Kid’s Nutrition

Kid’s Nutrition

How many times do you see parents allowing children to have candy, ice cream, soda and potato chips just to keep them quiet? For children, food provides the building blocks for healthy growth and development. Poor eating habits may result in a lack of energy during school and at play.

Synaptic growth is most significant during your baby’s first few years of life—when he or she is taking in all sorts of new input and acquiring new skills. By the time your child turns 3, each neuron has formed as many as 10,000 connections, making a total of about a quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) throughout the brain. (That’s double the number of connections in your own brain.) Synapse formation slows after the toddler years, but continues throughout childhood and into adolescence, finally reaching adult levels when your child is anywhere from 15 to 18 years old.

Different sugars affect the brain in different ways, so it is only logical to conclude that certain sugars can adversely affect the thinking and actions of some children. The sugars at fault include glucose, dextrose, and sucrose, and the highly refined, highly processed “junk sugars” found in candy, icings, syrups, packaged baked goods, and table sugar. The worst among these is high fructose corn syrup. These sugars enter the bloodstream quickly, reaching high levels in a short time. This triggers the release of large amounts of insulin, the hormone needed to escort the sugars into the body’s cells. These sugars are used rapidly, and when they’re all used up, the blood sugar level plunges to a sugar low, or hypoglycemia . The low blood sugar triggers the release of adrenal hormones (called a “sugar high”) that squeezes stored sugar from the liver, sending blood sugar levels back up. This blood sugar roller-coaster affects moods and concentration in some children and adults, leading to “sugar highs”and “sugar blues.” The ups and downs of blood sugar and adrenal hormones can also stimulate neurotransmitter imbalance, causing the child to feel fidgety, irritable, inattentive, and even sleepy.

The best sugars for the brain are complex carbohydrates. These do not cause the roller-coaster mood swings that the junk sugars do. The molecules in complex carbs are long, so it takes longer for the intestines to break them down into the simple sugars the body can use. Thus, they provide a time-release source of steady energy rather than a sudden surge followed by a sudden drop.

Here are a few tips:

Always include protein with your child’s breakfast.
Replace empty calorie foods with fruits and vegetables.
Survey your own eating habits… What foods are on hand? What are the snack choices?
Increase the variety of fresh fruit you have on hand.
Serve the vegetables that your children like best as often as possible.
Ask your children to try new foods at mealtime.
Serve small portions of a variety of food.
Don’t require them to clean their plates!
Children need vitamin and anti-oxidant supplementation, as well as omega 3 supplementation. (check with me for proper types and amounts)

Chiropractic is for Babies!

I welcomed my new 6 pound 11 ounce grandson into the world with his first adjustment on the third day of life. He was born Sunday, the 21st, and I checked his spine on Tuesday as soon as he got home. Birth can be hard on these little guys. The pressure against the head is quite substantial and can cause quite a bit of trouble if the vertebrae get stuck and quit moving. I’ve found that babies sleep better, cry less, have less colic, have stronger immune systems – after they get adjusted.

I was grateful to be able to help my daughter earlier Sunday. This little guy was insisting on being born posterior. With a technique called “Webster Technique” I was able to convince him otherwise. He settled down into the correct position for birth and my daughter immediately started having less back labor and more productive labor. That was a great chiropractic moment. It is thrilling to see someone benefit so dramatically through chiropractic!

Vitamin D3 & RSV

Pregnant women who take vitamin D can prevent a respiratory illness in newborns called RSV according to a new study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, May, 2011.
The study suggests that out of the five-million RSV cases every year in the United States, a million fewer kids would get the respiratory virus if more pregnant moms took vitamin D supplements.
“Right now in this study they quote it as 400 international units — so the same as for a newborn child. Although, there have been studies that have shown up to 4,000 international units,” Blackburn said.
The study found that infants who were born with Vitamin D3 levels higher than 75 were 6 times less likely to get RSV in the first year of life.
“Vitamin D deficiency in healthy neonates is associated with increased risk of RSV LRTI in the first year of life,” the study authors write. “Intensified routine vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may be a useful strategy to prevent RSV LRTI during infancy.”

I have vitamin D3 here in my office that is a good quality. I can help you figure out how much to take.

Infant Colic

What can I do about colic? It’s so hard for me to hear my baby cry and there seems to be nothing I can do about it!

For any of you that have ridden the emotional rollercoaster of a colicky baby, it isn’t something you soon forget.  The inability of a parent or caregiver to console the child leaves them questioning their parenting skills.  A recent study that evaluated the effects of spinal manipulation versus a common prescription medication (dimethicone) reported:

“Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic, and that by the end of the two week trial period, the manipulation group did significantly better than the drug group.  In fact, crying was reduced 2.7 hours per day in the chiropractic group.  In contrast, crying had dropped only 1 hour per day with the use of dimethicone.   In the course of the 12 days of the study, the children being adjusted saw a 67% reduction in crying versus 38% in the drug group.”

Another investigation showed that 91% of parents in the study reported that improvement in colic occurred within one week of treatment.

I have also noticed some supplements that help increase the effectiveness of the adjustment.  Check with me for proper supplementation.

Infant Ear Infections

What can I do about ear infections in my baby?
Otitis media (middle ear infections) is another source of grief for our precious little ones.  There is uncertainty among experts as to the best solution for this common condition.  Recent research has started to show the ineffectiveness of antibiotics for middle ear infections.  In fact the New England Journal of Medicine reported, “Only 1 in 8 children with ear infections benefit from antibiotics, and researchers found that most subjects who received placebo recovered just as quickly as subjects taking prescription antibiotics.”   The study continued “Within one week 81% of placebo subjects had recuperated.”

Of almost greater interest in this study, however, was how lead author Dr. J. Owen Hendley shared the same concerns about prescription side-effects and antibiotic resistance that chiropractors and other holistic health care professionals have worried about for decades.  He advised physicians to prescribe antibiotics for ear infections sparingly, and suggested that practitioners wait 48 to 72 hours before administering drugs as ear infections often mend on their own.

Many studies have shown the connection between mechanical dysfunction of the Eustachian tube and middle ear infections, which make treating ear infections with chiropractic care a reasonable solution.  There are special drops that can be placed in the child’s ear, as well as supplements that can be given that will enhance the chiropractic adjustment and increase the speed of recovery for the child.

The evidence for chiropractic care for mothers and their little bundles is steadily growing in the research literature.

Pregnancy & Chiropractic

How can I get rid of the back pain I get during pregnancy? I don’t want to use medicines if I don’t have to.

Lower back pain and pregnancy are almost synonymous.  In fact, several studies revealed that over 70% of pregnant women will experience lower back pain.  A study reported in the prestigious medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed the leading cause of lower back pain was due to a mechanical dysfunction (or subluxation in chiropractic terms) in the sacroiliac joint.  The journal Family Practice Resources reported a study completed by the Rochester School of Medicine where they reported that manipulation (adjustment) for sacroiliac subluxation was 91% effective in relieving back pain during pregnancy!

In addition to helping with back pain, it has been suggested that chiropractic care during pregnancy may reduce the time of labor and delivery between 24%  (for the first child) and 39% (for the second child).

A recent study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics reported that the Webster Technique may be effective in relieving the musculoskeletal causes of breech presentations that are unlikely to spontaneously change to normal in the 8th month of pregnancy.

I have a special table in my office that is designed to accommodate the pregnant body.  Many women receive great relief from pain by having chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy.