Children and Food
Babies and Toddlers are particularly unique in their behavior. Children are often much more exploratory than adults, and for babies and small children this exploration often includes putting their hands and objects in their mouths. Children are not little adults. They are growing and developing in ways that can make them more vulnerable than adults to toxic substances. The way today’s children are conceived, develop in utero and are born is vastly different from what was experienced by grandparents or great grandparents. One of the major differences is our modern use of chemicals. This modern technology has managed to create tens of thousands of chemical substances which are ultimately released into the environment and are detected in air, water, food and soil, as well as in our bodies. With increasing threats to their well being from these substances, children today need all the protection they can get.
Children have strong food preferences. Often they will want to eat a limited range of the same kinds of foods, sometimes for days or even weeks at a time. Children also tend to consume much more milk than adults. Even though parents may think that such foods are nutritious, any contaminants in them can deliver higher exposures to toxins than would occur with a more varied diet. Children have a longer lifetime ahead of them than do adults. They therefore have more time for exposures to occur and health problems to manifest. A child’s exposure to persistent substances (those that don’t breakdown and often accumulate in body fat or bone) lead to build-up in their bodies for a longer period of time. Therefore exposures during childhood may not result in health effects until adulthood.
Most mothers try hard to feed their families right. Too often many have been incorrectly advised by their doctors: “You don’t need vitamins or food supplements. Just feed your child a balanced diet.”
Most pediatricians have received very little nutritional education themselves, so they are not in a position to give parents the help they need and have a right to expect. In actual fact some elements of a so-called balanced diet can under mine the immune system of their children. The key to a healthy immune system is optimal nutrition.
A child’s immune system has to learn to act effectively, and when it doesn’t, it may respond to harmless or useful things as if they were enemies. This is exactly how an allergy develops.
Children have a remarkable ability to heal themselves when they are properly nourished.