Children's Dietary Recommendations

More and more parents are anxious to feed their children the best food for their growth and development. However, many times the foods considered best are not appropriate for their child's metabolic type. This newsletter explores why this occurs and how to correct it.

Many Children Are Fast Oxidizers

Dr. George Watson coined the terms fast and slow oxidizers to describe individuals who burn their food at faster-than-normal and slower-than-normal rates. His work is described in Nutrition and Your Mind, Bantam Books, 1972. The concept of oxidation types was expanded upon by Dr. Paul Eck. Dr. Watson used cumbersome odor and blood tests to determine the oxidation type. Dr. Eck discovered a way to measure the oxida­tion rate with hair mineral analysis.

One observation from their research is that children are often fast oxidizers. This is important because the foods required to balance fast oxida­tion are different than that which is often recom­mended for children.

Carbohydrates And Fast Oxidation

Fast oxidizer metabolism can be described as a furnace that is too hot. It requires more fuel and an even supply of fuel. The best fuel would be a hardwood log that burns slowly and provides a continuous supply of fuel.

Among foods, the 'fuel' foods are carbohy­drates and fats. Fats provide more than twice the calories as starches per gram and are more slowly digested and absorbed. Fats are most like the hardwood logs.

In contrast, carbohydrate foods (starches and sweets) are metabolized relatively rapidly, espe­cially sugars. Foods high in sugar include refined sugars, fruit, fruit juice, honey and maple syrup. For this discussion, it matters little that the sugar is naturally found in the food. The effect upon metabolism is the same as when the sugar is refined and added to the food.

Diet For Fast Oxidizers

Fast oxidizers feel well eating fats and oils, protein foods and vegetables. The fats and oils provide them with adequate calories that are burned slowly and evenly. Mother's milk, for example, is rich in fat and calcium, two nutrients that are excellent for fast oxidizers. Fats are also essential for the development of the nervous system. Protein foods often contain some fats and oils.

Vegetables contain mainly roughage, cellu­lose, vitamins and minerals. For young children, vegetables should be mashed, pureed, or cooked if the children are not chewing adequately. Vege­tables are excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals that are essential for children’s develop­ment.

When fast oxidizing children are fed high carbohydrate diets, especially sweets, their metab­olism is thrown out of balance. Unfortunately, many books recommend plenty of fruit, dried fruit and fruit juices for children. Some books recom­mend strict vegetarian diets for children, which are often very low in fats and oils. While oils can be obtained from nut butters and avocado, some children do better on the animal fats. Cholesterol is usually not a problem for fast oxidizing chil­dren. Children who live on junk foods such as soda pop and refined flour and sugar products are eating excessive carbohydrates that are also deficient in vitamins and minerals!

Problems With High Carbohydrate Diets

When fast oxidizers eat excessive carbohy­drates, it is like pouring gasoline on a fire. The blood sugar level rises rapidly, which increases the metabolic rate. All metabolic activity is in­creased, often far above the normal. This induces a state of hyperexcitability or irritability.

This is followed by a rapid decline in the blood sugar level as the sugar is quickly removed from the blood. This can produce symptoms of fatigue, confusion and panicky feelings. It can also cause strong cravings for sugary foods to increase the blood sugar level. The effect is an alternating high and low blood sugar condition that affects many aspects of body chemistry. Brain activity and behavior are affected as well.

Symptoms often include mood swings, hyper­activity, hypoglycemic symptoms such as food cravings and lowered resistance to infection. Difficulty concentrating due to blood sugar changes can contribute to learning disabilities. Other symptoms of an incorrect diet include skin rashes, difficulty sleeping, anti-social behavior, allergies and asthma. More subtle problems include depletion of calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and other elements. This can result in deficiency symptoms and cause the accumulation of toxic metals.

The Exceptions

Many children are fast oxidizers. Parents will often notice that their child will crave fatty foods such as cheese, avocado, meats, butter and peanut butter. These children are most likely fast oxidiz­ers. These children may also crave sweets, espe­cially if they are not given fatty foods. They may be craving the calories, or they may be hypogly­cemic from their diet and crave sweets to tempo­rarily elevate their blood sugar level.

However, some children become slow oxidiz­ers at an early age. This may be genetically deter­mined, or is due to biochemical imbalances that cause the oxidation rate to slow down at an early age. These children will not feel as well on fatty foods and will often desire low-fat meats and more vegetarian foods. These children often have a quieter temperament, are more introverted and may complain more often of fatigue. These are common symptoms of slow oxidation. A sure way to distinguish these two types is through a hair mineral analysis.

Changing a child's diet so that it is appropriate for the child's metabolism is a simple but very powerful way to improve many children's health. It is so simple it is often overlooked, especially today when low-fat and high-carbohydrate foods are heavily recommended for children.

This material is for educational purposes only
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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