When my first child was born, I pretty much knew nothing about parenting, including how to feed kids. I had never heard the term “Real Food.” I thought low-fat meant healthy.
I followed the typical advice for introducing solids, starting with infant cereal and a few purees. Graduating to American cheese and sweetened yogurt.
But it didn’t go as well as I had expected.
My daughter was not very receptive to food. She gagged. She spit it out. She almost seemed over-stimulated by it, her whole body moving at meal times.
But we pressed on. In the toddler years she would hold one piece of food in her mouth for over 30 minutes. Eggs would go in and come right back out. And forget about raw fruits and veggies! She was still eating purees well past two.
As she got a little older it wasn’t just the feeding challenges that stood out. I started to notice other symptoms that just didn’t seem quite right.
She didn’t play with other kids, just observed. She was (and is!) insanely smart and could read for hours. Yet something as simple as getting dressed or brushing her teeth could end in tears.
As the symptoms started to pile up, so did my concerns. And I know this is not unique to me. So many parents live the same struggles day after day.
Why are Kids Unhealthy?
Our culture does not prioritize a child’s health. From day one they are bombarded with fillers, gums, sugar, heavy metals, synthetic vitamins, pesticides, herbicides, and an assortment of chemicals to sanitize their environment.
In turn we have kids struggling with:
- sensory processing disorder,
- feeding challenges,
- food allergies,
- and even cancer…
at younger and younger ages.
This is not how a child should have to live.
I recently shared my Foundations of Good Health. These apply to everyone, kids included. And at the top of the list is Nutrition!
What is Good Nutrition for a Child?
Sadly most doctors will tell you all of this is normal. It’s just how your child was born, and there is nothing you can do about it.
No, it is not normal!
But it is common in our modern, diseased world.
My goal is to turn this around. It is my mission to allow kids to feel like kids again.
What we really need to do is get at the root of the issue…which is poor nutrition.
Typical “kid food” is keeping our children sick and diseased. This includes:
- processed meats
- fast food
- frozen pizza
- chicken nuggets
- toaster pastries
- food dyes
- refined sugar
- genetically modified foods
The list could go on and on. These “foods” are a stark contrast to nutrition. They are actually void of nutrients.
What is Nutritional Therapy for Kids?
So what is the solution? What can parents do to turn this around?
This is where Nutritional Therapy for kids comes in!
Food is medicine. What a child eats directly impacts how he or she thinks, feels, and behaves.
- how your child interacts with family and friends
- how your child performs in school
- what food choices your child makes
- your child’s mood
- how your child handles stress
- your child’s weight and activity level
If you give a child proper nourishment, he or she can thrive!
Nutritional Therapy centers on the idea that real health can be achieved through a holistic and bio-individual approach to nutrition and lifestyle.
What are the Goals of Nutritional Therapy for Kids?
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I take the whole child into account. I do not focus on one symptom, but instead look deeper and support the whole body.
I take a holistic approach to wellness that focuses on the importance of a properly-prepared, nutrient-dense diet paired with a well-balanced lifestyle.
I understand the importance of honoring the body’s own feedback system and its incredible capacity to restore, regenerate, and correct itself when given the tools and nutrients to do so.
In other words, I focus on removing barriers and building up the body. The goal of Nutritional Therapy for Kids is to give them the proper nutrition and support to get back in balance.
Nutritional Therapy is ideal for parents and kids that want to avoid prescription medications and illness, but instead use diet and lifestyle to support the body and allow it to function optimally.
How Can Kids Improve Nutrition?
One unique aspect of Nutritional Therapy for kids at Just Take A Bite LLC is my use of Eating Styles. This is like understanding your child’s “food language.”
This takes bio-individuality to a whole new level.
I do not just look at the physical dietary needs. I also take into account the emotional and mental aspect of how your child views the world and his or her food.
Two children may be lacking in quality protein. But an Intuitive Eater will need easy-to-chew, comforting options while an Active Eater will prefer tougher cuts.
Using the Eating Styles, I can help you go that extra step to knowing which foods and recipes will be ideal for your child.
Understanding your child’s Eating Style will even help you create an ideal eating environment. An Analytical Eater will prefer quiet and maybe even eating alone sometimes. While an Adventurous Eater will enjoy trying new foods and changing the seating arrangement every night!
Adding in this extra level of bio-individuality means less frustration for Mom and more success in improving your child’s diet and health!
What is a Healthy Diet for Kids?
My daughter is now almost a teenager (gasp!). I’m so proud to say she is an amazingly talented young lady with a big heart.
Over the years we worked with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, functional neurologist, psychologist, chiropractor, and orthodontist. Each of these contributed to our success.
But it was Nutritional Therapy that had the biggest impact on my daughter’s health and overall life!
At five years old we removed gluten and food dyes.
Almost overnight it was like somebody turned on a light switch in her brain. The sparkle appeared in her eyes and she could feel the difference.
Since that day we have made adjustments here and there to meet her needs. She is an Adventurous Eater that has very different tastes in food than I do. And I honor that and let her help plan meals and make food decisions. Almost every afternoon I find her in the kitchen creating a unique snack!
As we enter the teen years this will be of the utmost importance with shifting hormones and different sleep and nutritional needs.
Just the other day she mentioned how she has been thinking better after we put a focus on some key B vitamins.
Gluten-free and dye-free in addition to whole foods is what works for my daughter. But every child has a unique set of challenges and a unique environment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health. That is why Nutritional Therapy is so amazing!
Is Nutritional Therapy Necessary?
I truly believe that all children can benefit from Nutritional Therapy. It is a great way to support the whole child in a non-invasive manner.
Even seemingly healthy kids can benefit by targeting specific body systems and supporting them with key nutrients.
I’d love to support you and your children on your journey to better health with Nutritional Therapy! If you want to learn more, let’s talk!
Beyond Nutritional Therapy for Kids
There are times when even Nutritional Therapy is not enough. Or times when a feeding problem has gone beyond a simple dietary adjustment.
If you’ve been hesitant to take action and take charge of your child’s health, it could get worse.
This is where Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) for kids comes in. Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll share my youngest daughter’s journey when she went from eating nothing to a healthy, active child. HTMA was a life-saver!