We all want our kids to feel their best, thrive in school and be well nourished. But some days are hectic and getting your child to eat their green veggies (or any vegetable at all for that matter) can be a challenge. Whether you have a picky eater or a child who eats everything you put on their plate, it can be tough to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need on a daily basis for healthy brain development, gut and digestive health, and a healthy immune system. This is when natural health supplements can really save the day and relieve some of the mom or dad guilt you may have about your child’s eating habits.
There are three specific natural health supplements that I recommend to optimize your child’s diet and help them thrive: omega-3s, probiotics and superfoods.
The human brain is comprised of approximately 60% fat—15% of which is called DHA, an omega-3 essential fatty acid. Even though there is roughly 200-300 times less EPA than DHA in the human brain, it is still important for brain development.
The brain develops at an exceptionally rapid pace from birth to age 5. In fact, it doubles in the first year and keeps growing until it reaches its full adult size by age 5 or 6. Ultimately, a child’s experiences and eating habits will shape how their brain develops. In fact, omega-3 supplementation, with both DHA and EPA, has been shown to improve clinical symptoms and cognitive performance in children with ADHD.
Omega-3s are essential for memory, learning, behaviour, prevention of depression, and have also been demonstrated to result in positive improvements in reading. Given the importance of omega-3s in brain development, it’s shocking to note that up to 84% of children consume less than one serving of fish/seafood, a rich source of omega-3s, per week!
As essential nutrients, we must obtain DHA and EPA from our diet. Our brain requires a steady supply of omega-3s because the turnover of DHA in particular is rapid. This is when supplementation can be extremely beneficial. Genuine Health’s omega3+ kids +D3 is sourced from wild-caught fish and sustainable fisheries. It contains 600 IU of vitamin D which is essential for brain, eye, nerve, bone and teeth development.
Because of the rise in exposure to blue light from screens, omega3+ kids +D3 also contains 5.5 mg of lutein, a critical component of brain and eye health both in early life as well as in aging. As a parent, you can feel good knowing it’s third party tested for oxidation and contaminants.
The microbiome plays a critical role in a robust immune system. Research has shown that low levels of bacteria called bifido and lactobacillus are associated with the development of allergies, eczema and asthma in children.
A child’s microbiome begins to develop in utero and continues to develop rapidly after birth, forming and housing the immune system, which will help them ward off disease later in life. A variety of factors can support or hinder the development of the microbiome, from breastfeeding, to antibiotic usage and the environment in the home. With allergies and asthma drastically on the rise and the number of children with digestive problems, it is essential we look at ways we can positively support our child’s microbiome and in turn, their immune system.
Genuine Health’s chewable and super yummy advanced gut health probiotics kids are an excellent choice for that reason. They are a multi-strain formula of third-party verified human strains, including Lactobacillus rhamnosos GG, L. acidophilus and L. reuteri. Many studies have demonstrated that multi-strain formulations are more effective when it comes to children’s health. Not to mention, unlike most children’s probiotics on the market today, the “honeycomb” technology in Genuine Health’s chewable probiotics actually protect individual bacteria, keeping their structure and function intact all the way to the gut! As an added benefit, chewable probiotics have been shown to reduce pathogenic (problematic) bacteria in the mouth and throat allowing for increased immunity and reduced sick days!
A variety of fruits and vegetables in a child’s diet is absolutely essential to help them thrive, but the reality is that only 10% of Canadian students in grade 6-12 are attaining Health Canada’s recommendations of filling half their plate with plant foods. Plant foods are rich in phytonutrients, the incredible nutrients that give foods their beautiful colours, tastes and textures. This means that kids need to eat a variety, but sadly, at this time, 40% of the fruit and vegetable intake in Canadian children and teens is actually derived from two sources: juice and white potatoes.
Genuine Health’s fermented organic gut superfoods+ kids makes it easy! With 22 organic polyphenol-rich superfoods from cabbage, to beets, apricots, pomegranates and more, your child is going to get a variety of superfoods that may be lacking in their diet. Its yummy grape flavour is one that your child will be asking for over and over!
In addition to the love and support you provide your child, there is a positive life-long impact of consuming omegas like omega3+ kids +D3, probiotics like advanced gut health probiotics kids and phytonutrients like fermented organic gut superfoods+ kids—that can help to protect your child from autoimmune conditions early in life and support the development of a healthy immune system both in childhood and adulthood!
By Joy McCarthy