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Evaluating New Research on Cesarean C-section & Microbiome

Evaluating New Research on Cesarean C-section & Microbiome

Evaluating New Research on Cesarean C-section & Microbiome

Having a c-section is often a matter of emergency. And so, once mother and baby are out of the operating room, the last thing you want to hear is that a c-section permanently impacts your baby's wellbeing.

For some time now, the health community has been discussing the lack of diversity in the microbiome of infants born by cesarean section.

If a baby is delivered naturally, its intestinal microbiota is already colonised by bacteria and microorganisms. Whereas if a baby is born via c-section, they are said to have gut dysbiosis, which might permanently harm microbiome development.

Interestingly, new research has been published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe that helps us understand more about this process.

Previously, it was believed that babies born via c-section would have an impaired immune system later in life. But the latest research paints a different picture.

One of a more steady developmental trajectory for gut ecosystem development. Rather than the microbiota being permanently impacted by a c-section, there’s a gradual maturation of the gut ecosystem.

The good news is that once the baby reaches five years of age, their gut microbiota has largely normalised.

Bacteria and microbes in the gut are continually evolving, growing and changing. The new research sheds light on a more understandable unfolding of the internal terrain.

How Does a C-section Affect The Microbiome?

As we learn more about the microbiome, we’re dispelling myths. Such as the suggestion that c-section babies are always more likely to develop allergies or obesity.

We now know that a c-section alters the internal microbiome of the baby because they don’t gather the microbes from their mother the same way that they would during a natural birth.

In a UK study of 596 babies born in hospital, researchers compared fecal samples from c-section and vaginal birth.

Finding that initially 80 percent of c-section babies had hospital acquired bacteria, compared with 50 percent of vaginally born babies. 

Similarly to the study I mentioned above, the differences largely disappeared by 9 months. The researchers warn that “We don’t know the long-term consequences of these findings.”

What we do know is that it’s not simply the vaginal birth process that populates the gut microbiota.

By taking samples from both mothers and babies, the researchers were surprised to find that the microbes seemed to be coming from the mother’s gut rather than from the vagina during delivery. 

RelatedThe Most Beneficial Bacteria

Vaginal Seeding & Microbiome Swab

Since we’ve all become fascinated by the microbiome, many bizarre practices have become popular, such as fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs) and vaginal seeding. 

The idea is that you can take a microbiome from another person and implant it in the anus or the mouth. FMT has been found to cure people suffering with bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. diff)

Vaginal seeding has gained popularity because of the information that has been released regarding the stunted microbiome of a c-section baby. 

The idea is that the baby should have received its first dose of microbes as it passed through the birth canal. Vaginal seeding is when a swab is taken from the mother’s vagina before a c-section.

The swab is then wiped over the baby’s mouth or face. This practice is intended to help populate the baby’s gut with healthy microbes.

New research has discovered the faecal samples of both mothers and babies were similar, even in c-sections; rendering the bizarre practice of vaginal seeding more or less pointless. 

Related: Microbiome Health: The Right Environment, The Right Microbial Strains

Do C-section Babies Have Weaker Immune Systems?

Some studies have concluded that birth by cesarean section could impair a baby’s immune system.

The microbes in your gut impact how well your immune system functions, therefore gut dysbiosis due to c-section makes sense – kind of.

Although the gut microbiome of a baby born via c-section differs from a baby born naturally, this difference doesn’t last for long

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause and effect of a weakened immune system, but some studies have suggested that babies born via c-section have weaker immune systems.

“It could be that the immune system of these children is set on a different path early on,” suggests Paul Wilmes, Associate Professor of Systems Ecology at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg.

“We now want to further investigate this link mechanistically and find ways by which we might replace the lacking maternal bacterial strains in caesarean-born babies, e.g. by administering probiotics.”

RelatedShining a Light on the Immune System Microbe Connection

Restoring the Normal Microbiota of Cesarean-section Infants

Although the microbiome of a c-section baby differs from those who had a natural birth, it has been found to balance out naturally by the age of 5.

Additionally, breastfeeding helps propagate the beneficial gut bacteria populations.

The question remains – do C-section babies need probiotics? As with most things in life, it’s an individual choice.

The gut microbiome is unique for everyone, and the rate that the microbes populate can vary depending on environment, genome, gender and multiple other factors. 

It’s thought that babies are born with a sterile gut, only to be populated by breast milk, food and their surrounding environment.

If you feel that your baby needs probiotics, the good news is that research has shown that even premature babies can tolerate probiotics.

Alongside breastfeeding, probiotics can populate the gut with health-promoting bacteria.

There are four main strains of probiotics; Lactobacillus, Bifdobacterium, Streptococcus, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

However, research is limited in the effects of each specific strain on children and infants. 

RelatedProbiotics for Women Benefits: Hormone Balance, Menopause, UTIs

In Conclusion

As with many scientific findings, we’re continually learning more about the microbiome and how it’s impacted during childbirth.

What we know for sure is that the microbiome of babies born via c-section is not as well developed as those born naturally. We also know that many strains of bacteria are transmitted via the gut of the mother, suggesting that we might not be born so sterile after all.

The good news is that even if a baby is born via c-section, the latest scientific evidence is showing that their microbiome will develop overtime, aligning with their peers who were born naturally. 

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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11 Foods to Eat and Avoid When Treating ADHD

11 Foods to Eat and Avoid When Treating ADHD

11 Foods to Eat and Avoid When Treating ADHD

Although there is no firm scientific evidence suggesting that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is caused by nutritional problems or diet, certain foods may play a role in reducing or heightening the symptoms. So, there are certain foods you shouldn't eat if you have ADHD.

Following an ADHD nutrition plan that is rich in vitamins and protein can help control some symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But, you should at the same time avoid sugar, common allergens, and artificial flavours.

Here’s what to eat and what to avoid if you have ADHD:

What to Eat For Symptom Control

The fact is, deficiencies in certain food types can exacerbate symptoms of ADHD in children and adults.

This is of course a vicious circle, since “children with ADHD may be at risk for a variety of nutrient deficiencies due to the attentional demands required to sit through a meal to obtain adequate levels of nutrient intake.”

Fortunately, an ADHD diet that contains adequate levels of the right food types actually optimises brain function.

Such foods include:

1. Protein for ADHD Brain Function

Protein-rich foods — such as lean beef, fish, pork, poultry, eggs, nuts, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and soy — can help minimise ADHD symptoms.

Foods rich in protein are used by the body to produce neurotransmitters, the chemicals that the brain cells release to communicate with each other. Additionally, protein can prevent blood sugar surges, which often increase impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Since the body manufactures brain-awakening neurotransmitters whenever you eat protein, it’s vital to start your day with a breakfast that contains protein.

Find ways to slip in some lean protein meals during the day too.

Related: A Guide to Plant-Based Protein Foods

2. An ADHD Diet of Balanced Meals

Eating a well-balanced diet, including fruits, vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates has been found to bring ADHD symptoms under control.

Patients with ADHD should always think about their plates when making meals. Some experts recommend that half of the plate should be filled with fruits or vegetables, one quarter with protein, and the last quarter with carbohydrates.

Of course, healthy dietary fats are also incredibly valuable. Fat, after all, makes up 60% of the brain and the nerves that govern every body system.

Eating several daily servings of whole grains rich in fibre also helps to prevent blood sugar levels from surging and then plummeting. If you’re not able to receive adequate levels of all essential nutrients in your diet, doctors recommend taking supplements to correct nutrient shortfalls that heighten ADHD symptoms.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in ADHD Diet

Studies indicate that omega-3s are important for brain and nerve cell function.

study conducted by Sweden’s Göteborg University in 2009 concluded that a daily dose of omega-3s reduced ADHD symptoms by up to 50 percent.

Foods rich in omega-3 include cold-water and fatty fish, such as tuna, sardines and salmon.

Another study suggested that omega-3s tend to break down faster in the bodies of ADHD patients than in those without the condition. Omega-3 fatty acids enhance improvements in mental focus and cognitive function.

RelatedFour Omega-3 Fish Oil Benefits That Will Surprise You

4. Ginkgo and Ginseng in ADHD Diet

Ginkgo and ginseng herbs are natural cognitive activators. They typically act like stimulants, but without the side effects of pharmaceutical ADHD medication.

Adults and children who take these herbs improve on ADHD rating scales and are less distractible and impulsive.

However, Asian ginseng is known to over-stimulate younger kids. Consider switching to American ginseng if that is the case with your child.

5. The Role of Zinc, Magnesium & Iron

Zinc is known to regulate the neurotransmitter dopamine and can make methylphenidate more effective by enhancing the response of the brain to dopamine. Low levels of zinc correlate with inattention.

Similarly, iron is necessary for making dopamine. One study showed low levels of iron in 84 percent of children with ADHD as compared to 18 percent in the control group. Typically, low iron levels correlate with severe ADHD and cognitive deficits.

Like zinc, magnesium plays a critical role in the production of neurotransmitters involved in concentration and attention. It also has a calming benefit on the brain.

6. B Vitamins & Multivitamins in ADHD Diet

Numerous studies suggest that giving supplements to children with low levels of B vitamins improve IQ scores (at least by 16 points) and reduce antisocial behaviours and aggression.

Many drugstore chains offer high-quality, inexpensive store-brand B-vitamin formulations that you can try.

If a child with ADHD is a poor eater or consumes lots of take-out food, soda and chips, it is likely they are not getting the daily recommended level of vitamins and minerals.

Giving a daily multivitamin/multimineral can ensure that they get the right levels no matter how finicky they are.

7. Pycnogenol in ADHD Diet

Pycnogenol is an extract from French maritime pine bark. It has been found to improve hyperactivity and enhance concentration, attention and visual-motor coordination in students with ADHD after one month.

The outcome was based on standardised measures alongside teacher and parent ratings. The herb is also extremely rich in polyphenols, antioxidants known to protect brain cells from free radical damage.

8. Rhodiola Rosea in ADHD Diet

Rhodiola Rosea is made from a plant that grows in the Arctic of the same name. The herb can improve attention, alertness and accuracy.

However, it can be extremely stimulating for young children but can be beneficial for children aged eight to 12.

The herb is most useful for students who have to complete long papers and spend several hours reading.

9. Foods to Avoid with ADHD

There are certain foods that can heighten the symptoms of ADHD. They include:

High-Sugar Foods and Snacks

Multiple studies suggest that some children who have ADHD crave copious amounts of sugar. One study indicated that when hyperactive children consume more sugar, they become more destructive and restless.

A similar study at Yale University also concluded that high-sugar diets heighten inattention in some children.

Some common food items to avoid include fruit drinks or cocktails, which are higher in sugar than 100 percent regular fruit juice. Always scrutinise food labels and avoid any foods or drinks labeled:

  • High-fructose corn sweetener
  • Dextrose
  • Dextrose
  • Rehydrated cane juice
  • Maltodextrin
  • Sucrose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses

10. Food additives

Artificial colours, preservatives and flavours have been found to lead to hyperactivity in some children.

However, the effects vary depending on the age and the type of additive. Based on numerous recent research findings, the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees that eliminating food colorring and preservatives from the diet is a reasonable solution for children with ADHD.

11. Caffeine and Foods That Cause Allergens

Although some studies indicate that small amounts of caffeine may help with some symptoms of ADHD in children, the side effects of caffeine may far outweigh any potential benefits.

Most experts recommend that patients with ADHD should limit caffeine intake or just avoid it altogether. If you take ADHD medication, caffeine can make certain side effects worse.

According to many studies, wheat, gluten, soy and corn can cause some children to lose focus and become more hyperactive. Experts recommend that all children with ADHD should be screened for food allergies before any medication is prescribed for them.

Talk with your doctor about various methods for testing allergies.

The Bottom Line

Overall, a healthful diet may help reduce symptoms of ADHD. Strive to reduce exposure to food additives and artificial colours and instead improve intake of omega-3 fatty acids and valuable micronutrients.

A balanced diet will certainly improve your overall health and nutrition and set you off for a lifetime of good health.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at Fish Oil for Autism: Could EPA, DHA Benefit Autism and ADHD?.

Guest blog by Sara Anderson of The Mango Clinic, a medical clinic that provides world-class healthcare services. Sara has been associated with the healthcare industry for over five years and specialises in medical content.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more

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mother cradling infant baby

Could Probiotics Help to Provide Relief for Infantile Colic?

Could Probiotics Help to Provide Relief for Infantile Colic?

If you're worried about your baby's colic, you're not alone.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 20-25% of babies meet the definition of 'colic' as defined by Wessel's criteria (sudden and extreme outbursts of fussing and crying for three hours or more per day, three days a week). It's also the cause of 10-20% of early paediatrician visits.

Colic can be a common cause for early cessation of breastfeeding and a considerable contributor to postnatal depression. Caring for a baby who constantly cries and cannot be soothed is stressful, tiring and can be downright depressing. It's incredibly upsetting when you're not sure what's going on, or how to help your baby.

Read on to learn about natural solutions that may help.

Colic Symptoms


The new Rome IV criteria define colic as ‘recurrent and prolonged periods of infant crying, fussing or irritability reported by caregivers that occur without obvious cause and cannot be prevented or resolved’.

Symptoms are as follows:

  • Colic can start from a few weeks old and is often over by six months.
  • The APA state that colic ends for 50% of cases around three months, and in 90% of cases by nine months of age.
  • Restless, irritated and hard to comfort and soothe.
  • Going red in the face, looking paler around the mouth or clenching fists while crying.
  • Excessive fussiness, even when not crying.
  • Tension in the body, a tense abdomen, arching of the back, extending of legs or bringing the knees towards the tummy.
  • Loud tummy rumbles and wind.
  • Baby cries more often in the afternoon or evening.
  • It seems like your baby is in pain.

Potential causes and triggers of colic

We are all unique, and often it’s difficult to know what the exact cause is. It may be better to describe colic as ‘colic like symptoms’ as there may be causes with very similar symptoms such as reflux. 

1) Temperament

Sometimes, it can be down to your baby’s personality or sensitivity. La Leche League state that “Some babies are more sensitive than others and need more comforting. It’s not unusual for a baby to cluster feed in the evening both for comfort and to increase milk production, and crying which is labelled as “colic” may simply mean that the baby needs to nurse again.” Sometimes, a baby may still be experiencing discomfort from the birth process. They could also be more sensitive to stimulation.

2) Digestion

Your baby may be struggling to digest food. They could be suffering from wind, find it hard to burp, have acid reflux, or an oversupply of milk. 

3) Gut bacteria

Your baby may have unbalanced gut bacteria. Babies delivered by C-section can be deficient in crucial gut microbes as they have not passed through the birth canal. They can also harbour harmful microbes that are common in hospitals.

A small study supports ‘swabbing’ your baby immediately after C-section with bodily fluids from your birth canal to expose them to all the beneficial microbes. This is still controversial in the medical profession, and further studies are underway.

4) Allergies

Your baby might have food allergies. Milk allergies and lactose intolerance can have similar symptoms to colic. It could also be something that you are eating that your baby is sensitive to. Bottle-fed babies may be intolerant to proteins in their cow’s milk formula. 

5) Nervous system

While their nervous system is still forming, some babies may find it harder to soothe and calm themselves. This should improve once they get a bit older.

6) Underfeeding

Your baby could simply be hungry.

7) Early migraines

Frequent, unexplained crying may be a sign of migraines. One study showed that women with a history of migraines were 2.6 times more likely to have babies with ‘colic’. It could be that a genetic predisposition to migraines may present as colic in infants.

8) Smoking

Babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy and post-delivery are at a higher risk of colic.

Coping strategies and tips on how to calm your baby 

Firstly, let’s look at some coping strategies and tips for parents:

Get support

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your parents, family or friends. You can also speak to your health visitor, call NHS 111 or seek advice from your GP.

Share the load

Share the burden and take turns holding the baby with your partner or a family member.

Meal plan and batch cook

It’s essential to eat well, especially during this time. You need to keep your energy and strength up and immunity strong. Planning your meals and batch-cooking stews, soups and casseroles, portioning them up and freezing them for a later date, can be invaluable when time is short and things are tough.

If you’re not preparing meals during the evening when your baby is more likely to be struggling, you can spend more time with them. If you’re too busy to prepare meals yourself, get help from family members and friends.

Parents’ support groups

 La Leche League is a great option. If you like to do things as naturally as possible, Arnica UK Parents’ Support Network is also a group you could try.

Take a break and breathe 

It’s stressful and hard to keep your cool when you’re at the end of your tether. Take a break whenever you can. If the crying is too overwhelming, pop your baby down somewhere safe, take a beat, walk away for a minute or two and breathe.

Getting outside in the fresh air for a moment is always good. When you can, ask others to look after your baby and take some time for yourself – have a snooze, take a walk, go shopping. Your mental health, and not feeling too overloaded, is crucial during this time.

If you’re worried that you’re going to harm yourself or your baby, immediately ask for help.

Sleep

Sleep deprivation is the worst, and you need to get as much rest as possible. Try sleeping when your baby sleeps, so you are more able to cope when your baby is awake and struggling.

And here are some tips pertaining to the baby.

Cuddles and love

Stay close to your baby and nurse them whenever they need. Offering the breast will often calm them, especially if there have been prolonged intervals between feeds for whatever reason. Hold them, even in quieter phases. You could try carrying them in a sling while you go about your everyday activities.

Don’t worry about cuddling them too much, it won’t make them more clingy – and they need you to comfort them while they’re going through this. For more detailed information on tried and tested calming techniques visit La Leche League GB.

Feeding and digestion

Your baby could be gulping and taking in too much air while feeding. A shallow latch or tongue-tie could be the reason why. They may also be guzzling at the breast and eating too fast if they are hungry. Sit or hold your baby upright to help stop them from swallowing air or change bottles and bottle teats. Feed them more frequently if they are hungry.

You can find helpful information on La Leche League about positioning and attachment and tongue-tie. Be sure to wind them properly. You could also try gently rubbing their tummy and moving their legs to encourage digestive flow.

Allergies

If you’re worried that your baby might be intolerant to the proteins in their formula, talk to your GP and seek out an alternative. A breastfeeding mother should be able to eat what she wants, but some have noticed a positive change when they cut suspected allergens out of their diet.

If you have a history of allergies in your family, this may be more likely. If so, you may notice that when you eat a particular food, your baby’s colic-like symptoms are worse. Perhaps they are also suffering from hives, eczema, a rash, sore bottom, dry skin, wheezing, coughing, congestion, cold-like symptoms, irritated, itchy eyes, ear infections or diarrhoea.

Common allergens include wheat, dairy, soy, nuts, eggs and peanuts. If you are concerned and would like to try eliminating certain foods from your diet, seek the advice of your GP, a health professional or nutritional therapist first. You want to ensure that you are still eating a balanced diet for both you and your baby. 

Dietary stimulants

Some mothers have also had success cutting stimulants like caffeine, chocolate and spices out of their diet.

Other forms of comfort

Take your baby for a walk in the pram or a drive, play some quiet, soothing music, sing to them, rock them over your shoulder. Gently sway them in the pram or their basket, try bathing them in a warm bath.

Some gentle white noise in the background might also help (if you don’t have a white noise machine, try leaving the hoover or clothes dryer on, you could also try the radio or TV on low). Some parents find that using a pacifier helps. Try laying them on their tummy and gently rub their back.

Progurt Probiotics have had success with colicky babies

Colic is generally harmless with no long-term health problems. But some researchers have found that, for some children, colic might be an early expression of common childhood disorders including ‘recurrent abdominal pain, allergic and psychological disorders’.

There may also be a link between crying beyond the usual colic period, and later sleep and behavioural problems and allergies.  

This is interesting, as compromised microbiome and poor gut health have strong links with inflammation and allergies, digestive disorders, sleep disruption, and mood

According to Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, founder of the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), improving gut health can also help to alleviate symptoms of autism, ADHD, ADD and Dyslexia. Although there are many sceptics out there, her book has helped countless parents to help relieve their children’s symptoms.

In terms of colic, creating the right gut environment could be the key to relieving your baby’s symptoms. Probiotics may be a way to achieve this, and Progurt has had some success with colicky babies. 

What’s special about Progurt is that they have a unique, cutting-edge range of effective gut care supplements designed to restore and maintain a healthy and balanced gut environment. For an optimally functioning gut, it’s not just about probiotics but also the right pH and electrolyte balance, temperature, oxygenation and circulation.

Most probiotics on the market come from bovine strains which are not indigenous to humans. Progurt probiotics are more specific to us than those derived from an animal source, as they use Human Probiotic Isolates, identical to those found in a healthy human gut from birth. Perfect for your little one should they lack any essential gut bacteria.

These are among the most advanced probiotics you’ll find. They are clinically tested and have an exceptionally high strength of one-trillion colony-forming units to populate your gut. Most off-the-shelf probiotics contain a mere fraction of that figure.

The beauty of taking these human strains is that once your baby’s gut has populated effectively, they should remain established, and you don’t have to keep supplementing. However, should their healthy gut environment be disrupted due to ill health or the need for medication, for example, they may require a maintenance dose to re-colonise.

**Progurt Probiotic Sachets are suitable for use by children 12 months and over. For those under 12 months, Progurt recommends that the mother takes them, and the baby receives the benefits through natural breastfeeding. If your baby is on formula, put a little bit of the probiotic powder on your finger and let your baby suck it. They are also safe to take during pregnancy

You can find out more about the rest of the Progurt range here

Conclusion

Generally speaking, colic starts when a baby is a few weeks old and stops around six months of age. The cause is not well understood, and other conditions like reflux can manifest with similar symptoms and be mistaken for colic. Depending on your baby, there could be various reasons why they are experiencing colic-like symptoms. 

There are different caring techniques you can use to console and calm your baby; it’s a case of trying things out to see what the most effective ones are. Websites like La Leche League have lots of helpful information. You can also consider and address potential causes too. Remember to seek advice from a health professional, and if you are at all worried about your baby’s symptoms, contact your GP or call NHS 111.

It can be beyond stressful to care for your baby when they are in such distress, so it’s just as important to look after your health and wellbeing during this time. Don’t underestimate what you’re going through. For a mother, tending to a colicky baby can lead to postnatal depression, so don’t try to be supermum or be afraid to ask for help. Be sure to gather up support, get your partner, family or friends to pitch in whenever possible and try to eat and sleep well. Take regular breaks and remember to breathe.

Probiotics may help to relieve your little one’s colicky symptoms, and Progurt probiotics have had some success in this area, so it may be worth giving them a try.

Written by Rebecca Rychlik, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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woman holding her baby close

5 Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mother

5 Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mother

Breastfeeding is a topic often under discussion, with people having varying opinions and attitudes on the subject. Every aspiring parent must at one point think about how they will approach this vital stage of their child’s development, making whether or not to breastfeed a question commonly pondered by young parents.

Although circumstances may force some parents or caregivers to substitute breast milk with other nutrition sources such as infant formula, it is advisable that children be breastfed for at least their first six months.

The importance of the breastfeeding process to both infant and mother goes beyond mere nutritional benefits. The availability of equipment such as breast pumps, meanwhile, makes it possible for the child to benefit from breast milk without having to be breastfed.

Below you'll find five science-based advantages that breastfed children have over their bottle-fed counterparts.

1. An Ideal Source of Nutrition for Babies


According to medical experts, the recommended length of time is six months of exclusive breastfeeding, after which breastfeeding should continue for at least one year with the gradual introduction of other foods.

Breast milk contains the necessary nutrients required for the development of the infant especially in the first month, with their composition changing as per the changing needs of the baby.

In the first days after birth, the breast milk is produced with lots of colostrum; a thick and yellowish fluid high in proteins and other beneficial compounds which helps in the development of the infant’s rather immature digestive tract.

After the digestive system is developed, the breast now starts to produce milk with lower colostrum in larger amounts for the development and growth of the baby.

2. Breast Milk Contains Important Antibodies


In addition to vital nutrients, breast milk also equips the baby with important antibodies that help in boosting their immunity.

Colostrum – the first milk containing high protein, other nutrients and low sugar – is a source of large quantities of Immunoglobulin A (IgA) and other important antibodies.

After the mother is exposed to pathogens like bacteria and viruses, antibodies are produced which are then secreted in breast milk and passed on to the infant.

The IgA produced forms a protective layer around the throat, digestive system and nose of the baby, shielding them from any pathogens that could cause illnesses.

While baby formula may contain some of the nutrients required by the developing infant, it does not contain antibodies. For this reason, breastfed babies are less vulnerable to health issues such as diabetes, cancer, pneumonia and other infections.

3. Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Disease


Especially true of exclusive breastfeeding – where only breast milk is given to the baby – there is a long list of health benefits experienced by breastfed babies.

Below are some diseases and illnesses whose likelihood of occurrence is highly reduced by breastfeeding according to PubMed Central:

• Respiratory tract infections: A baby breastfed for more than four months has a reduced risk of being hospitalised due to these infections by up to 72%.

• Middle ear infections: More than three months of breastfeeding exclusively reduces the risk of these infections by 50%, whereas breastfeeding together with other foods reduces it by 23%.

• Gut infections: The risk of gut infections is reduced by up to 64%, with these reductions evident for up to two months after the baby is weaned.

• Colds and infections: There is a lower risk – up to 63% reduction – of babies exclusively breastfed for six months getting colds and throat or ear infections.

• Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): In the first month after breastfeeding, there is a 50% reduced chance of the baby suffering from SIDS, while for the first year the risk is reduced by 36%.

On top of the reduced risk of the aforementioned diseases, breast milk also limits their severity.

Related: The Benefits of Probiotics During Pregnancy to Mother and Child

4. Breastfeeding Helps with Weight Maintenance

A baby that is breastfed will gain weight in a healthy manner, reducing the likelihood of childhood obesity. According to studies, babies raised on formula have a 15-30% higher chance of childhood obesity than their breastfed counterparts.

The duration of breastfeeding is also an important factor, with the likelihood of childhood obesity reducing by 4% for each month the baby feeds on breast milk.

The healthy weight gain could be explained in terms of the beneficial gut bacteria – breastfed babies have a higher number, improving their fat storage. Breastfeeding also increases the amount of leptin, an important hormone for the regulation of fat storage and appetite in the system.

Babies who have been breastfed have a greater ability to regulate their intake of foods. They are better adapted to limiting their eating only to the satisfaction of hunger, a healthy eating pattern which reduces their risk of being overweight.

Related: Seven Great Ways to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

5. Breastfeeding Makes Children Smarter

The brains of breastfed babies develop differently from those of formula-fed infants. This is explained in terms of the intimacy, eye contact and physical touch associated with the process.

Studies also indicate that breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and a lower likelihood of exhibiting behavioural and developmental problems.

These effects are especially evident in preterm babies who have a predisposition to developmental issues.

Related: Autism in Infants – Signs, Symptoms and Suggested Solutions

Conclusion

We hope we have demonstrated that there are numerous reasons why you should breastfeed your baby, if you have a chance. The effects are not limited to the infant either, as mothers who breastfeed experience a higher rate of weight loss and reduced stress levels, among other benefits.

Mothers or caregivers unable to breastfeed should not worry, however, since they could use breast pumps to give the baby access to much-needed breast milk.

The current official UK advice states that women should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from before pregnancy up to 12 weeks, and 10mcg of vitamin D daily throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. While folic acid helps reduce the risks of birth defects such as spina bifida, vitamin D improves bone and muscle health in mother and baby.

Author bio: Marie Burke is an employee of O’Flynn Medical, one of Ireland’s biggest healthcare equipment providers. They provide healthcare advice and services to both the commercial and private sector.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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Omega-3 Fish Oils Could Help to Boost Your Child’s Brainpower

Omega-3 Fish Oils Could Help to Boost Your Child's Brainpower

Essential omega-3 fatty acids are called 'essential' because we can't make them ourselves and have to get them from food. These fats don't just come from fish. You can also find them in nuts, seeds, plant oils such as olive oil, some vegetables such as leafy greens, and grass-fed animal products.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are two omega-3 fats that are specifically linked to brain health. DHA, in particular, is critical for healthy foetal development of the nervous system and eyes. It may also improve the hand-eye coordination of toddlers and potentially raise I.Q.s in children.

The problem is that the omega-3 fatty acid provided by plant foods and grass-fed animal fats comes in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). This has many health benefits, including energy production, but it has to convert to EPA and DHA in our bodies – and the conversion rate is relatively low.

Marine omega-3 fats are the most available source of EPA and DHA which our bodies don't have to convert. So, to ensure you and your children are getting enough EPA and DHA in your diets, you need to consume oily fish or fish oil supplements.

Some interesting research results

There are conflicting opinions when it comes to how effective fish oils are for your child’s brain health and function.

More research is clearly needed, but there have been some compelling results worth mentioning, and a few of them are listed below.

As always, we encourage you to delve deeper and do some personal exploration to form your own opinion. 

Fish oil consumption during pregnancy

1) One small 2006 study included 98 pregnant women who were supplemented with either 4g of fish oils or 4g olive oil daily from 20 weeks until birth.

Eighty-three mothers completed the trial and only non-smokers and those who ate less than two portions of oily fish per week were included. Once their children reached two and a half years of age, their growth and development were measured using validated tests.

Of the 72 assessed children, those whose mothers had taken fish oils scored higher for comprehension, average phrase length and vocabulary. They also had significantly higher scores for hand-eye coordination.

These results appeared to have no relation to other influencing factors such as the mother’s age or duration of breastfeeding. The researchers also stated that their findings showed relatively high doses of fish oils in the second half of pregnancy do not seem to have any adverse effects on neurodevelopment or growth.

2) A review of eight research articles concluded that consuming oily fish once or more per week during pregnancy increased positive foetal neurodevelopmental outcomes (related to growth, brain development or central nervous system development of their babies). 

3) In 2004, research suggested that babies born to mothers with increased blood levels of DHA at birth had advanced attention spans well into their second year. During their first six months, these infants were also two months ahead of those born to mothers with lower DHA levels.

Fish oil consumption in infancy and childhood

1) Although they mentioned study disparity, researchers analysing the results of several trials concluded that omega-3 fats, particularly DHA, may improve brain function and mood in children.

They may enhance cognitive development, learning, memory and speed of performing cognitive tasks. It also appears that children with low literacy ability and those who rarely consume DHA benefit most from having increased omega-3s in their diet.

2) Another review of 15 trials looked at the relationship between DHA and learning and behaviour in healthy children.

The reviewers concluded that while the studies were diverse, and there were inconsistencies, overall, there appeared to be a benefit between DHA supplementation and brain activity, cognition and behaviour.

Studies also suggested a significant role for DHA in school performance. In their opinion, healthy children’s brains might benefit from increased DHA intake.

Studies imply that inadequate levels of DHA could be detrimental to learning and behaviour in otherwise healthy children. 

3) A twelve-month micronutrient study involving nearly 800 six to ten-year-old schoolchildren, split between Australia and Indonesia, showed positive results between increased blood DHA and omega-3 fatty acids and verbal learning and memory.

There were similarly positive results in a 2009 trial with seven to nine-year-old children. After eating a daily fish-flour spread versus placebo for six months, they had significantly higher EPA and DHA levels. The children also showed considerably improved verbal learning ability and memory.   

4) In 2012, a study was published which set out to assess whether supplementing with EPA and DHA compared to safflower oil could improve literacy and behaviour in children with ADHD.

After four months of taking the supplements, researchers noted that in the seven to twelve-year-old children taking fish oils, an increased proportion of DHA was associated with improved word reading and lower parent ratings of oppositional behaviour.

This was particularly evident in a subgroup of 17 children with learning difficulties. They also had improved spelling, were more able to divide attention, and had lower parent ratings for hyperactivity, restlessness and overall ADHD symptoms.  

5) Poor sleep negatively affects cognitive function, focus, concentration and learning. It can considerably affect school performance and behaviour in children.

In 2014, researchers examined the link between essential omega-3 fatty acids and sleep regulation in seven to nine-year-olds from mainstream UK schools. Over 16 weeks, they split the children into groups taking an algal DHA supplement versus placebo to see if it might improve the sleep of children who were underperforming in reading.

There were noted associations between lower blood DHA levels and increased sleep disturbance. Parents of those in the DHA group observed improvement in sleep.

In a small subset of 43 children, their sleep was objectively assessed via actigraphy (a way of measuring sleep/wake cycles). In this group, DHA supplementation led to less disturbed sleep and an average of an extra 58 minutes of sleep per night.

Other health benefits of fish oils for your child

If you’re not convinced that fish oils can aid your child’s brainpower, there are still so many benefits to adding them to their diet.

Fish oils play a valuable part in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. They may help with childhood allergies, including asthma and could benefit autism and ADHD.

Some research found that increased EPA (found in fish oils), as well as increased total omega-3 intake, may help to reduce anxiety and shyness in children.

They may also help to improve mood and depression and enhance sleep. EPA and DHA also support eye, skin and heart health and may help to reduce inflammation.

Should you feed children fish or give them a fish oil supplement?

Feeding children oily fish twice a week should provide them with all the EPA and DHA they require. Of course, this isn’t always achievable for various reasons. For example, your child may dislike it, or you may be concerned about mercury levels and other contaminants in fish. 

The NHS state that children under the age of 16 should avoid eating shark, swordfish or marlin. This is because the high levels of mercury they contain can affect a child’s nervous system.

You can start introducing fish to babies from six months. Boys aged five or more can eat up to four portions of oily fish per week. Girls shouldn’t eat more than two as this may cause harm to an unborn baby in a future pregnancy.

With this in mind, many people find supplementing with fish oils is a more convenient and safe way to provide the EPA and DHA their young ones need.

Should you decide this is preferable, look for a good-quality, certified product that is free from contaminants and only uses sustainably sourced, non-endangered species.

Related: What to Consider When Choosing a Fish Oil

We recommend QuattrO3 + P.S. Fish Oils for Children

Manufactured by WHC, QuattrO3 + P.S. is a unique complex of high-quality omega-3 fish oils and other nutrients, specially formulated to optimise children’s health and growth. It is designed to help them realise their full potential at school.

The addition of vitamin D3 helps promote healthy growth and bone development and aids the immune system. 

The capsules are recommended for 3 to 14-year-olds and provide over 90% fish oil per serving (300mg EPA and 204mg DHA) as well as 400IU of vitamin D3. They are tutti-frutti flavoured soft gels, which disguise the fishy flavour and smell.

You can also feel safe in the knowledge that your child is getting a risk-free dose of these important nutrients. If your child has trouble swallowing capsules, cut them open and squeeze the contents onto cold foods such as yoghurts, pasta, rice or vegetables.

WHC has won serious praise for its range of unequalled omega-3 products. Indeed, two of them are ranked #1 and #3 by the independent U.S. laboratory Labdoor.

The bottom line

It’s interesting to note that the intake of marine foods in the mid-Upper Paleolithic period marked a significant turning point in human evolution.

While studies are contradictory, there are enough persuasively positive results to support the view that fish oils can improve children’s brain health. They may help with literacy, learning, memory, behaviour and school performance, particularly for those who are deficient in DHA. 

The DHA provided by adequate oily fish consumption during pregnancy is vital for foetal neurodevelopment. It may also improve hand-eye coordination of toddlers and increase the attention spans of babies well into their second year.

All this aside, ensuring your child gets adequate amounts of omega-3 fish oils in their diet has so many other health benefits.

It’s common for children to eat insufficient amounts of fish. Perhaps getting your child to eat enough oily fish is tricky, or you’re concerned about the mercury in fish. If so, supplementing with a high-quality fish oil is a convenient and safe way to provide them with all the EPA and DHA they need. 

Written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

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Autism in Infants: Signs, Symptoms and Suggested Solutions

Autism in Infants: Signs, Symptoms and Suggested Solutions

Autism is on the rise. The developmental disability, which influences how people perceive the world around them, affected 1 in 75 North American children less than ten years ago (2010). But just four years later, it had risen ominously to 1 in 59.

In the UK the picture is a little different, though there remain approximately 700,000 Brits classed as autistic: more than one in 100. Believed to affect more men than women, the stigma around autism has thankfully begun to be replaced by empathy in recent years. Many of us now feel that we have a better sense of the challenges autistic people face day after day.

Given that public appreciation for the difficulties of autism is at an all-time high, it is understandable that mothers – wishing to give their child the best possible care – pay close attention to their offspring’s development, and are keen to assure an early diagnosis of autism, which initially occurs during early childhood.

Evaluating autism isn’t always easy, and in this article we shall take a closer look at what autism evaluation entails while also identifying symptoms to watch out for. We shall also take a closer look at the best forms of treatment: from behavioural therapy and medicines to food and supplements.

Identifying Autism: Early Signs and Symptoms


Early diagnosis of autism is vital, not least so children can be treated when the brain benefits from exceptional plasticity in early life.

It is not out of the ordinary to identify autism within eighteen months, or within six months of symptoms occurring. However, nor is it easy, because red flags can vary greatly from person to person. The common warning signs of autism in toddlers and infants include:

• Difficulty with communication (verbal and non-verbal)

• Repetitive patterns of behaviour

• Refusal to make eye contact, smile or respond to affection

• Mental flexibility

• Developmental delays

• Selective eating

• Regression of communication ability (typically occurs from 12-24 months)

Of course, it can be difficult to recognise some of these in an infant. However, you may notice that your child is refusing to engage in a typical manner, whether when you are trying to play with them or get their attention. You may struggle to elicit eye contact despite repeated attempts, which is a common sign to watch out for.

Although you may be anxious for your child to talk or walk, late development is not a sure sign of autism: it may simply be a coincidence, as children develop very much at different rates. Naturally, you should speak to your healthcare practitioner if you are at all concerned.

Traditional Therapies for Autism


Of course, autism symptoms develop as an infant becomes a toddler, a toddler a child, a child a teenager, and right into adulthood.

Difficulties with social communication tend to be the most recognisable symptom, with autistic people struggling to read or interpret other people’s feelings or emotions, cues like facial expressions and tone of voice that we all take for granted.

Symptoms, meanwhile, can evolve to encompass highly specific interests, habitual behaviours and approaches, a sensitivity to sensory stimulation and so on. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a broad term conceived to define these various behaviours.

Traditional therapies for autism, as mentioned in the introduction, include behavioural therapy and medicines: there is no “cure”, as such. However, autism treatments can include Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. These structured therapies can serve to improve attention span, learning function and other assorted behaviours under the ASD umbrella.

In terms of medication, it is generally prescribed to help the individual function better, whether it is intended to address inability to focus, stress and anxiety or other medical conditions linked with ASD (epilepsy, depression, OCD etc.)

According to many enlightened doctors, including the director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Lurie Center for Autism, Christopher McDougle, MD, “There are a whole lot of things you want to do before you even think about using medicines to treat behavioural problems.”

Can Diet Affect Autism Symptoms?


Nutrition can play an important role in supporting the management of autism symptoms.

There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the efficacy of nutritional therapy, as it can help in several key areas. For example, by identifying and reducing possible intake of brain-polluting heavy metals; by eliminating food additives; by addressing undiagnosed food allergies; by correcting gut dysbiosis (and thereby nurturing the gut-brain connection); and by remedying possible nutritional deficiencies.

As noted in a 2013 Polish research paper, “adapting an appropriate diet could help alleviate the disease severity, as well as the psychological and gastrointestinal symptoms

“Many studies demonstrate the need to supplement the nutritional deficiencies of autistic patients with fatty acids omega-3, probiotics, vitamins and minerals in combination with medical and psychological interventions.”

There have been many reported cases of gluten- and casein-free diets improving symptoms of autism, including positive clinical studies (Knivsberg et al., 2002, Pennesi and Klein, 2012). What’s more, ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diets have resulted in increased sociability, decreased repetitive behaviours and improved social communications in an animal model (Ruskin et al., 2013; Castro et al., 2016). In addition to gluten and casein, many autism-friendly diets exclude sugar, food colouring and soy.

Omega-3 fish oil appears to be one of the most beneficial nutrients for autismOmega-3 deficiency has been repeatedly linked to both autism and ADHD, and there is some evidence to suggest that continued high-quality supplementation can cause a regression of symptoms.

Autistic children tend to exhibit high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, associated with excess inflammation. One of the benefits of omega-3s is their production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and their ability to impair the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Other nutrients which have shown to be beneficial include vitamin B6, vitamin C and magnesium. Since autistic children tend to exhibit vitamin D deficiency, and because vitamin D is essential for brain function, it may be worthwhile supplementing year-round.

If you’re interested in using nutritional therapy to address your child’s autism, careful planning is required. It is advisable to work alongside an experienced dietitian or nutritionist to structure a tailored plan.

Probiotics and Autism

Antibiotics destroy good as well as bad gut bacteria, and this may partly explain the commonly-cited bowel irregularities of autistic people who have undergone antibiotic therapy in early life. Probiotics (‘good bacteria’) have been suggested as a remedy.

Novel treatments that regulate the ecosystem of the gut have result in dramatic improvements in ASD symptoms in recent years. Most recently, children given fecal transplants benefited from a reduction in autism symptoms of up to 50% after two years.

The fact that Microbiota Transfer Therapy – a method of transplanting beneficial microbes into people with an imbalanced microbiome – engendered improvements in autism symptoms which persisted long after the treatment may shock many people. But it provides yet more evidence showing the benefits of bacterial diversity in the gut.

Restoring bacterial equilibrium via probiotics may be a sensible action for those looking to treat autism symptoms. Preliminary studies on mice appear to show that probiotics improve autistic behaviours.

Of course, not all probiotics are equal. Some contain absurdly low, completely ineffective dosages of bacteria which cannot hope to compete in the gut, a fiercely competitive environment teeming with trillions of resident microbes. Your best bet, particularly in light of the fecal transplant study, is to use high-strength, human-derived probiotics.

Progurt is the strongest such supplement currently available, boasting a one trillion megadose of probiotic bacteria per sachet. If you do not notice an improvement within a few weeks, you may have to address certain factors which are hindering probiotic colonisation. These can include nutrient flow, oxygenation, hydration, fitness level, body pH, vitamin D status and core temperature.

Conclusion

Clearly autism is a highly challenging condition and there are no easy answers. However, important work is being done in this area and awareness is spreading about the best ways to manage and treat ASD and associated behaviours.

Regarding autism in infants specifically, the evidence shows that spotting signs early is vitally important; parental observation is naturally the best tool for detecting behaviours which may pinpoint autism and achieve an early diagnosis. Don’t hesitate in arranging to see your doctor for an assessment.

As mentioned, there are steps you can take to manage symptoms and favouring a joined-up approach is surely the best course of action.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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Fish Oil for Childhood Allergies: Everything You Need to Know

Fish Oil for Childhood Allergies: Everything You Need to Know

Fish oils come from oily fish such as sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and salmon. They are a rich source of omega-3 fats, especially DHA and EPA which are much harder to obtain from other omega-3 foods like walnuts, chia and flax seeds.

These Essential Fatty Acids can support heart health, maintain vision, protect brain function, improve mental health, promote healthy skin, aid liver function and reduce inflammation; they may also improve ADHD and autism in children, and help babies' brains and eyes develop during pregnancy.

Research is now also pointing to a link between consuming fish oils and reducing allergies in children. Below are three ways in which they may be able to help.

Supplement Early to Stop Dust Mite Allergies


Being allergic to house dust mites is relatively common, and children living in areas with a higher volume of traffic are more susceptible.

People with asthma and those with other allergies can also become sensitive to dust.

Dust mites are present in every household throughout the world. They are microscopic arthropods that feed on human skin flakes which have embedded themselves into furniture, bedding, carpets and toys where dust mites flourish and feast on the skin.

The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, and Imperial College London, examined data from a longitudinal study looking into asthma in children. The research looked at a number of eight-year-old children who lived in areas of high traffic pollution, half of which were given regular fish oil supplements for the first five years of their lives.

Researchers noted a significantly higher number of children with dust mite allergies in those who were not given the supplements and concluded that fish oil supplements could protect against the effects of pollution and dust mite allergies in children.

This was only a preliminary investigation, and more extensive studies are needed to gain more conclusive evidence; but the results are certainly promising.

Fish Oils May Protect Against Food Allergies


An observational study published in 2018 followed 1,304 Nordic children from birth to 2.5 years of age. The parents were periodically asked to fill out detailed questionnaires including fish oil supplementation.

Children with and without proven food allergies participated in the trial. Progression of established allergies and the formation of new ones were monitored.

Overall food sensitivity was notably lower in the children taking fish oils, and although it was less significant, a higher reduction in food allergy symptoms was also seen in the supplemented children.

Two other points raised from this study were that the children who began taking fish oil in the first six months of their life were more protected than those who started later. Also, the higher the potency of fish oils, the greater the reduction in allergy symptoms.

Again, more research is needed to determine how effective fish oil supplementation would be in more extensive studies, but this is very encouraging.

Fish Oils During Pregnancy for Childhood Asthma

The EPA and DHA found in fish oils have been associated with anti-inflammatory effects in disease, asthma and allergies.

A large number of studies in people from many different cultures, ages and backgrounds have researched the benefits of fish oils on asthmatic and allergic symptoms. Overall, there have been positive results supporting supplementation for asthma, linking decreased intake of fish oils to increased symptoms.

In a double blind, randomised controlled trial, 736 pregnant women at 24 to 26 weeks gestation were divided into a placebo group who took olive oil and another who took fish oil. EPA and DHA blood levels were tested at the start of the trial and one week after birth.

The purpose of the study was to determine the fish oil effects on asthma and wheezing in their children.

To monitor their progress, the children had regular paediatric visits in the first 36 months of their lives and then at four and five years of age.

At three to five years, the children of mothers who had received fish oils had a lower risk of asthma and wheezing which equated to a relative reduction of 30.7% compared to those in the placebo group.

A decrease in lower respiratory tract infections was also linked to fish oil supplementation.

Interestingly, the most substantial benefits were observed in the children whose mothers had the lowest levels of EPA and DHA at the start of the trial. The same was also true for children whose mothers had consumed less fish oils before the study began.

Conclusion

While more research is justified, these results are all very hopeful and if you are pregnant, or have young children either with allergies or without, supplementing with fish oils or eating adequate amounts of oily fish could reap great rewards long term.

Starting children as early as possible appears to be the most beneficial.

Concerning the trial for asthma and wheezing in children, it is important to note that the offspring of mothers who had low levels of EPA and DHA to start with were the ones who had the most favourable results.

It is also worth pointing out that this trial was conducted in Denmark, where oily fish consumption is much more common in the diet than other countries like the UK, for example.

Many of us are low in omega-3, particularly if we eat a typical western diet or don’t consume much oily fish. So arguably, supplementing with fish oil during pregnancy may have more profound effects here and in other countries where consuming oily fish is less common.

Have a look at our WHC Fish Oil range which is exceptionally high in quality and purity. There is even a specially formulated fish oil for children, QuattrO3 + PS.

This article is written by Rebecca Rychlik, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

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What Parents Should Know About Talcum Powder  

What Parents Should Know About Talcum Powder

As reports of toxic talcum powder flood the headlines, parents may begin to question brands and products using this ingredient, a probable human carcinogen.

Talc is a natural mineral that can be found within many consumer products around the world, including those marketed towards children. As we dive into its impact on human health, we urge parents to pay close attention to the products they purchase, as the link between talc and cancer has been suggested for decades.

Read on to find out more.

The Root of the Issue


The fact of the matter is that natural talc has been found to contain asbestos, a notorious carcinogen responsible for the development of mesothelioma amongst many other chronic diseases. Although asbestos was banned in UK in 1999, this mineral naturally exists inside talc mines, resulting in cross-contamination.

Not only does this natural problem discount talc safety, but some researchers are convinced that the mineral may heighten the risk for ovarian cancer in its pure form.

U.S. epidemiologist from Harvard University, Dr. Daniel Cramer, was one of the first to report on the connection, suggesting that the use of talc may increase the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 30 percent.

This is just a small piece of evidence that should encourage parents to choose safe alternatives. Below are a few of the products that have been discovered to be dangerous in the past, that we should choose to learn from moving forward.

Investigating Baby Powder


The world’s top manufacturer of baby powder, Johnson & Johnson, is responsible for paying close to $4.7 billion dollars to 22 women now suffering from ovarian cancer as a result of the company’s product.

While consumers are just beginning to dip their toes into this public policy, scientists have shown concern since the early 1970s after discovering traces of talc within ovarian and cervical tumors.

Despite regulation, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has even taken the initiative to confirm that when used in the genital area, talc is a possible human carcinogen.

Research has shown that females are not the only demographic at risk. Unfortunately, it has been proven that simply inhaling the powder itself is toxic, and even fatal in some cases.

As baby powder is primarily used for infants and children, parents should look into alternatives such as cornstarch, that are confirmed to be safe. This not the first time talcum powder has grabbed public attention: a number of different products marketed towards kids have been found to use asbestos-contaminated talc.

Learning from the Past

In August, U.S. researchers conducted an annual back-to-school report and found trace amounts of asbestos in Dollar Tree’s Playskool crayons. Although the source of asbestos is unclear, talc was once a common binding ingredient used in crayons and is suggested to be the culprit.

For example, major brands like Crayola and Rose Art were also found to have low levels of asbestos as recently as three years ago.

Earlier this year, an American mother made headlines after testing her daughter’s glitter makeup kit from the popular retail store found worldwide, Claire’s.

After she realised the product failed to label its own ingredients, she decided to take matters into her own hands and soon discovered the product was positive for asbestos.

Following this shocking result, she had 17 more products tested and found that they were contaminated as well. These findings should urge parents to avoid press powdered products, especially those that don’t disclose the ingredients inside.

Conclusion

While research is still inconclusive, it’s important for parents to pay close attention to the brands and products they purchase for their children.

Talcum powder is not officially confirmed to harm human health, however studies suggest there is enough evidence to question its place in our consumer world.

Guest blog by Emily Rosati.

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What to Do When Your Child Refuses to Eat Fruit and Vegetables

What to Do When Your Child Refuses to Eat Fruit and Vegetables

Getting kids to eat fruit and vegetables isn’t easy, and it’s not hard to see why.

After all, how can earthy green vegetables compete with toothsome snacks wrapped in gaudy paper and relentlessly advertised on TV?

Just the other day, a shocking survey found that 40% of parents have no idea exactly how much sugar their kids consume on a daily basis.

In this blog, we discuss how compel youngsters to do what’s good for them – and replace empty calories with nutritious fruit and vegetables.

Why Children Should Eat Fruit and Vegetables

There’s no overstating it: fruit and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy diet.

Brimming with essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals, plus unique phytonutrients from the plant world, they play an important role in a young person’s growth and development.

Last year, an Imperial College study showed that eating 10 portions per day correlated with a 33% reduced risk of stroke; a 31% reduction in premature death; a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; a 24% reduced risk of heart disease; and a 13% reduced risk of total cancer.

You may think most of these figures are irrelevant (heart disease is not common among children), but there’s no denying the base truth: that such foods have formidable protective properties throughout one’s lifetime.

10-a-day, incidentally, is equivalent to an apple, a pear, a glass of orange juice, half a grapefruit, two asparagus spears, a tomato, two kiwi fruit, eight cauliflower florets, a banana and three tablespoons of peas.

If that sounds impossible, a smoothie might be a good option – more details further down the page.

As well as vitamins and minerals, fruit and vegetables are great sources of dietary fibre, which helps keep things moving in the digestive tract. 

Fibre also ‘feeds’ beneficial gut bacteria, thereby nurturing immunity, and promotes the ‘fullness’ factor to assure a healthy body weight. 

Research highlights a link between high-fibre diets and reduced sugar and fat consumption.

Not only that, but fibre reduces one’s risk of diabetes and arthritis and lowers mortality.

Encouraging children to eat five, seven or ten portions a day will ultimately ensure that they avoid nutritional deficiencies maintain robust immunity and enjoy high energy levels. 

Why Kids Don’t Eat Fruit and Vegetables

There are many reasons why children snub their five-a-day. Much of it comes down to this: they prefer tasty high-fat, high-sugar foods instead.

Is it any wonder? According to a narrative review printed in the British Journal of Sports Medicine last year, sugar is refined from plants to yield pure white crystals – a process which significantly increases its “addictive properties.”

Co-author James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist, described sugar as “probably the most consumed addictive substance around the world.”

Take a 330ml can of Coke as just one example. Did you know that it contains 35g of sugar – the equivalent of 7 spoonfuls, exceeding the recommended daily allowance?

Another reason why kids don’t eat fruit and vegetables is that parents are giving up on convincing them to so – at least according to a 2018 survey 

A poll of 2,000 parents of kids aged 10 and under found that 41% have stopped trying to get their little ones to eat nutritiously; because they’re more focused on getting them to eat full stop.

We should bear in mind that most adults fail to consume five-a-day themselves – making it even more difficult to instil healthy habits in the next generation 

According to a study by Diabetes UK, less than one in five adults manage this modest daily target.

For some of the parents in the former study, their child’s refusal to eat fruit and vegetables was explained simply: 28% of kids said they didn’t enjoy the taste.

Again, this is easy to appreciate given the aforementioned “tasty and addictive” alternatives.

How to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables and Fruit

There are several useful tactics you can employ to move your kid towards five-a-day. 

  • Lead by example: enjoy fruit and vegetables as part of your diet and your children – with any luck – will follow suit. Remember that food neophobia, a fear of unknown foods, peaks between the age of two and six. But veggies won’t be ‘unknown’ if Mum and Dad eat them every day, will they?

  • Be patient. The habits you help to create will remain with your progeny for many years. It might not happen right away, but don’t lose heart.

  • Involve children in food prep and planning; take them to the farmers’ market and let them see, feel and smell the fresh produce.

  • Set your little one a challenge of consuming five different coloured fruit and vegetables a day. Incentivise them without resorting to bribes.

  • Don’t make them finish. Disputes and punishments arising from a child’s refusal to eat create a negative experience and has a counterproductive effect. Instead, insist on a ‘one bite’ rule where children must eat one solid mouthful whenever fruit/veg is served.

  • Use seasoning. You’d be surprised how much tastier vegetables can be with a little sea salt or black pepper. You can also sprinkle with grated cheese to make veggies more appetising.

  • Make a smoothie. A vibrant green drink is much more appealing than a heap of kale or broccoli. If you’re worried about vegetables going bad, use a frozen mix. Add fruit, peanut butter or flaxseed oil to sweeten the taste but try to avoid high-sugar fruit juices. Be creative. 

Children’s Simple Green Smoothie Ideas

Amy and Natalie at Superhealthykids.com have come up with a great series of kid-friendly smoothie ideas: everything from strawberry banana flax smoothies to fresh fruit slushes. You can view the list here.

Of course, you can adapt recipes to cater for your own child’s tastes. Be aware, though, that just because they don’t like kale doesn’t mean you can’t add it; you’ll just need to mask the flavour with fruit, other veggies, nut butter, almond milk or some other combination of ingredients. 

To simplify matters, you might also consider using a natural superfood blend containing various healthy whole food ingredients.

Quality greens supplements combine vegetables, fruits, cereal grasses, algae and botanicals, each ingredient compacted and distilled into powdered form.

They’re especially helpful when you (or your child) is on-the-go, and they require minimal planning: just add a scoop to a shaker in the morning, then add water when you’re ready to drink.

Conclusion

In summary, dealing with a child’s fruit and/or vegetable phobia requires patience, persistence and encouragement. It also requires that you set an example through eating plenty of greens yourself.

Follow the tips given above and, bit by bit, you’ll turn your child’s reluctance into joyful relish. OK, perhaps that’s ambitious! But you’ll certainly improve their chances of hitting 5-a-day.

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female toddler standing in the sun

Vitamin D for Babies and Children: Why It’s Essential

Vitamin D for Babies and Children: Why It’s Essential

Several recent news stories have put vitamin D in the spotlight, asking whether children and infants should receive supplements to assure a healthy intake.

While the adverse health outcomes of chronic deficiency are widely acknowledged, until recently many believed supplements were largely unnecessary for youngsters.

The prevailing belief was that breastmilk and vitamin D-fortified formula were sufficient for babies, and that the sun was a suitable source for kids.

This wisdom has been called into question, however, and in this blog we look at reasons why parents should consider giving their offspring supplements from an early age.

The benefits might just surprise you.

What is Vitamin D?


Vitamin D – known as the Sunshine Vitamin – is a nutrient which functions as a hormone within the body, helping us build strong bones and immunity.

That’s not all, though: vitamin D also promotes calcium absorption: when we don’t get enough vitamin D we can’t absorb the mineral, so we start to pull it out of our bones.

The Sunshine Vitamin strengthens teeth and muscles, and plays a role in the process of cell division.

In fact, higher vitamin D levels significantly correlate with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality.

Fat-soluble vitamin D is manufactured in the body when exposed to direct sunlight. In fact, sunlight is by far the best source: our bodies can generate 1,000 IU in just ten minutes during spring and summer.

That’s 250% the UK daily recommended amount of 400 IU – although many feel this is nowhere near ample. Indeed, the highly respected Vitamin D Council suggests most adults should aim for 5,000 IU each day, with overweight people requiring 7,000 IU.

In any case, food is a notoriously poor source of vitamin D, although you can get small amounts from fatty fish, egg yolks and fortified foods like certain dairy and cereal products.

Achieving the Vitamin D Council’s daily recommendation would be almost impossible from diet alone, however. And you might have to rely on just diet if it’s overcast.

Vitamin D Recommendations for Babies and Children


The UK Department of Health actually recommends that all children the between the age of 6 months and 5 years be given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day.

Breastfed infants should also be given a daily supplement from birth, irrespective of whether the mother is taking a vitamin D supplement herself.

What’s more, young children are advised to still take vitamin drops even if they spend time outdoors in the sunlight.

The current recommendations are as follows:

• Babies aged 0-1: a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 mcg (340-400 IU)

• Children aged 1-4: a daily supplement containing 10 mcg (400 IU)

• No supplements for babies consuming over 500ml of (fortified) infant formula per day

According to a recent report by the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), even breastfed infants in the 0-1 year bracket should receive a daily vitamin D supplement containing 340-400 IU.

The report was published after researchers learned that 6% of infants were at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

This is a rather groundbreaking recommendation, since it was previously assumed that maternal vitamin D intake would guarantee all the vitamin D the infant required.

If you are eligible for the government’s Healthy Start scheme, you could be entitled to free vitamin drops.

Why Do Youngsters Need Vitamin D?


Vitamin D is a highly important nutrient, irrespective of our age, but there is a special reason why developing youngsters need it.

For one, infants come into the world with low vitamin D stores; and particularly low stores if the mother’s intake is itself inadequate.

In fact, although breastfeeding is recommended by just about everyone due to the immunological benefits for the infant, those who are breastfed seem to be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency due to the prevalence of deficiency among adults.

Despite a lack of randomised controlled trials on universal vitamin D supplementation, it is widely accepted that vitamin D reduces the risk of several infections and chronic diseases.

These include, but are not limited to, autoimmune disorders, type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism and some cancers.

Deficiency among children specifically is linked to instances of growth failure, skeletal softness, seizures and rickets – a bone disorder typified by bow legs and agonising muscle pain.

Many might assume that rickets has been confined to history, but in fact research published in 2014 showed that hospital admissions for rickets between 2007-2011 was the highest it had been in 50 years.

Admittedly there were only 3.16 cases per 100,000 children, but nonetheless it emphasises the very real dangers of infants and children succumbing to a severe vitamin D deficiency.

Those with dark skin are particularly at risk, as are kids who enjoy little access to the sun’s UV radiation – perhaps from being swaddled in warm clothing.

Tolerable Upper Intake of Vitamin D for Babies and Children

We discussed the recommendations above, but some might wonder about the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of vitamin D for children and infants.

The safe upper limit of vitamin D for infants up to 1 year of age is 1,000 units per day.

Children aged 1-10, meanwhile, can expect no ill effects from consuming 2,000 IU per day, while 4,000 IU is said to be the tolerable upper limit for peopled aged 10 and above.

With that said, daily doses up to 10,000 IU have not been shown to cause toxicity in healthy adults. That’s right: no published studies show any adverse effects of such an apparently high dosage in adults.

Vitamin D Council Executive Director John Cannell, M.D., has gone one step further, saying, “If there are any studies showing 20,000 IU/day is unsafe, I would like to see them.”

Vitamin D toxicity, to be sure, is very rare. It tends only to be observed in those who take mammoth doses of supplements.

And by mammoth doses, we’re talking about 40,000 IU. Every day. For months on end.

When considering the optimum vitamin D dosage for your child, you may very well wish to stick to the recommended government values. That is entirely reasonable.

The NOAEL level, however, shows that there is no risk associated with the higher dosages: namely 1,000 IU for infants and 2,000 IU for children aged 1-10.

Calls for a Change in Vitamin D Policy


In 2018 the story of six-month-old Noah Thahane, who died following complications of heart failure brought about by serious vitamin D deficiency, hit the headlines.

The baby’s death was deemed “entirely preventable” in a report printed in the journal BMC Pediatrics.

The report also called for mandatory monitoring of babies and pregnant mothers to assure adherence to a supplement protocol.

Noah Thahane was born in England to a South African-born mother, who now campaigns for greater vitamin D awareness.

Despite taking her son to the doctors numerous times due to his restless behaviour, Beverley Thahane says they repeatedly failed to diagnose severe nutritional rickets.

BME people are especially at risk of vitamin D deficiency because dark skin generates less of the nutrient than white skin.

And since BME communities are under-represented in surveys conducted to date, it is quite unclear what percentage of this population may be deficient.

In a follow-up review to the one mentioned above, Dr. Wolfgang Högler pointed out that “in contrast to their continental European counterparts, paediatric Accident and Emergency doctors in the UK frequently encounter dark-skinned infants with hypocalcaemic seizures, and rickets during winter and spring.”

Vitamin D is clearly hugely important for the development of babies and children, as well as for the health maintenance of older individuals.

There is good reason for the current recommendations, including the UK health policy which suggests we all supplement with vitamin D during autumn and winter months.

Vitamin D Works Best with Vitamin K

As noted by the Vitamin D Council, “research indicates that vitamin D and vitamin K work synergistically to optimise one’s health, especially concerning bone and heart health.

“Thus, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure that you are maintaining healthy levels of both vitamin K and vitamin D.”

Vitamin K activates MGP, a protein which helps move calcium where it needs to be – to bone – and away from where it shouldn’t be: arteries. Vitamin D toxicity, of course, results from excessively high calcium levels (hypercalcemia).

When it comes to supplements, then, you might consider employing both vitamin D and vitamin K. Our special children’s supplement QuattrO3 + PS, meanwhile, combines omega-3 fatty acids (which could protect against childhood allergies and autism) with 400 IU of vitamin D.

Conclusion

It is easy to test your child’s vitamin D levels by using a home test kit, and to boost their intake by using a high-quality supplement.

While 1,000 IU is higher than the daily recommended amount, it is equal to the “safe upper limit of vitamin D” for infants – and half as much as the safe upper limit for children aged 1-10.

What’s more, instead of sticking to a set intake for all youngsters, the Vitamin D Council advocates supplementing your child with 1,000 IU of vitamin D per 25 pounds of body weight. 

Remember, the heavier you are, the greater your requirement for vitamin D.

It is up to parents, as well as the wider medical framework, to ensure that youngsters achieve healthy vitamin D levelsDon’t wait.

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pregnant woman

Probiotics During Pregnancy: The Benefits to Mother and Child

Probiotics During Pregnancy: The Benefits to Mother and Child

Nothing is more magical than a child being born.

But something equally spectacular and significant happens in the time before a newborn baby completes its journey out of the birthing canal.

This spectacular event – one that cannot be seen – is where human microbial organisms are introduced to humans: in other words, when a newborn's microbiome (the collection of resident microorganisms living on and inside the human body) is formed.

It is the microbiome which provides the blueprint of future health for each brand-new human life.

Probiotics for Children: Building a Microbiome from Scratch


Much attention has been paid to the microbiome in recent years; its vital role in immune health, mental health, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), skin health, bone strength, fertility and many other named conditions has been firmly demonstrated by scientific data.

One common thread is invariably discussed – make the gut microbiome a happy and balanced place and the health issue at hand can improve and, in some instances, reverse itself completely.

But one question which isn’t considered is: where did the garden of good and bad bacteria that is the microbiome first originate?

For many years it was believed that babies were born with a sterile gut, with the very first transferring of bacteria occurring when the baby was born via the birth canal.

But new research has challenged this. Studies carried out on mice pups found that they had bacterial strains in their meconium (the first faeces a newborn passes) which are usually passed within the first few hours of life outside the womb.

Either way, what is increasingly evident is that the state of a mother’s health – especially her microbiome health status – holds significant importance when it comes to laying the foundations for health of all of her children.

After all, this is where the bacterial strains in the first stool would have come from in the aforementioned study.

Probiotics While Pregnant: Changing Microbiome Status to Positive


After decades of modern medicine showing it is nothing more than a plaster or crutch at best – as it rarely offers a true cure – the only way forward if we want to live our longest and best life is to carry out preventative medicine.

And for many integrative doctors, paying close attention to balancing the microbiome is exactly what is giving patients positive results.

Every human has their own unique microbiome which is influenced by multiple factors. Not limited to but including (as we have seen) a mother’s microbiome health from conception to birth; the type of birth; whether we were breastfed or bottle-fed; the type of diet we ate as a child and onwards; our mental and physical stress; and where and how we live, including any addictive habits we have i.e. smoking, drinking alcohol.

So although truly balancing the microbiome comes in many forms depending on the individual, the same close attention functional doctors pay to balancing the microbiome should be paid to a mother’s before she conceives, as part of her preconception plan.

A preconception plan is something every woman should take part in to help iron out as many health issues as possible, preventing them being passed on to her children.

Also, a preconception plan is used to help build up a mother’s health and ensure she is in the strongest state possible during her pregnancy and beyond.

Interestingly, research suggests that changes in the good and bad bacteria balance happen daily, and therefore choosing a sugary chocolate bar over a hearty chicken, spinach and quinoa salad will have a direct effect on your overall health, not just your waistline.

Probiotic Use Lowers Pre-Eclampsia and Premature Birth Risk

According to observational research published in the journal BMJ Open in 2018, consuming probiotics during pregnancy reduced the risk of both pre-eclampsia (a condition in which the mother’s body experiences an aggressive inflammatory response) and premature birth.

The study encompassed over 70,000 pregnant mothers in Norway over a nine-year period (1999-2008).

What the researchers discovered was that timing was crucially important: probiotic intake correlated with a 20% lower risk of pre-eclampsia, but only when consumed during late pregnancy.

Furthermore, a notable association came to light between probiotic intake during early pregnancy and an 11% lower risk of premature birth. The figure rose to 27% for preterm birth late in the pregnancy.

Although no definite conclusions could be drawn due to the study’s observational nature, and indeed researchers did not track strain viability or shelf life, it mightn’t be long before probiotics are suggested as a public health measure to help reduce instances of these adverse pregnancy outcomes.

After all, there are no known risks from taking probiotics during pregnancy.

On the topic of pre-eclampsia, incidentally, another new study from Holland suggests women with severe pre-eclampsia should have their blood pressure closely monitored for a year after giving birth, since high blood pressure can remain undetected.

The study of 200 women found 17.5% had masked hypertension. What is interesting to note is that probiotics can also help to reduce blood pressure, providing the dose is sufficiently strong.

The long and short of it: probiotics were shown to lower diastolic blood pressure by an average of 2.38mm Hg, with the greatest benefit coming from a daily dose exceeding 100 billion.

Only a handful of probiotic supplements offer such a mega-dose, and you often have to take 5 or 10 capsules per day to achieve it. However, Progurt probiotics contain 1 trillion CFU in every sachet. Just disperse in water and drink to enjoy the benefits.

Probiotics for Post-Partum Depression?


Some probiotic strains have even been linked with improved post-partum depression symptoms.

This is not such a great surprise, when you come to think of it: the network of 100 million neurons lining is our guts is so complex that scientists refer to it as the Second Brain.

It gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘gut feeling’. Your enteric nervous system – the name given to the neural network – is certainly involved in perception, and just as our brain informs the gut, our emotions are undoubtedly influenced by signalling in the digestive tract.

Around 90% of the neurotransmitter serotonin is actually located in the bowels, and its effect on mood, appetite, sleep and sexual desire is well documented.

Probiotics for Eczema


In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 433 studies involving over 1.5 million subjects, it was found that children who had been exposed to probiotic supplements – either directly via a supplemental formula or via the mother’s diet while pregnant or breastfeeding – were 22% less likely to get eczema.

In other words, there were 44 fewer cases of eczema per 1,000 children. However, it was unclear which strains of probiotic bacteria were used; the dosages were also unrecorded.

Nevertheless, researchers concluded by stating that, in their view, “current infant-feeding guidance needs revision.”

Your Gut is Alive and Ready for Balancing with Probiotics

The reason you are so easily able to disrupt your microbiome is because it is alive. Alive with real living organisms, as this is ultimately what microorganisms are.

Our microbiome is constantly growing and changing the order of the living strains to reflect whatever we feed it.

The more we feed it the food it prefers (usually clean, healthy, sugar-free food), and supplement with probiotics where necessary, the more good bacteria will grow vs. pathogenic bacteria that flourishes when we eat unhealthy food, expose ourselves to toxins and so on.

This is good news and can be used to our advantage. You have the power in your hands to create a healthy microbiome sooner than you realise, that you will then pass on to your future offspring.

Conclusion

By making some simple diet and lifestyle changes, and adhering to them long-term, you give the microbiome a chance to re-populate with more good bacteria. This will in turn set the scene for increased positive health for the next generations, which is the biggest gift we can give to our children.

It is absolutely vital that every mother has a healthy gut before, during and after pregnancy: put simply, it is the best way to set your baby up for lifelong health.

As research shows, it will also help the mother recover from illness quicker and help to keep her strong. As well as help positively influence a child’s behaviour as they grow.

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Addressing nutritional deficiencies in children

Reduce Nutritional Deficiencies in Children to Lower Chances of Chronic Disease Development

Parents everywhere can relate to the struggle of getting your kids to eat anything remotely healthy throughout the day. But before you give in to your kid's request for ice cream as breakfast, be aware that what goes in their bodies now may greatly affect them later in life. Nutritional deficiencies are a very real and widespread problem.

The best way to get kids eating healthily is to introduce them to wholesome foods from the very beginning of life. That way, they will grow up thinking it’s the norm. Doing so can prevent nutritional deficiencies that have been linked to myriad chronic diseases. Here are some tips for getting picky eaters to love their veggies – and what to do if all else fails.

Nutritional Deficiencies and Chronic Disease

With the plethora of food available to most people in developed countries, you wouldn’t think that there'd be any nutritional deficiencies in the United Kingdom. But studies show that many of us are deficient in calcium, vitamin D, iron and magnesium.

However, there is a mountain of evidence underscoring the relationship between insufficient nutrition and the onset of chronic disease. To concerned parents, this means that a bad day of eating does more to our kids than previously thought.

Vitamin D in particular has been shown to pose many problems to children who don't get enough. A 2013 Finnish study found that kids with a chronic illness are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Authors concluded that the amount of chronically ill children with a vitamin D deficiency was alarming.

They also noted that deficiencies were reduced in the summer, when sun exposure was highest. When the sun's buried behind a screen of clouds (i.e. in autumn and winter), you can easily hit your daily quota by using a high-quality supplement.

According to a 2014 study published in the World Journal of Clinical Cases, children in Israel are prone to iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins B12, C, D and E deficiencies, which are linked to the development of anaemia, rickets, obesity, coronary heart disease, goiter, stroke, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

The study confirmed that the eating habits of children have greatly changed over the past few decades. In place of fruits and vegetables, children are filling up on too much fat and sweetened beverages. Only a fifth of school-age children consume the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables daily.

Nutritional deficiencies can also cause developmental problems, such as cerebral palsy, autism, seizures, epilepsy and brain disorders. Certain nutrient deficiencies such as iron may even affect neurotransmitters in the brain, causing dysfunction.

The first few years of a child’s life is a crucial time to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Evidence shows that avoiding excess weight in the first two to three years can actually prevent nutrition-related chronic disease in future generations.

That’s a lot of pressure to get your little one to eat right!

Tips for Overcoming a Picky Eater

Follow these three easy tips to make mealtime with your child easier.

  1. Limit Their Options

Children are simple: they want to eat what they want, when they want it. The hard part is to get them to crave healthy food, and the best way is to avoid introducing them to junk food for as long as possible.

If they don’t know it exists, they won’t want it. There is nothing wrong with “hiding” certain foods from your child’s diet in an attempt to prevent them from eating it. If you give a child the choice of a burger and fries from a fast food joint, or a turkey and avocado sandwich on sprouted wheat bread with a side of fruit, they are going to pick the former every time.

Another good tip is to avoid keeping junk food in the house. Instead, keep colourful fruit and vegetables out in plain view. Display them in a way that’s fun or appealing to kids.

  1. Set the Example

Let your kids see that you eat healthy. They will naturally be intrigued by what mum or dad is eating, and they may even want some too. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet and allow your child to ask you questions about them.

Let them see you take vitamins, and they just might surprise you with their willingness to mimic you. The added benefit is that you will start to feel better too. You could also consider making mealtimes more of a game. The Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt is great for this purpose.

  1. Use Supplements

Even kids who follow a relatively healthy diet could benefit from supplementing with beneficial nutrients. Quattro3 + PS – a special children's fish oil – is available to help you reduce behavioural problems and increase brain function, memory and concentration.

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Games for Fussy Eaters

Is This the Answer to Fussy Eating?

We were as surprised as anyone when Tam Fry, head spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum and a leading obesity campaigner, suggested bribing kids with cash to encourage them to eat their greens.

Although the method might work, it’s hardly setting the right example. Surely there’s a better way of getting youngsters to finish their broccoli, asparagus or peas? And maybe the process can be fun rather than frustrating.

Introducing the Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt

Created by mums and inspired by children, the Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt Dinner Set represents an appealing alternative to emptying your purse every time food hits the table. After all, how long will it take for kids to renegotiate the terms of the deal? It’s quite comical, really. “How much,” smirks your apple-cheeked progeny, “is my eating this stalk of celery worth to you?”

Aiming to make mealtimes synonymous with adventure, the treasure hunt is also presented as a potential solution to temper tantrums at the dining table, instilling good mealtime behaviour and incentivising kids to eat healthy, nutritionally balanced food. So how does this ‘dinner set with a difference’ work?

Rules of the Game

Essentially, children eat their meals – healthy meals, naturally – on a placemat illustrated with a treasure trail. The trail encircles their plate, and while chomping, nippers take turns to navigate a golden doubloon along the broken red line.

Players only get to move their coin when they follow parental instruction – taking another bite of broccoli, for instance.

There’s also a shortcut option if a fruit salad or other light snack is on the menu. The colourful placemat itself is double-sided, populated by pirates, pixies and lots more besides.

The set includes a plate, bowl and cup, as well as special treasure hunting cutlery – the spoon, for example, resembles a miniature shovel. Reaching the end of the trail should coincide nicely with the end of the meal, at which point the plates can be cleared away, unearthing one of ten reward cards concealed underneath.

Needless to say, making sweets the reward would be somewhat counterproductive!

A Nifty Rewards System

There are several options when it comes to prizes: five reward stars which kids can collect through the week, leading to a bigger bounty; a Choose Your Own card, which puts the power in players’ hands – the creators recommend ideas like a playdate, an outing to the park or earning 10 reward stars and only then choosing their treasure at the end of this; a Go Hunt for your Treasure card, which lets the sprogs scamper off to find goodies you’ve hidden for them; and three reusable blank cards revealing prizes of your choosing.

Before you start fretting about whether the treasure hunt will throw eating patterns out of sync, it should be noted that the creators have worked alongside a nutritional therapist to ensure the game falls in line with best nutritional practice. In fact, there’s an advice sheet written by the nutritionist included in every set.

Make Mealtimes Fun Again

We could certainly see the game catching on. Parents could bring the set along to children’s parties, with slices of birthday cake serving as treats. It could also be taken to restaurants to keep youngsters engaged and entertained throughout the meal. Eating out, as we all know, can end up more trouble than it’s worth sometimes: especially when the rug rats decide it’s time to start an impromptu food fight!

Launched in October of last year, the Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt has already won praise from Jo Studholme, editor of Mumii. "We love any products that make mealtimes easier and less stressful for children and parents alike," says Jo. "The Gotrovo Mealtime Set does just that and parents across the UK voted it our Bronze Winner in 'Best Household Product' in the Mumii Family Awards 2017." In the same awards, the game was also shortlisted in the Best Family Game and Best Children’s Toy categories. It retails at £22.95, which seems like a small price to pay to positively alter the eating habits of your kids for the better.

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Kids’ Protein Powders: Reviewing the Options for Picky Eaters

Kids’ Protein Powders: Reviewing the Options for Picky Eaters

The proliferation of protein powders aimed at children continues, with the news that supermodel Elle Macpherson has launched a product for fussy-eating youngsters. The kids’ protein powder – or the Kids Super Supplement to give it its proper name – is the newest supplement in Macpherson’s WelleCo range.

Kids' Protein Makes for a Healthy Chocolate Shake

Costing $34 (or £26) for a 500g tub, the hormone-free, organic plant protein has been designed with certain kids in mind. Fussy eaters are at the head of the queue, along with nippers who guzzle flavoured milks and energy drinks like there’s no tomorrow. Pitched as a healthy chocolate drink, the kids' protein drink is devoid of cocoa powder and gluten and is suitable for vegans. Like most protein powders, it can be blended into smoothies, mixed with water or even sprinkled into porridge.

Supplement War: Super Elixir vs Green Vibrance

The model’s foray into the supplement market isn’t a flash in the pan; you can buy everything from alkalising greens and calming teas on the WelleCo website, though the products are notable for their high price point. Compare their green Super Elixir supplement, for example, to Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance. While a 300g tub of Super Elixir will last 15 days and set you back £96, Green Vibrance costs just £39.75 for a month’s supply (360g). What’s more, Green Vibrance utilises 70 nutrients compared to the Super Elixir’s 45 – though there are many ingredients (organic wheatgrass, goji berry, kelp) which show up in both formulas. In fairness, value for money may not be the unique selling point here: Macpherson is world-famous, and the supplement shifts plenty of volume on her name value alone. If you take price out of the equation, her new kids' protein powder seems like a good product, integrating natural whole foods, plants and herbs to provide a hit of nutritional goodness.

Introducing Super Kids Vibrance

From a nutritional standpoint, Macpherson’s Kids Super Supplement isn’t a million miles from a similarly-named product: Super Kids Vibrance. The winner of a 2016 Taste for Life Essentials Award, Super Kids Vibrance also eschews hormones, gluten and antibiotic residues in favour of nutrient-dense greens, essential trace minerals and a high dose of probiotics and digestive enzymes. While the Kids Super Supplement supplies five vitamins (B1, B3, B6, B12 and C), Super Kids Vibrance boasts no less than twelve (A, C, D3, E, K1, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12). The provision of vitamin D is encouraging; after all, just two years ago the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) increased the amount of vitamin D it recommends for children and adolescents. The importance of Vitamin D for children should not be understated: the nutrient is essential for building strong and healthy bones, and deficiencies can even lead to rickets, a bone-softening affliction that mostly occurs in toddlers. Incidentally, Super Kids Vibrance is formulated for children between the ages of two and 12 and provides 10g of protein per 19.8g scoop. In comparison, the Macpherson formula provides 11g per 30g scoop. If you're after a children's protein powder that's both cost-effective and nutritionally advanced, Super Kids Vibrance appears to be the best choice.

Only Alkaline for Elle

Of course, Macpherson is a new player in the increasingly congested supplement market – and she is to be applauded for marketing products that appear to be wholesome and healthy (albeit expensive!). Certainly the model practises what she preaches: a long-time advocate of the alkaline diet, she steers clear of red meat, wheat, dairy, sugar and processed food. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons she continues to look radiant into her fifties.
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Family

Children's Diet and Asthma: What's the Link?

The health benefits of consuming a diet rich in fruit and vegetables have long been known. Ultimately, in our heart of hearts, we all know that these foods should be staples – no ifs, no buts.

However, getting this message across to kids is a titanic battle for many a conscientious parent. Indeed, some youngsters will only eat a sprout of broccoli or spear of asparagus if they’re under serious duress!

Diet, Asthma and Life in a "Food Desert"

A brand-new study has now shown that children who don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables could be 53% more at risk of developing asthma.

Researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) analysed the asthma rates of 2,043 youngsters, aged between six and 18. Worryingly, they discovered that 57% of participants lived at least half a mile from the closest shop selling fruit and vegetables.

The findings led the group to coin the term ‘food desert’ – used to describe an area of one square mile in which no fruit and vegetable shops reside.

It’s not known how many of these barren tracts of land there are in the US – or the UK for that matter – but the study highlights the need for a fresh (pardon the pun!) look at fruit and vegetables.

Short of force-feeding sceptical children, how can we minimise the risks associated with a diet deficient in important nutrients?

The Invisibility of Vegetables

Incidentally, it’s worth reiterating that the fault does not lie with parents. Another recent study by The Soil Association found that cafes at the UK’s top museums were refusing to serve children vegetables. Instead, lunch boxes offered by the Natural History Museum and the British Museum were said to be ‘loaded’ with sugar and processed foods.

The difficulty, therefore, lies not just in encouraging children to eat a balanced diet – but in compelling venues to provide healthy alternatives to chocolate, crisps and sweets.

The former point is especially tricky given that we’re hardwired to avoid low-calorie green foods such as vegetables, as a consequence of evolution. Scientists have learned that processing colours influences our brain’s decision on what food to eat; as humans, we rely on what we see to evaluate the attractiveness of food, and the Scientific Reports investigation underlined an innate proclivity to choose red (thought to contain more calories) over green food.

It’s interesting to note that the preference for red shades over green was not observed in non-edible objects.

So, what’s the best, most efficient way of working more greens into our diet, and that of our children? Is it simply a case of wilfulness? Of loading up your basket or trolley with lettuce, kale and spinach?

Phresh Greens – A Green Superfood

One easy way of ensuring you hit your daily quota of vegetables – and are thereby set to reap the associated health benefits – is by utilising a supplement like Phresh Greens. A unique blend of green vegetables, alkalising grasses and grass juice powders, this green superfood is made with all organic ingredients.

It can be added to smoothies, sprinkled into salads or simply mixed in water for the ultimate detox drink. Nutrient-rich and agreeably mild to taste, the vegan-friendly formulation is one of the best superfood powders you can buy.

Screeds have been written about the health benefits of vegetable consumption, but suffice to say Phresh Greens is packed with goodness. Not only can it help build healthy blood thanks to its high chlorophyll content, but it includes important phytochemicals possessed of immune-boosting properties. What’s more, the potent blend’s alkaline nutrients and minerals combine to detoxify acidic compounds residing in the tissues.

One Scoop = 3 - 4 Servings of Raw Vegetables

You’ll be pleased to know that each scoop of Phresh equates to 3 - 4 servings of raw vegetables. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re absolutely right: that’s a whole lot less chewing!

The specific ingredients, by the way, include alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass and spinach.

Getting children to eat more greens will probably never be easy; but it needn’t be so hard. Phresh Greens simplifies the process like never before, helping you work such goodies as spinach, collard and oat grass into your diet.

If you wish to contact us about Phresh Greens – or any of our products – don’t hesitate to get in touch; we’re always available for a chat.

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Easy Tips For Naturally Boosting Your Kids Health Without Them Knowing It!

Easy Tips For Naturally Boosting Your Kids Health Without Them Knowing It!

For kids, summer time is all about playing outside and eating summertime treats. But for parents, summer time means keeping an even more watchful eye on our kid’s health, eating and sleep habits.

Especially in the summer when kids want to be outdoors all day, parents need to find creative ways to keep their kids health in check. This includes feeding them healthy on-the-go foods and sneaking in an early bedtime. It’s not always easy to do but here are some easy tips for getting the job done without too many complaints!

  1. Put Them To Bed Before 9 PM.

An early bedtime might seem like a fight parents always lose, but here’s why you should stick to your guns when it comes to bedtime before 9 PM.

First, despite the contradiction, children who are put to sleep earlier actually fall asleep faster! Although you might think putting your kids to bed later when they are more tired is effective, the opposite is true! According to a study published in Sleep Medicine, children who go to bed later have a harder time falling asleep. The study showed that kids who go to bed before 9 pm end up getting 78 more minutes of sleep than those who go to bed later.

They are also less likely to wake up in the middle of the night. Second, good sleep habits assist with the development of growth hormones. According to pediatrician Marc Weissbluth, “When a child sleeps is probably as important or maybe more important as how much.” This is because a child’s growth depends on the secretion of a hormone called “human growth hormone.” Human growth hormone secretion peaks at 10 pm, midnight and 2 am but it does not work properly unless your child is sleeping! So putting your kids to bed at 10 pm won’t do it. They need to be in full REM sleep by then.

Lastly, good sleep habits help your child become more productive during the day, which means more opportunity to learn in school! According to research, children who get more rest at night have a higher attention span and perform better in school. Here are some tips for getting your kids to go to sleep earlier:

  • Make a point to go to bed early themselves. Your kids may have a harder time falling asleep if they hear you watching television or making noise in the other room. Going to bed earlier will benefit parents, too! You’ll likely also have a more productive day tomorrow and be more patient with your kids.
  • Have your child turn off their electronic devices two hours before bed. Research shows this type of “unplugging” helps you fall asleep faster. It’s easy to develop this ritual in the summer months while it’s warm outside. Then by the colder months, your kids will already be in the habit of turning off devices two hours prior to bed.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. When your kids were little, you may have developed a routine with them at night. But somehow as they get older, we seem to lose sight of that. Bring back the bedtime ritual by reading his or her favorite book together or even doing some light stretching and meditation.
  1. Ask Them To Drink One Healthy Beverage Per Day.

Getting your kids to slow down long enough to eat a healthy meal in the summer is hard. Chances are the only nutrition they get is in between running around outside! So make it easy on them by making them one nutritious beverage per day. This can be breakfast in the car on the way to school or an afternoon smoothie on the way to swimming practice.

This is also a great opportunity to show your kids how to make a heavy smoothie or beverage for the future. For a great anytime smoothie recipe, give this a try:

  • One cup almond milk
  • One frozen banana
  • One cup of spinach or other greens
  • ½ cup of pineapple, mango, apples or grapes
  • 1 scoop of Super Kids Vibrance
Add all of these ingredients in a blender and blend! You’ll be loading your kids up with protein, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals to help them grow, keep them focused and improve their health! Super Kids Vibrance provides brain, nerve and digestive support in a chocolate flavored power to make any smoothie taste great. The best way to get your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is by making them taste like a treat! To encourage them to drink one healthy beverage each day, make one for yourself as well and enjoy them together.
  1. Play Games!

Did you know that some board games may be able to boost kid’s brain power? Experts say that playing board games with your kids helps them develop several skills that help them in school.

The family bonding time also helps them as well! Experts say that board and card games help kids learn how to focus and pay attention, which is a much needed skill to do well in school! Board and card games teach kids responsibility (when handling money), number and color associations, and sharpens memory and pattern recognition. Playing together as a family gives kids the much needed closeness they need as a family unit to be successful in life.

Putting down the electronics and pulling out the board game two hours before bedtime is a great way to tackle two birds with one stone!

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Omega 3 for Children: Here’s Why Not Supplementing May Be Holding Your Child Back

Omega 3 for Children: Here’s Why Not Supplementing May Be Holding Your Child Back

Omega 3 for Children: Here’s Why Not Supplementing May Be Holding Your Child Back

Providing the best care for their children is at the top of the list for every parent. But despite our best effort, kids don’t always eat the way we want them to. Most adults are well aware of the health impact taking supplements has on them. But children’s supplements are often overlooked. The truth is children need supplements just as much if not more than adults to support their growing bodies!

Why Do Children Need to Supplement?

Vitamins and minerals are needed in order to support optimal growth and developmental patterns in children. Children who do not get their proper dosage of vitamins and minerals from the foods they eat are at an increased risk of not developing to their full potential, both mentally and physically.

A child’s brain development is a huge priority of healthcare providers and parents alike. Supplementing with the proper nutrients to ensure optimal brain growth and development is arguably just as important as reading to your child every night or teaching them the letters of the alphabet. How can a child be expected to grow if they are lacking nutrients?

Better yet, imagine the potential a child would have if they were given everything they needed to develop important cognitive functions such as memory, learning and behavior.

The bottom line is we can’t expect our children to grow up to be successful adults if we don’t give them what their bodies need as a child. There is no better time to start supplementing then during a person’s most crucial time of growth and development: childhood.

Brain Health and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Children in the UK are at an increased risk for developing ADHD and other brain disorders. According to a 2016 study, there was a significant increase in ADHD drug use among children from 1992 until 2008. Since then, the numbers have leveled off a bit. One theory is that parents are becoming wiser about the use of alternative treatment for their children’s health and development.

Omega 3 fatty acids have long been used to support brain health. According to Science Daily, omega 3 fatty acids not only help protect us from heart disease and cancer, they also protect the brain and ward off mental diseases.

Changing one’s diet to include more natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids may help enhance cognitive abilities, protect the brain from damage, and reverse the effects of aging, according to the study.

Many children are known for being high strung and having a lot of energy. But at what point should a parent start to worry about their child’s mental health?

Supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids may be able to promote balance or calmness within a child, making it easier for them to learn, retain and remember important information.

A 2009 study published in Pediatrics and Child Health found that a group of children who suffer from ADHD achieved and maintained symptom control when they used an omega 3 fatty acid supplement. This study shows promising effects for not only children with ADHD but for children everywhere who have a hard time sitting still long enough to learn, as most children do.

Another study from the researchers at the University of Oxford showed that blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids in children were directly related to how well he or she could learn. The study stated, “From a sample of nearly 500 schoolchildren, we found that levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood significantly predicted a child’s behavior and ability to learn.”

How to Get Children To Eat More Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The research supporting omega 3 fatty acids and children’s health is astonishing. As there are little to no known side effects to supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids in safe amounts, there is no reason why any child should be suffering or lacking in school.

The best way to naturally get your child operating at his or her best is to make sure your family eats more foods that are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Be sure your child sees your whole family eating these new foods so that they don’t feel singled out.

Two or three times per week, serve salmon at dinner. Chia seeds and flaxseed oil are also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. They can be added to baked goods or used as a topping on oats.

Lastly, encourage your child to use a high quality omega 3 fatty acid supplement, such as QuattrO3 +PS. Explain to your child that you take supplements for your health too to alleviate any feelings of inadequacy he or she might have.

QuattrO3 +PS is an advanced formula of omega 3 fatty acid supplementation that includes only the highest quality of fish oil. As many other cheaper supplements may come from sources of fish that aren’t as clean, you can be sure that your child is getting the highest potency of brain boosting power on the market.

With both the environment and your child’s well being in mind, QuattrO3 +PS uses oil from non-endangered fish species and provides an exceptionally high concentration of omega 3 fish oil of 90 percent!

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Children Found to Have Improved Memory and Attention When Hydrated

Children Found to Have Improved Memory and Attention When Hydrated

Children Found to Have Improved Memory and Attention When Hydrated

All parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and hopefully intelligent enough to be able to attend university if this is what the child wants, and/or enjoy successful careers. Beyond healthy eating, you will be surprised to learn how big a role water can play in the cognitive development of your children, and how too frequently it is overlooked.

Scientific researchers have discovered that hydrated seven to nine-year-old children are able to concentrate and memorise better than dehydrated children of the same age. They perform better on visual attention tasks and spot the difference memory tasks. This means that they can learn faster and better, which will stand them in good stead at elementary school, but will also cement good learning habits for when they grow up. If they can concentrate and successfully retrieve learned facts from memory, they are likely to enjoy learning more than the kids who struggle.

Few other things have the same motivational power as the feeling of getting something right. Regular water can help them learn easier, learn more, and develop good learning habits.

10 to 12-year-olds who drink enough water score better on a variety of cognitive tests, including hidden figures, auditory number span, making groups, verbal analogies, and number addition. It is hard to learn mathematical skills as an adult, unless one is particularly motivated. If children can learn it well at a young age, they will have a substantial advantage over those who cannot.

As much as we wish the world functioned differently, children who do better at school are likely to be better liked by their teachers and to receive plenty of positive attention from those teachers. The more positive teaching experiences they have, the better they are likely to learn and the more they are likely to achieve in the academic arena. The converse can unfortunately become a downward spiral for underachieving kids from which many of them do not recover. Negative learning experiences can put a child off learning for life.

Moreover, kids who struggle to concentrate may find something other than school work to keep them entertained in class, and may thereby irritate teachers and classmates to the point where they become unpopular or where they are permanently in trouble. This can change their trajectories from basically good kids to potential dropouts just because of missing a positive start.

Since all their organs are still developing, it is incredibly important that children consume enough water every single day. As a percentage of body weight, their bodies contain slightly more water than those of adults (75 per cent versus 66-70 per cent) and their bodies' cooling mechanisms are not yet as well developed. That is why children on sports fields dehydrate more frequently than adults. That is also why kids that are only slightly dehydrated, between one and two per cent, can suffer serious cognitive impairments. Children should accordingly consume as much, or even more, water than adults. Three litres of water per day is ideal.

While it may be good enough for adults, children should not wait until they are thirsty before they drink. Thirst is a sign that children are already moderately dehydrated and it is likely that water can then no longer be replaced before substantial cognitive and physical impairment. Water with a pinch of sea salt and some fruit squeezed into it is then the best choice to re-hydrate them as quickly as possible.

How to Avoid Dehydration

Children often cannot get their own water. This is especially true for the younger ones. Even those children who are old enough to fetch their own water may not be responsible enough to do so. You can pack a filled water bottle in their school bags so that they have water on hand at all times. Older children can be given watches with alarms that you set for water drinking breaks. The most important action you can take is to demonstrate regular water drinking behaviour through your own actions.

Many children do not like water and consequently refuse to drink it. In many cases, this occurs when they have been given sweet fizzy soft drinks to which they have become addicted. The easiest solution is to introduce them to unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies. These might be sweet enough with natural fructose to keep them happy. You can also try to flavour water slightly with lemon, orange, apple, grape, watermelon or any other sweet fruit you have in the fridge.

Ensure that they consume very little caffeine, such as in coffee, some teas, and some energy drinks. Caffeine is a mild diuretic that will make them perspire and urinate more.

Pick a school with sensible sports policies and practices. Children who do strenuous exercise over the warmest mid-day hours are more likely to dehydrate. Coaches should also allow children to drink before, during, and after games.

Keep young children out of school with you or a competent child minder if they have diarrhoea, as this can dehydrate them very quickly.

Conclusion

Give your children the best start possible by ensuring that they drink enough water every day. The information they learn and working habits they acquire as children will make their lives and your life so much easier. You could try our Energy Plus Water Filter System or our Biocera Alkaline Water Jug to start getting your children to drink sound healthy water.

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