What are healthy foods for kids?
Simply put, healthy foods for kids are foods that supply their mind and body with the specific nutrients they need in order to achieve their greatest growth, health, happiness, and potentials throughout life (1), (2) , (3), (4).
However, it is simply not possible too arbitrarily list one or two hundred “healthy foods” without considering several important factors. Keep in mind, the key factor is:
Each child is unique with their own unique nutritional needs that must be approached on an individual basis!
In an effort to help gain a better understanding of your child’s unique nutritional needs, let’s explore a few common factors that contribute toward their unique needs and how to best choose their most healthy foods.
Note: We encourage you to spend some time on this page. In an effort to gain a better understanding about Healthy Foods for Kids, please click on the reference links throughout the page.
Inherited nutrient imbalances –
Have you ever considered such a thing as inherited nutrient imbalances? Probably not. However, unless you were on a regimented nutritional program using specific laboratory analyses for nutritional/toxic screenings for at least one year prior to conception, you more than likely passed on many nutrient imbalances (5), (6). Typical pre-natal nutrition, especially without using nutritional laboratory analyses, may prove inadequate for nutritional balance.
Think for a moment, if you were deficient in zinc (or any other essential nutrient), how could your newborn not be deficient in zinc? If you had an excess of copper (or any other essential nutrient), how could your newborn not have excessive copper? (7)
In addition, unless you rebalanced your nutritional status after delivery, you and each additional offspring may experience further nutrient imbalances.
Inherited toxic elements –
In the same manner that nutrient imbalances are congenitally inherited, toxic elements such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium are easily passed on during pregnancy (in utero).
In addition, during childhood, this can be compounded due to daily toxic exposures from their everyday environment such as toys, foods, medicines, vaccinations, dental materials, building products of the home, furnishings, cleaning products, personal care products and so on (8).
Here again, if you were constantly exposed to any toxic element, how could your newborn not have those toxic elements as well? Toxic elements may easily contribute toward many mental and/or physical health problems (9).
This also includes adverse effects resulting from chemical toxins.
The sex of your child –
The sex of your child does make a difference for their nutritional needs. All children require the same essential nutrients (and conditionally essential nutrients) throughout life. However, during various development stages, due to the difference between boys and girls (yes, I know!), there is a greater demand on certain essential and conditionally essential nutrients – especially during puberty (10), (11), (12).
Prescription drugs –
Many prescription and seemingly harmless over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may create or contribute toward nutrient malabsorption, excessive excretion, increased metabolic demands, increased toxic elements exposures, reduced detoxification, and reductions in metabolite conversions of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Our only comment here is that you should realize that almost every prescription (or OTC) drug, whether it occurs as a direct or indirect effect (due to complex nutrient interrelationships), may negatively affect one or more nutrients. Nutrient deficiencies resulting from drugs are referred to as pharmaceutical-induced nutritional deficiencies. (15a), (15b).
We highly recommend you investigate Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Edition. This is the most comprehensive resource (far more complete than the PDR for Nutritional Supplements) we have ever found. This is a valuable resource and not an affiliate link.
Mental and physical stresses are normal byproducts of growth; however, we have compounded the mental stress of our children. Unfortunately, many of these stressors may stem from unreasonable demands such as the coveted education, financial success, win at all cost, be better and greater than anyone else, become a Hall of Fame athlete, being bullied, electronic games and gadgets, and so on.
Even though the previous examples may not apply to you, it is important to become aware of unnecessary mental stressors you may unintentionally place on your child. It is equally important to talk to your child about stressors they may be facing outside the home.
Mental stress and physical stress places tremendous demands on nutritional status and when combined with poor nutrition (i.e., fast foods and processed foods), enhances the stress effect. For more details, see Stress and Nutrition.
Sedentary lifestyle –
More and more kids spend endless hours on social media, video games, and other technological forms of entertainment. This eliminates the constant movement (such as running and playing) of past generations. The lack of exercise can easily affect their health and development as well as nutritional requirements. As a result, this may easily create or contribute toward health problems in adulthood as well (16), (17).
Amazingly, we now need the Let’s Move (First Lady Michele Obama) and the NFL Play 60 programs. These programs encourage children to engage in some form of physical exercise each day. This is a major indication of how technology (combined with poor nutrition) is negatively affecting our future generations.
Note: As a baby-boomer, our parents required us to stop playing long enough for dinner!
Self-selection of foods –
How many kids are going to drag you over to the meat and vegetable isles in the grocery store?
As you know, kids (and most adults!) are automatically drawn to the unhealthiest foods. Fast foods and junk foods are convenience foods with questionable nutritional value for an adult let alone a growing child (18), (19), (20).
As you know, children would simply attempt to live on fast and junk foods.
These foods taste good and are intentionally ADDICTIVE!
Warning: You are up against a formidable opponent!
Kids are powerful influencers in several profit-driven markets including foods. Food manufacturers know this (21). As such, the food industry employs thousands (upon thousands) of scientists and chemical engineers to addict your children (and you) to unhealthy foods. This deplorable practice is intentional, profit-driven, and most sadly, reveals very little concern for the health of your child.
Unfortunately, clever food packaging (e.g., colorful, cartoon characters, toy included, etc.) and incessant television advertising and marketing campaigns influence your children — not nutritional facts (22), (23), (24). In addition, the use of highly addictive additives such as sugar (as addictive as cocaine!), salts, fats, and other chemical additives makes this even more difficult (24a), (24b), (24c).
Healthy nutrition is important for personality development.
Decades of research clearly reveals the effects of nutrient imbalances on the personality of both children and adults (27), (28). Personality development may become impaired due to nutritional excesses and deficiencies as well as toxic elements and chemical toxins (29), (30), (31).
As mentioned earlier, nutrient imbalances and toxic elements may occur during pregnancy.
Healthy nutrition is important for educating kids!
Have you noticed that America is constantly dropping in the world academics competition (math, reading, and science)? Maybe it is time to ask yourself what the experts ignore: Is poor nutrition why the United States continues to fall in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for math, reading, and science (32)?
What is the “never-mentioned” potential answer for this downhill slide? For some reason in our extremely profitable fast and junk food nation, not one “expert” ever mentions nutrition (33). How is it possible to expect our children to grow and learn to their greatest potential when they are nutritionally compromised (34)?
This includes common toxic element exposures as well.
Today, a growing number of children depend on free school breakfast and lunches (35), (36). Unfortunately, you may better serve your child with a couple of hard-boiled eggs than the questionable foods publicly served. As you know, you cannot control your child’s specific nutrient needs in these situations – especially with two (free) meals.
Keep in mind; you are your child’s most powerful role model! As such, the dietary habits you teach during your child’s formative years will influence them throughout their educational years as well as adulthood (37).
Healthy foods for kids actually deprive your kids!
What kind of parent would ever deprive their child of a happy meal that includes a toy (38)? What about sugar latent cereals, sugar latent fruit juices, chemical latent processed foods, and every other unhealthy food (39), (40)?
They are convenient and taste so good!
Think about that for a moment. How do you deprive your child when all their friends consume these foods on a daily basis? This is a game changer if you attempt to keep your child on healthy nutrition. Unfortunately, if these foods were never available, this would not be such a monumental problem (41).
This particular problem, on such a large scale, boomed in the latter half of the 20th century. Of course there were “unhealthy treats” long before but, they were treats – not dietary staples. That is a huge difference.
Note: We don’t provide recipes because our primary goal is to define which healthy foods will address your child’s specific nutrient needs. Fortunately, many websites can provide recipes that help make healthy foods more attractive for kids.
Fortified foods – are they helpful or harmful?
As a parent, you simply “know” fortified foods are a healthy choice!
Fortified foods, sometimes referred to as functional foods, are widely promoted throughout the food industry. Fortified is an excellent marketing term; however, fortified foods may be a double-edge sword (42). Depending on specific circumstances (e.g., nutrient excesses and deficiencies), they may prove helpful or harmful (43), (44)!
One of the most important factors about nutrition that the public doesn’t know is:
Every nutrient has complex relationships with numerous other nutrients in order to work properly.
Simply put, if you over-consume any nutrient, it will work against numerous other nutrients and ultimately lead toward myriad mental and/or physical health problems (45). It doesn’t matter if the over-consumed nutrient is a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, or fat. As such, fortified foods should be consumed with caution unless you KNOW there is a specific need for an increase in the particular fortified nutrient.
How could you possibly know?
This can ONLY be accomplished through laboratory nutritional screenings. Otherwise, you may be further contributing toward an already excessive nutrient. This creates more of a problem than it helps.
Let’s look at a quick example. Iron is a commonly fortified nutrient. Iron is obviously an essential nutrient; however, many bacteria use iron to proliferate. Normally, as a mechanism of the immune response, the body sequesters iron to starve bacteria. This is the nutritional immune response. As such, continually feeding the body additional iron merely contributes to the problem.
Certainly, this cannot apply to calcium fortification. When you realize calcium is only ONE (1) of at least 15 nutrients directly required for strong bones and teeth, you will see the fallacy of this unfortunate and long-standing nutritional misconception (myth). Yes, calcium is a major constituent in bones and teeth but too much calcium can be as detrimental as too little. An excess of calcium will antagonize many of the other nutrients required by the bones.
Keep in mind, any nutrient excess or deficiency of ANY nutrient ultimately results in malnutrition.
Healthy foods for kids made simple!
What if there was a simple way to know which foods are the healthiest for your child? Wouldn’t you like to know if they are suffering from toxic elements?
One of the simplest means to test your child’s nutritional needs is by using our hair analysis. It is an excellent starting point for nutrition and simple to collect the hair sample in the convenience of your own home.
The results of the analysis reveal nutritional and toxic element levels. In addition, our TEI Profile 2 includes a list of healthy foods to increase (46) and foods to avoid. We don’t provide recipes; however, once you know exactly which foods you need to increase, simply Google some recipes for those foods.
Let’s be realistic. That is the simple part. The difficult part is when you attempt to wean your child from the highly addictive junk foods. This will not be easy!
Advice that may help — allow your children help prepare their foods. Afterwards, sit at the table and enjoy the family dinner (47)! Remember, convenient foods are not healthy and healthy foods are not convenient.
As for supplements, our results also provide supplement recommendations; however, most children simply do not do well taking supplements. You can try crushing our supplements and add them to strong flavored foods or alternatively, find other supplements more palatable for children. However, make certain those supplements increase the specific nutrients your child needs and do not increase the nutrients they don’t need! You will negate the program.
In the end, you influence your child more than anyone and teaching him or her about healthy nutrition IS a life-long gift.
Are you ready to give your child a real advantage in life?
Order your child’s Trace Elements Inc. Profile 2 hair analysis today!
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