Improve Those ABC’s Naturally and Nutritionally for Children

  • Nature's Source

Well, believe it or not it is back to school time again! Yes, that is right! It is September again and very shortly, we will be hearing school bells ringing as the Fall Semester begins.

Although going back to school after a long and exciting summer can be an easy transition for some, for others it is often a difficult time adjusting to new schedules and routines. 

The most common complaint that I hear from parents as a nutritionist is that preparing and eating a nutritious meal seems to be a huge problem in the family home. It takes more effort and time to prepare a home cooked meal of fresh organic chicken, fresh vegetables and potatoes than what it takes to pick up pizza or drive through the fast-food take-out window. Or is it?

Let us do a quick comparison of both arguments. First, let’s look at the negative side of eating out and then the positive side of eating in. You decide!

On the negative side, there is a long list of physical complaints that many school children are experiencing now. What is affecting their schoolwork and performance can now be directly linked to the types of foods your child is eating. Take the time to answer some very simple questions about your child. How does he or she measure up in the area of nutrition? Does your child complain about any of these symptoms?

  • My child is sleepy all the time.

  • My child lacks energy.

  • My child is complaining about headaches all the time.

  • My child has constipation issues or diarrhea. 

  • My child has acne.

  • My child is cranky or irritable

  • My child has a problem concentrating, remembering or focusing while in school.

  • My child misses a lot of time from school because of allergies.

  • My child has frequent trips to the doctor.

  • My child is exhibiting depression and or anger symptoms.

  • My child gains weight easily or crave sugars?

  • My child has blood sugar problems.

If you said yes to one or more of these problems, chances are that your child would receive health benefits from making a change to their diet. This means a reduction or complete elimination of foods such as refined white sugars, white breads, yeast products (bagels, pizza), sugar drinks and sweets.

Sugar, saturated fats and trans fats are some of the main ingredients in many fast foods and processed foods. The damage from sugar manifests itself in many degenerative diseases and harmful conditions. Some are listed above, but if you are still not convinced of the correlation between food and physical symptoms, here are just a few more conditions that stem from consuming too much sugar.

  • Sugar raises adrenaline levels in children and adults

  • Sugar promotes tooth decay and periodontal disease

  • Sugar promotes hypoglycemia

  • Sugar speeds up the aging process, contributing to wrinkles and grey hair

That’s why the type of food you eat really does make a difference at every stage of life. There is also research that indicates that when sugar is removed from a child’s diet, school grades go up. This was shown in California achievement tests where significant gains were shown in the scholastic national rankings. In case you did not know, there are 10 teaspoons of white sugar in just one can of soda pop. Imagine 3 cans! A child is consuming 30 teaspoons of sugar with 3 cans of pop. This is happening abundantly every day in this country. Astounding isn’t it!

But the good news is that it doesn’t take much for you and your child to improve your health conditions immediately. Here are some helpful hints to follow to help you make those changes:

  1. Ensure your have plenty of Omega 3 Fatty Acids from either fish or flax seed sources. Natural sources are almonds, pumpkin seeds, fresh, cold-water fish such as salmon or tuna, sardines, mackerel or anchovies.

  2. Instead of choosing a sugar treat, eat at least 2-3 portions of fresh fruit and raw vegetables daily. Choose vegetables rich in colour; deep green veggies are great (e.g., broccoli, spinach, kale, and green peppers). Fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices also make a great-tasting snack.

  3. Avoid processed foods.

  4. Eat more fresh salads with freshly prepared chicken or tofu and avoid high carbohydrate foods such as pizza, breads, or bagels.

  5. Use whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, spelt, kamut, and Ezekiel pasta instead of products made with white flour or white rice.

  6. Make sure your child takes a good quality multi-vitamin to ensure that she or he gets their daily required intake of numerous vitamins and minerals.

  7. Use healthy spices when you cook to add flavour - try ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and oregano.

  8. Allow time for plenty of rest.

  9. Drink plenty of water.

So don’t delay and remember what they say - it takes only 21 days to form a new habit. If you find it difficult, don’t get discouraged. Consult a natural or holistic practitioner such as nutritionist or a naturopathic doctor who can get your started in a new direction and help you achieve your goals for you and your family. May this be the best year yet as your children begin a brand-new year of school with new and exciting experiences, and watch those grades climb!

Provided by Nature’s Source’s Mississauga store. For more information go to