It is important to understand that every cell in our body is made of a double layer of fat—specifically formed fat-based molecules—that allow us to function. See the picture next to this to get a visual of what I am talking about. By the time we are an adult we have a trillion cells in our body. Children have far less but have to develop them. To do this they must have ‘good’ fats that are found in whole and fresh full fat dairy foods, fish, eggs and meats.
The growing habits of children haven’t changed from when we were all kids so why the change in dietary advice? Because of childhood obesity! The problem many children face today is that their parents are letting them eat too many processed and fried foods plus too much sugar. They are eating too many ‘bad’ fats. These fats are not used in the body to build cells and help their brains develop but sit in their cells and make them fat.
If you are one of those parents who feeds your kids lots of fruits, vegies and balanced amounts of grains, proteins and fats then the good news for you is that you can continue to feed you children full fat dairy foods. If children are overweight they should be taken off processed, fried and junk foods first and allowed to continue to eat full fat dairy foods because they are essential for their good health.
Just as an aside: full fat dairy foods are preferred at every age!! That watery trash they pass off as milk isn't worth buying and low-fat foods often have additional sugar or salt added to them to make them taste better. Fats give our brains a sense of being satisfied when we eat. This means we eat LESS not more!!
I have a bit of a passion about how our body develops naturally and why we should respect that physically, emotionally and mentally. Did you know that the enzymes that digest lactose—the sugar found in dairy foods—are produced in cells lining the small intestine? Did you know that those cells are formed around the time we turned one year old? Dairy food allergies or intolerances often stem from over exposure to those foods before the body had the enzymes to digest them. It makes sense therefore to not feed babies unnecessary diary foods like ice-cream or chocolate before they turn one!
Have you noticed how often people who have celiac disease—an allergy to wheat—also have dairy food intolerances as well? That’s because the inflammation caused in the gut lining when the immune system attacks the wheat breaks down the lining of the intestine. Unfortunately that lining has the cells that produce lactase—the enzymes that digests lactose—in it.
What do we know about the increased risks of having an allergy to wheat? The early introduction of wheat into a baby’s diet increases it’s risk of forming a wheat allergy. As is simply exposing children to large amounts of gluten based foods. This is because we don’t develop the enzymes to digest gluten—the protein that causes the allergy—until we are 2 years and 4 months old!! Again just don’t over do it!
A babies sensitivity to dairy and wheat based foods is also influenced by the stages of its immune system development. In particular the immunoglobulin called IgA influences sensitivity. This localized immune system is formed in the gut lining around the age of one.
Gluten containing foods include: wheat, barley, rye, oats.
I have substitute food lists for dairy and gluten foods for anyone who wants one. Send me an email. Also there are some fantastic enzyme supplements that help you eat anything with little or no reactions to food that may cause intolerances.
Kids Natural Interest in the World Around them
So often parents misinterpret their young infants interest in their world with the desire to eat and drink whatever they are. Thinking that your kids want what you have can create stress as you don’t want to say no to them all the time. Here’s an easy trick to work out what is going on. If you are in the supermarket with your one to two year old and they point at something which you know is a lolly just comment on how pretty it is and name the colours with great interest and keep on moving. Your child may have no idea it’s a lolly if they have never eaten it before they are just attracted to the bright colours. Advertisers do this on purpose. That’s how the sell their products. Children learn by your response to nag for lollies in the supermarket.
Coffee is a poison
As an adult you can chose your poison— children trust their parents to do what is best for them even if they don’t like it all the time!
I’m really sorry if this is the first time you have heard that coffee is a poison, specifically a nerve poison but it is important to know. In this modern age parents are sharing their drinks with their children and even babies thinking it is cute but health wise it simply isn’t.
In those sensitive to the effects of coffee it has been shown that it increases the levels of noradrenaline which stimulates the nervous system. Caffeine decreases the blood flow around the villi in the placenta and has been found in the fetal brain interfering with brain growth.
Coffee has been shown to trigger panic or anxiety attacks and makes already nervous people more anxious. If you have a nervy child any kind of coffee—caffeine will only make them worse.
My advice would be to never ever give children under the age of 16 coffee. Let them be old enough to make the decision to poison themselves!
While our parents or grandparents didn’t have the scientific explanations as to why children shouldn’t eat everything an adult does some of what they stopped us from eating was very wise.
If a food is toxic and junk for adults then it’s poison for children. Trying to be a responsible parent and make wise food choices can become hard and sometimes it is the grandparents that make life harder by wanting to spoil the grandchild with treats they would never let you eat when you were a child!! If you are a grandparent who does this imagine I’m growling at you about now!!! Unfortunately kids don’t know what is best for them. They will give in to their desires for junk. As the adult and the parent it is your job to teach them how to look after themselves emotionally, physically and mentally. This means you might just have to set some rules for both the grandparents and the children!!
There are different foods for kids at different times. For example a child’s like or dislike of pumpkin changes as their taste buds change. In fact many vegetables will go in and out of favour with kids, even weekly. Parents shouldn’t get too freaked by this and understand that it is normal. Just keep serving up different foods and let them try them. Making a big deal about it creates difficulties but if you explain to your child that their taste buds change and that is normal so it’s okay for them to keep trying things then they won't get so hung up about food. here to edit.