A good diet starts from infancy

Was talking to mom of this lil cutie in one of our usual chats about diet, exercise and how food impacts wellness. He was so cute that I asked for permission to use his pic in my blog. Isnt he cute!!!

The confusion about what to feed infants, how to feed infants and how to be nutritionally safe is fraught with confusion. Should you give babies gluten, should you withhold, how about nuts, how about...?!!!

Studies have shown that what we choose to feed our children has long term consequences. We know now that teenage weight gain, high cholesterol, diabetes are all problems that start from infancy and what we feed our kids determines their allergy/asthma propensity, weight gain risk and subsequently their risk of diabetes and that all of this can be set in stone before we are even aware of what we are doing. Does your child have a lot of ear infections??? Could it be due to a milk protein intolerance?

Studies show that excessive use of antibiotics leads to reduced gut flora, inflammation, future weight gain, and that children iwth a history of multiple antibiotics tend to have leaky gut, gut intolerance, gluten intolerance/allergies later on in life. Child eating too much chicken nuggets, mac n' cheese, sugar. Did you know that all of these are likely to cause gut issues down the line due to exposure to trans fats, which harden arteries, raise inflammatory mediators, contribute to autoimmunity from excessive inflammation, and preferentially select for pathogenic gut bacteria which make less 'good' nutrients. Your infant may even have gluten or dairy intolerance that may present as colic, crying spells, irritability and poor sleep.

So what should you feed your new bub to set them up for life...simply, stay as natural as possible - greens and colored veggies, fruit ( not too much due to the glucose/fructose content). Children do not have a sweet tooth. We teach them to require sugar in their diet. Avoid sweets even as a treat - no, that doesnt make you cruel, it makes you a loving parent. Teach them to prefer natural sweets instead - blend fruits and freeze them in ice cube trays and give that as a icy pop, give an apple, or pear, grapes, watermelons etc as snacks. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate fruit slices and veggie slices and give them veji-jerki instead, a healthier snack. Next time your child requests icecream, try fruit slushies or sorbets made at home. Try it yourself, eat some dehydrated beetroot, mango, apple slices. They are delish and full of antioxidant goodness, Just like how we've taught our kids to abhor cigarettes and made a difference in smoking uptake in children in just 15 years, teach them to desire a healthy snacks in favor of processed foods and watch them thrive.

If you have a child with lots of colds, sore throats and ear infections, hold off on the antibiotics. Try Vit C, and zinc supplementation for colds and flus which boosts immunity, reduces viral infectivity and shortens viral infection episodes. Vit D, B12 (methylcobalamin) are all important to curb viral infections. There are supplement drops that contain these vitamins and can help your child fight off infection.

Try using these techniques and see how your infant responds and remember no two children are the same. Learn from your infants unique biology and support his growth naturally.

For more information on how to support your child's growth naturally, book a functional medicine appointment with us at AIMHI or visit our colleagues at Embrace Life in North Lakes, where natural methods of mothering your infant/child are supported and you can meet with a naturopathic dietician for more information.

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Tel: 07 2102 4460

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