Nutritional Balancing Programs For Children

At ARL, we are seeing more and more children, including many infants, with severe nutritional imbalances. Many can benefit dramatically from hair mineral analysis and nutritional balancing. This bulletin discusses issues specifically related to improving your success with children.

Toxic At Birth - Congenital Imbalances

Most all children are born with significant levels of toxic metals, as these pass easily through the placenta from their mothers. This is a sorry situation that we would love to change by working with pregnant women and mothers-to-be before they become pregnant. Removing toxic metals and re-nourishing mothers-to-be would benefit thousands of children.

Mothers-to-be, including teenage girls, may have no obvious symptoms. They may sleep and eat well, and have no physical or emotional complaints. Yet, when one performs a hair tissue mineral analysis on them, the results are often surprising. Most show a very slow oxidation rate, hidden or overt copper toxicity and many other imbalances. Hair mineral analysis is excellent for a true prenatal care that can help reduce birth defects, ease the stress of pregnancy and help create a much healthier generation of children.

Causes Of Childhood Biochemical Imbalances

Children's biochemical and nutritional imbalances can stem from numerous causes. Among the first causes is inadequate nutrition from breast milk or worse, most formula. After weaning, children's prepared foods often contain hundreds of additives such as artificial colors and flavors to make them more attractive to children. Many are sweetened with sugar. This adds to the already deficient foods that most children live on.

Children are prone to many infections that can weaken their bodies and deplete nutrients. Widespread use of antibiotics and other drugs for children add more toxic substances and may interfere with digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Many vaccines introduce toxic material and may be preserved with aluminum and mercury.

Stress can be an important factor in many children's lives that alters their body chemistry. Stress increases the need for nutrients and so accelerates the development of mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Stress may come from family problems, school-related stress, fatigue or other sources.

Notes Regarding Hyperactive or ADHD Children

In these cases, it is often necessary and completely safe to give larger doses of certain supplements that help control aberrant or anti-social behavior. These supplements include calcium and magnesium above all. These are what we call parasympathetic supplements. This means they tend to calm the nervous system and relax the muscles as well. They promote resting, sleeping and have a generally calming effect.

Taurine is also calming and may be added to programs for children.

One may modify the recommended supplement program to offer more of these supplements in cases of ADHD with increased benefit. None are harmful in a somewhat higher amount. Call us for advice if you are not sure about how much you can give. This applies to any child with difficult behavior issues, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, school difficulties and other situations in which the nervous system is out of balance or hypersensitive.

Food Allergies in Children

Many children have allergies or sensitivities to common foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn and others. These can play a large role in conditions such as autism, ADHD, chronic infections and others. Please consider this factor when designing children's nutrition programs.

The simplest method is to ask parents to carefully observe how behavior or other symptoms change after eating particular foods. Some will notice severe changes after eating sugar, for example, or another food. Food chemicals such as aspartame or MSG can also cause severe reactions in some children.

Another, more precise method to identify food allergies is to use an elimination diet. One feeds the child a simple diet of, for example, rice, turkey and simple vegetables for a week or so and notice if the child's symptoms improve. Then slowly re-introduce other foods, noting any changes in behavior or other symptoms. This is most easily done on very small children and those who are not fussy about food.

For fussier children, food allergy testing may be required. It can be done through several laboratories and can be somewhat costly. Insurance may help cover the cost. Note that any food the child consumes regularly may be reported as sensitive.

While food allergy testing may be very helpful, recall that our goal is to reduce food sensitivities with the nutritional balancing program. It can take several months to several years, however, to rebuild the intestines and eliminate toxic metals and deficiencies that are contributing to leaky gut syndrome or other digestive difficulties.

Also recall that much of the food today is of poor quality. What may seem like a food "allergy" can simply be that the child is reacting to chemical additives, infective organisms or other contaminants in a food. One brand of food may work better for a child than another. Organic food is almost always best.

To learn more about allergies and children we recommend the books by Dr. Doris Rapp, MD.

Sugars Versus Fats and Oils

Children's health is damaged immensely by ingesting too many sugars, even natural sugars such as fruit, fruit juices, maple syrup or honey. In contrast, growing children require for their brain development high quality fats and oils, preferably some with each meal. Parents often hesitate to feed children fats for fear their child will become overweight. This is not the truth.

In fact, the opposite is true. Feeding children excessive carbohydrates in the form of sweets, fruit juices, sugared cereals and even excessive breads, pastries and other goodies will often result in a diabetic trend and obesity. Be sure children are eating their quality fats and oils with each meal. These can include olive oil, butter, meats, eggs, full-fat organic milk, goat milk and coconut oil or palm oil. Commonly used oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, soy, sesame and canola oils are less beneficial. These have been heated excessively and bleached, and have lost many of their beneficial qualities.

Four Low Electrolytes and Children

Four low electrolytes on a hair mineral analysis is a chronic stress pattern characteristic of adults more than children. However, this pattern is appearing more and more frequently in children's mineral analyses. This is not a healthful trend and correlates with increased illness and debility in children.

A common cause for the four low electrolyte pattern in children is stress due to an exhausted or stressed parent. Often, a parent of such a child will have the four low electrolyte "personality type". This is typically one who is driven, somewhat compulsive, exhausted and who worries a lot or who does too much mental or physical activity.

In these cases, the best procedure is to work with the parent along with the child on a nutrition and lifestyle modification program. This is the best way to achieve excellent results.

Other ways to influence the child to relax may be needed. These can include teaching a simple form of meditation to the child or using soft music, quiet reading, more naps and other methods to assist the child to relax and "put the adrenals to bed". Assisting a child to relax and slow down is needed to exit the four-low-electrolyte biochemical pattern.

Have Children's Friends to Your House

A suggestion that may be critical to assuring that children eat correctly and sleep well is to tell parents to encourage or even insist that children congregate and play at their home, rather than that of friends. We realize this means more work and disruption for parents. However, it is well worth the effort.

At other children's homes, the concerned parent has no control over the food served or how late the children stay up at night if it is a sleepover situation. Also, one cannot know the material the children see on their computers and televisions, and the activities the children engage in.

Some children are very talkative about their friends and their activities with their parents. However, many do not share all that goes on. Other subtle or not so subtle influences in some homes can deeply affect certain children.

For all these reasons, attempt to keep children at home when playing with others. This means making the home attractive to children, with toys, games or other facilities. Also, give children the space and time to be together safely without feeling overwhelmed by the parents' presence.

Helping Children to Take Supplements

Children, especially young children, often do not swallow pills well. Instead, grind, crush or blend the tablets in a favorite food. Food with a strong flavor are often best to mix with supplements. These include peanut butter, almond butter, tomato sauce, banana or yogurt. At times vegetable or cream soups or other favorite foods, drinks or sauces can be used. Try to avoid using very sweet beverages for disguising nutritional supplements. Use these only as last resorts because of their sugar content.

Supplement Dosing

Analytical Research Labs recommends supplements for children twice daily. This is because the lunch dosage is often difficult for children in school. However, in some cases a dose after school with a snack may be very helpful, for example if a child is hyperactive and the supplements will help him or her calm down. Lunch doses can also be arranged if needed with the school nurse.

For young children who cannot swallow pills and for whom crushing tablets is not working, one may substitute chewable or liquid supplements. There are liquid calcium and magnesium supplements one could use from the health food store, provided the doctor or parents read the label carefully to obtain the correct dosage.

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