteria is totally off. Therefore, parasites, yeasts and unwanted bacteria easily colonise the gut and give inflammation, food intolerances and further chronic problems further down the line.
What can we do?
Ideally, I recommend home made yoghurt and kefir.
It is also as important to eat other fermented foods such as tempeh and sauerkraut and to eat enough prebiotics in the form of plant fiber to feed our friendly bugs with.
Especially for kids, they also form their microbiota by playing barefoot in the dirt daily!
Because of the still experimental nature of most probiotic strains, I tend to only invest in them during the end of a pretty involved gut protocol.
For the regular child, the above dietary measures are more sustainable practically and financially.
Never to early to start training the taste buds for gut friendly foods!
While Vitamin C seems to have had all the limelight where immunity is concerned, zinc is actually the bigger problem in our society today.
Growing kids have an increased need for zinc, yet may not get enough from red meat and shell fish.
When zinc levels are low, skin, hair, immunity and bones are impacted.
Zinc inhibits viral replication and is perfect when used in the beginning of a viral illness.
Sometimes in deficiency states we can see white zinc spots on the nails, and kids with low zinc tend to have a poorer appetite as it is required in the formation of the digestive enzyme Hydrochloric Acid (HCL).
Zinc and C is a powerful combo where immunity against childhood illnesses is concerned, and I always have this formulation called Immunped by Pediatech with me while we travel.
I also advise families to stock up on this when a child is entering a new childcare or school environment.
This may not completely avoid the cough or cold, but may shorten its duration and reduce symptom intensity.
I am a great fan of Immunped which can be used from as young as 1 years old, has a delicious apple taste and a stable formulation of both vitamin C and Zinc, at therapeutic doses. This is hard to find in a gummy, liquid, or chewable vitamin.
Remember, nothing beats a nutritious diet but this is so handy to have around as an option!
Want to learn more about how to boost YOUR and your family's immunity through effective and safe testing and supplementation?
--> Read more about my signature 4 day self paced program to Kickstart Your Immunity here.