I found parenting to be the hardest job I ever had.   There are no manuals, no books that tell you exactly how your “model” works and what if you have more than one “model”?  I have three kids and each one is very different.  You parents will know what I am talking about.  Thankfully I managed to get them to adulthood, each and every one.

What I want to share with you are the reasons I am writing this particular article.  Nutrition, behaviour, what is right and what is necessary. ‘He/she won’t eat anything or is a picky eater.  We want them to have veggies, fruits, good solid proteins, home cooked meals, but all we can seem to get into them is hotdogs, chips, mac and cheese, etc.

If you have already enticed them with the fast, easy and delicious foods mentioned above, and I don’t mean the home cooked kind, well you have a challenge in getting the right nutrients in so that their diet is somewhat balanced. A diet of mainly processed “fast” food is devoid of essential vitamins and minerals, that are necessary for proper growth and development. This is where a good multivitamin/mineral comes in.  This will give them the fighting chance of staying healthy….this means they stay in school and not home with the flu, the latest cold or worse yet something that keeps them out for weeks on end.  A good quality multi should have no sugar (which lowers immune function), no colours or additives, and be all natural.  There are many on the shelves of big box, pharmacy or grocery stores that meet none of these qualities, but are marketed as a multi vitamins that are fun and has nice shapes.

The second nutrient your child needs is a good fish/omega supplement.  This is wonderful for development and maintenance.  Yes, kids need to think and you want to give them the best fighting chance in doing so.  This is especially important if they don’t like fish, or eating rich omega type foods.  The products found in health food stores are clean, concentrated and many taste excellent.  Remember what your mother always said, “fish is brain food”.  It is also a great immune product as well as keeping kid’s skin lubricated, free of eczema and hair lustrous and soft.

Vitamin D is now especially important for not just immune function, but also the “C” word from being a worry.  In North America, we get very little sunshine in the winter months and this past summer was limited in that at best.

For those kids that have trouble falling asleep, calcium supplements will help regulate their sleep patterns. I know you are saying why?  My child gets enough dairy!  If your child has trouble falling asleep, wets the bed, has a stuffy nose, eczema or headache/tummy ache, more often the culprit is dairy.  I recommend that dairy be eliminated (100%), for at least 3 weeks and see if they actually feel better. Dairy is mucus forming and can often create an imbalance in the body where it can cause more havoc with the immune system.  A calcium/magnesium supplement can often help in sleep disorders and calming a child who is having trouble settling in the classroom.

Teens need even more nutrients than their younger counterparts.  They, on average, are more active due to participating in sports, active social lives and are often on a growth spurt and have varied diets in that they will “pick up” whatever strikes their fancy.  They are more apt to sleep longer and find they have immune issues that they as children did not.  Teens often have skin breakouts, stuffy noses, tired eyes and digestive issues that may not be addressed correctly and considered “normal” teenager problems.  They are not. Giving them a greens drink that tastes good may be a way of getting the type of nutrients they may be missing out on and possibly a protein drink to keep their muscles strong and give some substance to their young growing bodies.

 I am an advocate for diet primarily, supplements, second. Diets can play havoc with nutrition and a supplement can be the added component to round out what is missing.  When the system works well, you may still get sick, but your recovery is that much faster. The body is designed to work well with what it has been given.   Good food, clean water, rest, exercise and fun make for a body to run right.

My kids are now adults and realize that supplements keep them on track.  Day in day out they are dealing with what life has to throw them and they are rarely calling in to work saying they can’t come in.  They have learned, as did I that we are not perfect and need to up the ante if it means vitality and health. We can offer guidance and assistance in the above matters, feel free to stop by. Our Staff are knowledgeable and want to see your kids, or future, reaching their full potential.

Thank you. Ausra

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