Essentials of Healthy Living for Kids

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Did you know 60% of the brain is made up of healthy fats? Two fats essential for optimal brain activity are the omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Unfortunately, the majority of American kids are deficient in these healthy fats.

Essential fatty acids must be ingested because the body cannot produce them. The standard American diet is low in these important fats, which are contained in foods such as walnuts, salmon, avocados, and flaxseed . Supplementing with fish oil helps to promote healthy brain development and function (reading, spelling, and behavior) and supports vision.

There are about 3 pounds of bacteria (both good and bad) in the human body. You need many species of good bacteria called probiotics to keep your immune system and digestive system strong. Beneficial bacteria can help your body by:

  • Keeping bad bacteria in check (protect the body from infection)
  • Boosting immune health (helps with allergy support)

The rate of teen obesity has recently tripled. A study has found that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. Eating a healthy diet and exercising are so important to your health. Benefits of exercise include:

  • Promoting healthy muscles, bones, and overall body composition
  • Reducing your risk of developing Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
  • Supporting mental health (enhancing concentration, memory, and elevating mood)

Four of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States are related to diet (diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke).

5 foods to limit or avoid:

  • Soda – very high in sugar and caffeine
  • Potato chips and French fries – contain unhealthy fats
  • Doughnuts and other processed baked goods – contain refined sugar/flour
  • Lunch meats and hot dogs – contain sodium nitrate (linked to cancer)
  • Canned soup – high in sodium, MSG, and unhealthy fats

As many as 37% of American kids routinely skip breakfast. Eating a healthy diet, which includes breakfast, supports brain function, memory, and enhances concentration.

5 brain boosting foods:

  • Nuts and seeds – great source of healthy fats, minerals, vitamins
  • Protein smoothie – provides protein boost for healthy growth
  • Hardboiled eggs – high in protein and choline to support brain health
  • Colorful fruit – rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Hummus and veggies – provide fiber, healthy fats and protein

3 Key Supplements for Children’s Health

Multivitamin/Multimineral – Children require a comprehensive range of vitamins and minerals to help build strong, healthy bodies. Choosing a liquid multi provides a form that is easy to swallow. Delicious out of the bottle or mixed into their favorite juice, it will give you peace of mind to watch your kids happily taking the nutrients their bodies need. Recommended: Pathway CHILDREN’S LIQUID MULTI

Essential Fatty Acids – Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital to proper growth and development. Studies show that taking EFAs, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), during the early developmental years can significantly enhance learning capacity and academic performance. Pathway NEUROMINS® DHA is a highly purified vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acid that is safe and effective for infants and children. Recommended: Pathway Neuromins® DHA

Probiotics – Taking probiotics is so beneficial to your child’s health. Friendly bacteria help to enhance immunity, reduce allergic reactions, and promote healthy digestion, regular bowel activity, as well as aid in the absorption of minerals and the manufacturing of needed B vitamins. Anytime they are taking antibiotics, rebalancing with probiotics is necessary. Recommended: Pathway CHILDREN’S ACIDOPHILUS

Our Bloggers

  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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  • Margo Gladding
    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
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    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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  • Debi Silber
    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
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    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
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    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
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    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
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August 2010
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