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Feeding kids is increasingly complicated

<p>Of concern to all parents is their children’s eating habits and basic nutrition.</p>




Marja Airio/Strehlt/Canadian Press


An infant chows down on some baby food. It’s not easy to keep up with the latest advice on what to feed children.




Of concern to all parents is their children’s eating habits and basic nutrition.


As nutritionists, scientists and geneticists learn more, our information changes and it’s all we can do to keep up with the latest food and health trends. This is especially confusing to mothers who are often more involved hands-on in shopping, preparing and feeding their children.


One of the many controversies in child-rearing revolves around breastfeeding. Although most people know that it’s Mother Nature’s food of choice for newborn babies, some women are unable to, and still others choose not to. According to the Canadian Pediatric Association, it’s American counterpart, and the World Health Organization, babies should be exclusively breastfed until six months old, and mothers are advised to continue breastfeeding until their babies are two years old. Researchers say breastfed children have higher IQ’s, and fewer diseases and allergies.


According to homeopathic experts, the seat of all good health starts in our gut — in the gastrointestinal system. So what we ingest, and what we give our children to ingest, is far more important than it’s caloric count or amount of saturated fats. Food and drink affect our entire biological system.


For this reason, it’s important that we give our children hypoallergenic foods when we start them on solids. We also avoid foods to which many people are sensitive such as wheat, dairy, citrus, soy, berries, nuts and sugar. Because babies lack the proper enzymes to break down foods until they are two years old, when we start them on solids, we introduce one food at a time for three days in a row, watching for skin reactions and/or behavioural changes.


Once your child starts eating solid foods, it’s up to you how involved you become. Obviously it’s unhealthy to serve only prepackaged, high sugar, full-fat, processed foods. But how healthy a route you choose to take can vary greatly.


For me, while I understand that microwaving food in plastic containers is unhealthy, I find it extreme to not have any plastic containers in your house whatsoever — but some people don’t. That means every product they buy either comes in glass, or is then transferred.


As women, we are responsible to make our own decisions about what we eat. As mothers, we have to think and act on our children’s behalf. So next time you’re grocery shopping, take a minute to read the labels — are your children eating healthy enough foods for their inner balance?



letters@metronews.ca


 
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