Q: Why would a parent want to consider giving an infant or child vitamins, minerals, or supplements?
Sometimes children have digestive issues which can range from gas to not properly digesting food. The latter means they are not getting the proper nutrition from the food which results in poor absorption and will eventually lead to deficiencies in various minerals and vitamins. This becomes a cascade effect because deficiencies in vitamin minerals will ultimately lead to poor health.
Q: What are some very basic vitamins or minerals to give a child and what purpose do they serve?
- Vitamin D3
- Digest Enzymes
- Pro biotics
- Vitamin A
Vitamin D3 can turn on as many as 200 systems in our bodies, so it is a very important vitamin for the immune system to help fight infections. It helps with bone structure and healthy teeth. The body must have Vitamin D to absorb calcium and absorb minerals. It also nourishes the thyroid and feeds the parathyroid. Infants have no immune system when born so it is important to help build their immune system. This is the benefit of adding Vitamin D3 into their systems. There are several types of Vitamin D but D3 is the best known at this time.
Digest Enzymes are chemical substances throughout the digestive tract that break food up and help it absorb into the blood. They promote a healthy digestive system and stimulate energy. There are many different enzymes because there is one for every category of food for example; there is Amylase for starch, Lactase for milk, Maltose for grain and so on. If digestive problems occur right after eating up to 30 minutes this indicates an enzyme problem. An example of when I would suggest digest enzymes might be when an infant develops issues such as gas, colic, chronic spitting up or reflex. Digest Enzymes can be replaced by eating RAW Organic food.
The reason it must be both raw is because food looses its enzymes when cooked, therefore raw food is full of enzymes; organic food has not been irradiated thereby killing the natural enzymes in the food.
Probiotics aka ‘friendly bacteria’ maintain a healthy intestinal flora, which is why they are referred to as the friendly bacteria within the colon. They are necessary to reestablish the new healthy intestinal flora necessary to maintain healthy bowels. The bowel should be 85% good bacteria. When this balance gets ‘out of balance’ many health issue can start to occur. What contributes to this imbalance are the use of antibiotic drugs and the eating of too much meat, sugar, and starch. There are many symptoms in children which might indicate the need for probiotics such as Constipation, diarrhea, Yeast infections-very commonly referred to as Candida, gas, bloating, irritably, mood swings, lethargy, and or rashes. There are several types of probiotics and they are available in different strengths. Therefore, working with a professional such as myself is very important to determine the proper type and amount necessary to correct the imbalanced intestinal flora.
Vitamin A is necessary to help the membranes of the digestive tract remain healthy which creates a healthy colon thereby enabling the colon to stay healthy. It also helps in the proper function of the immune system to help fight infections, frequent colds and or flu. It helps with skin problems too.
Children need to eat nutritious foods which are fresh and not laden with chemicals such as artificial coloring and flavoring which are petroleum and/or coal/tar based. They should eat organic food otherwise they are eating food which is laden with fertilizers and pesticides. Fruit juices should be natural without additives consisting of preservatives, flavoring, coloring, and corn syrup byproducts. All of the added ingredients are hard on the system and are stored in the tissues for a long time and are difficult to remove. Also, they should drink lots of healthy water without flavoring because the body recognizes anything flavored as food and digest it as food instead of water.
Q: Asthma is a common illness today among children. What can a parent do to help a child with Asthma?
I suggest several dietary changes which are necessary to help the body not become stressed such as eliminate sugar, (cow) dairy, and wheat. Eliminate sugar because it compromises the immune system by 60%. This is substantial! Eliminate cow dairy and wheat because they are mucous producing foods which will exacerbate the asthma, making it worse. These foods are extremely important to eliminate when an individual, particularly a child, is having an active asthma attack. Young Children who cannot communicate well are not able to articulate they are having trouble swallowing or breathing. Usually the parent notices the child is in trouble once they are wheezing and then it is too late because the child is already in distress. To be proactive regarding your child’s health eliminate the dairy, sugar, wheat and replace with healthy foods such as carrots or other vegetables and fruit(s).
Your child should drink good quality water (not directly from a tap which is not filtered) and lots of it. To determine how much water an individual needs to take in daily you divide their weight by 2 and that’s how many ounces they need to drink per day. (For example, take a child weighing 54 lbs divide by 2 = 27 ounces of water intake per day over about a 10- 12 hour period) The water keeps things moving which enables the body to eliminate waste. Waste elimination is already compromised in a person who is asthmatic so it is necessary to drink plenty of water to push things out.
Vitamin D3 is necessary to ‘turn on’ the immune system. Probiotics are extremely important to maintain a healthy digest system. It may seem weird to be concerned about the colon when working with a lung issue however; a healthy colon determines the health of the entire body since the body works as a whole.
Essential Fatty Acids are also important which assist in the distribution of calcium to the tissues and the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.
Vitamin A is needed to help the membranes of the digestive tract remain healthy which creates a healthy colon and enables the colon to stay healthy. It also helps in the proper function of the immune system.
Also running a cool steam air humidifier in the child’s bedroom helps keep the membranes in the throat, sinuses and lungs from drying out. This is important because once the membrane’s become dry it can trigger a coughing spell and/or an asthma attack.
Q: Many children get ear infections so what can be done to prevent them, or minimize the symptom once it occurs?
When frequent and or recurrent ear infections occur early in life from infants to age 10, it is usually due to a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet. The inner ear desperately needs these essential fatty acids for proper growth, development and detoxification. Ear infections are more frequent when the Omega 3 fats are outweighed by the Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet, therefore Omegas 3, 6, and 9 are essential. Omegas are also known as Essential Fatty Acids or EFA’s.
Prevention starts with the same dietary changes as I mentioned for asthmatics which are necessary to help the body not become overcome with mucous. These changes would be sugar, (cow) dairy, and wheat. So to remind you, this is because sugar compromises the immune system by 60%. Cow dairy and wheat are mucous producing foods which will make an ear ache become an ear infection or a current ear infection worse due to the increased mucous which will clog the ear canal.
Vitamin D3 can keep the immune system strong to avoid the initial infection and should be increased once an infection occurs to stimulate the immune system further.
Garlic Mullein drops applied into the ear canal is known to help kill foreign matter such as bacteria or virus. The garlic mullein will also loosen any hardened wax if it solidifies and it becomes necessary to try to remove it.
Q: Many children today are diagnosed with learning challenges such as autism, ADD, and ADHD. What do you recommend for these special children?
I suggest Digest Enzymes, because they usually have difficulty digesting food. This malabsorption can lead to leaky gut which leads to what I like to call “brain fog.” What I mean by “Brain fog” is trouble processing information, recalling information and memorizing information. All required and expected of children of all ages. Probiotics, specifically are needed to help with colon health to continue in the proper absorption of food and maintenance of the bodies necessary intestinal flora. Vitamins B5, 6, and 9 specifically in this combination to help with memory, recall, and focus are a must. I also suggest Vitamin B-12 for the stress which accompanies learning and the demands placed on children while in a learning environment since this is where they spend most of their day at school. Vitamin A and Essential Fatty Acids are important for brain function and skin development. Skin issues usually accompanies these learning challenges Amino Acids which are important for mood, sleep, energy levels and stamina, immune system function, and proper neurotransmitter function to help with brain integration. It is very important for the children to stay away from foods and drinks with preservatives, artificial coloring and flavoring, and fast foods which are laden with many chemicals. Also sodas which are loaded with sugar, artificial coloring and flavoring and usually corn syrup products. Meats with nitrites, which is a substances used in the curing of meats, and are usually found in meats such as bologna, salami, hot dogs and other similar meats. These ingredients are difficult for the child to process and only further cloud the brain making it more difficult to think and perform in the classroom.