Is your child getting the nourishment they need? 7 Tips on how to help them thrive.

As our children grow, navigate the world and its for ever changing environment, it can be hard know if our child’s nutritional needs are being met.

Each child has their own unique needs and can be determined by a number of factors including, their genetic make up, their blood type and daily nutritional needs based on their activity level and the stage of life they are at.

From packaged foods claiming to have nutritional value to organic grown fruit and vegetables how do we actually know that they are getting what we think they need?

Many parents opt for a multi-vitamin hoping to fill in the gaps in nutrition to gain piece of mind, however how can we be sure they will meet their for ever changing needs? Further more, is their gut actually absorbing what it says on the bottle?

In a perfect world our child would have bee conceived and born naturally ( with no toxins or drugs) , inherited good gut health via the beneficial bacteria passed on by their mums, have access to wide variety of organic fruit and vegetables daily, have access to grass fed animal products and live by the sea to access fresh fish daily. On top of this then allow their own gut intuition to choose the foods their body actually is craving for that time. They would do this daily to keep up with their own nutritional needs.

In todays modern world this can be quite a challenge to say the least! as many kids aren’t brought in to the world under these circumstance and given the option would choose fast food over a good piece of fish and ice-cream over a green apple!

So what can we do to ensure thier needs are getting met ?

1 Limit fast foods and sweets, these foods can leach valuable nutrients out of their bodies, for example for every gram of sugar consumed the magnesium requirement quadruples.

2 Make a wide variety of food available to them and allow them to choose daily what they crave, remember if their gut is unhealthy they will probably crave sugary or fast foods. Include live cultures and fermented foods to improve their gut health.

3 Asses your child’s nutritional expenditure by looking at their daily activities , such has sports, gymnastics and dancing. This can give valuable insights as to what your child will need more of nutritionally.

4 Assess the stage of life and determine what their bodies need more of at the particular stage of development

5 Consult with a Pediatric nutritionist or naturopath and have them do a thorough assessment, test their vitamin and mineral status , this can be done using hair, blood and other scans.

6 Have your child’s gut health tested to ensure they are getting the most out of their foods. This can be done with a simple fecal swab and the microbes can be assessed. (this is highly recommended for cesarian delivered kids)

7 Use only quality supplements if all the above has been done first and consult with a pediatric naturopath who can guide you to the right supplementation.

By Dr Jason Mallia Sydney Naturopath

Pediatric naturopath , Integrative Medicine