The maintenance of good health is not merely the absence of poor health. It is during the formative years of childhood growth and development that independent attitudes and behaviour patterns are established, both physically and emotionally. This is a time when positive nutritional foundations need to be taught and encouraged for future years; a time of growing dietary independence and a time of special nutritional needs. The nutritional guidelines presented to children during this time of life profoundly influence their health profile and food choices for years to come.
During these years, the importance of balanced nutrition is obvious. It is also a time of life when peer pressure can influence children in their choices of fast food, confectionary and other less desirable food groups. Parents and guardians need to be aware of those factors that directly contribute to even mild obesity.
Surveys have shown that over 80% of people between the ages of 12 and 18 are affected in some way by acne. Sound nutritional foundations laid down in earlier life help to reduce the potential for this and similar skin complaints by reducing those undesirable foods that contribute to poor skin condition. We need to remember that the skin is the largest organ of the body, and it is also involved with the body’s water balance. Confectionary, bakery products and other prepared foods often contain refined and artificial sugars and sweetening agents, and an excess of these is considered damaging to skin.
Much has been written regarding the adverse health factors associated with fast foods. While they can be enjoyable, they do not usually enhance optimum health. It is good to consider fast foods as one would a bank account, in that it is fine to indulge, so long as our immune system is sufficiently in credit. Some of the fats and other additives used in fast foods can contribute to skin eruptions.
High consumption of milk beverages is associated with poor skin condition and even forms of dermatitis including eczema.
Most commercial hair shampoos and other hair preparations contain chemicals that are not only associated with poor hair growth, but that can also contribute to skin allergies, and are known to have detrimental effects on the eyes. Ninety per cent of commercial shampoos contain undesirable chemicals, such as sodium lauryl sulphate and propylene glycol, which are associated with skin allergies and dermatitis, and dry skin has also been related to some of the detergent additives.
Many toothpastes and mouthwashes also contain chemicals that can contribute to poor skin and also allergies.
Table of Beneficial Nutritional Supplements
This information is offered as an introduction to supplements, herbs, foods and substances known to help with children between the ages of 9 - 13. This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and it is suggested that sound advice is taken by an appropriately qualified practitioner.
SUPPLEMENT SUGGESTIONS FOR CHILDREN AGE 9 TO TEENS
|FIRST CHOICE SUPPLEMENTS
||1 twice daily
||5 days a week
||5 days a week
||5 days a week
||Essential Fatty Acid Complex
||5 days a week
||5 days a week
||5 days a week
||One month course
Cereal grains whole brown rice, barley, rye, buckwheat, oats, oatmeal
Vegetables sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, miso, soya bean tofu, beetroot, celery, parsnip, carrot, cucumber, turnip
Fruits freshly squeezed & diluted lemon juice, apples, dried figs, apricots, ripe bananas, avocado, blueberries, raisins, dates, olives
Legumes dried peas, soybeans, haricot beans, chick peas, butter beans, lentils, black beans, green peas
Teas, Herbs & Spices sarsaparilla, ginger, parsley, basil, green tea, turmeric, camomile, peppermint
Nuts & Seeds sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachio and pine nuts
Fungi Reishi mushrooms
Fish oily fish (except mackerel), tuna, haddock, anchovy, and prawns
Dairy three to four modest portions of organic live yoghurt per week
Meats organic chicken, lamb
Additional Foods molasses
Cereal grains refined cereals, refined flour products
Vegetables excess garlic
Fruits orange, orange juice, grapefruit & grapefruit juice
Legumes soya milk
Teas, Herbs & Spices
Nuts & Seeds old Brazil nuts and high intake of peanuts
Poultry battery chicken, hens’ eggs
Meats pork & pork products, reduce intake of proteins from red meat, salami
Dairy cow’s milk, reducing dairy to a minimum, reduce non-organic cheese
Fats hydrogenated fats, refined cooking oils, fennel oil, trans-fatty acids, low fat foods
Food Additives tartrazine, artificial sweeteners, sulphates (preservative)
Beverages avoid excess caffeine & alcohol; avoid artificially sweetened drinks. See Additional Comments below.
Avoid low fat foods, refined carbohydrates, white sugar (sucrose), high additive processed foods, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, pickled foods
Cooking methods fried foods, barbequed foods
- As part of a healthy lifestyle, it is well understood that smoking is deleterious to good health.
- Being aware of appropriate weight management is also well understood.
- Less well discussed in relation to good health, however, is the importance of our feelings and emotions. Lack of self-esteem is so often associated with poor eating and lifestyle habits. All of us have positive aspects to our life, and focusing on these will improve our well-being.
- It is important that attention is paid to the balance between acid-forming and alkali-forming foods. The optimum balance is around 60% alkali-forming and 40% acid-forming. [See Acid-Forming and Alkali-Forming Food Charts and Guidelines on this site].]
- Adopt a diet based on organic wholefoods, vegetables, fruits and grains.
- Raw foods such as salads and fruits should be about 20% of the daily food intake for optimum health benefits.
- There is benefit in eating in a specific order: fresh ’live’ foods first such as salads to prepare the digestive system. Next follow cooked vegetables, then proteins. Anything starchy should be last. Eating in this order ensures food enters the digestive system in order of digestion time.
- Chew foods slowly and thoroughly, as this increases their nutritional benefits, particularly as we get older.
- Research has shown that reducing intake of dairy products in later life is beneficial.
- It is best to reduce red meat within the diet to occasional intake. As a general guide, the best meat sources are lamb, and with regard to poultry, properly-fed and organically-reared chicken.
- White fish are generally the better option. Coastal fish such as mackerel are best reduced, as they tend to contain more of the undesirable toxic pollutants.
- As the years progress it is sensible to reduce the total intake of refined sugars.
- Avoid dehydration - take plenty of fresh water. Good quality still mineral water from a glass container is the superior form; though a good tap filter is also satisfactory.
During exercise, the body loses up to 3 litres and it is good to remember that muscles are composed of 70% to 75% water.
Adequate water intake is known to help reduce the feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
Increased intake of water can help to reduce weight.
- Foods cooked in aluminium cookware reduce water’s ability to be used by the body.
- Avoid high intake of beverages containing caffeine, e.g. excess coffee, artificially sweetened fizzy (carbonated) and still drinks, and soft drinks high in sugars ending in ’-ose’ such as ’sucrose’, ’glucose’ and ’fructose’.
- Take alcohol only in moderation as it can aggravate negative symptoms. Good quality organic wines can contribute to good health, spirits, beers and lagers less so. Organic red or white wine can be taken, but no more than 1 glass a day is suggested. Spirits should be avoided for a period of at least four months after dietary reform, and beer kept to an absolute minimum.
- Take exercise as much as possible out of doors in clean air. Prolonged exercise in air conditioning with artificial lighting should be no more than an hour at one time.
Isotonic exercise has been found beneficial in reducing muscle weakness.
- Sunlight has a beneficial effect on the whole person, and is also known to alleviate the experience of fatigue that can also occur with extended periods of exposure to artificial lighting.
Wearing sunglasses can reduce energy levels, as they block out some beneficial rays that can actually enhance energy.
- Avoid shampoos and soaps containing Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.
Additional Help & Support
A health review with a medical homeopath is also an additional positive health step.
It is not commonly talked about, but adequate water and hydration help regulate weight.
An adequate intake of magnesium and selenium as in the Multi-Vitamin & Mineral formula can help remove some waste materials from the body that are known to contribute to body odour.
Full spectrum fluorescent lighting is known to help create a calming effect within children, whereas the more standard forms of fluorescent lighting do not help.
Natural sunlight also helps prevent hyper-activity. However, over-exposure to sunlight can exacerbate it.