May 30, 2016

The micronutrient tour is over. It is hopefully very clear now how many minerals and vitamins are necessary for ideal human cellular function. It is no longer about the RDA or recommended dietary allowance. The RDA is based on deficiency states that are rare and truly not what optimum health is about.

We believe that all children should aim for an optimum macro- and micronutrient status to achieve health and longevity. This is in my experience not happening.

We are currently testing blood levels of many of these fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and finding major insufficiency states. These states are associated with a myriad of clinical disorders especially related to neurologic and immune function.

I encourage you to go back through all 4+ months of reviewed micronutrients in relation to your diet and see where your children may have holes in their diet as it relates to health. I have done this with my family and was surprised to find holes despite my wife's fabulously diverse cooking. Selenium deficiency was a surprise for all of us. Since learning this, we have made adjustments by adding a few brazil nuts here and there.

After looking at the micronutrients, make plans to work on home cooking in a diverse and micronutrient packed way. The anti-inflammatory diet is a great starting point. See the link in the Quick Links 3.

Remember that power foods like dark leafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, avocado, nuts, beans and cold water fish should be in your child's diet. The days of daily chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, fries, sugar cereal, milk and snack foods being an acceptable daily norm should disappear like the the Dodo!

I am going to ruffle some feathers now (offense alert). If you are the kind of parent who has excuses like: I am too busy to cook, it is too expensive to eat healthy, my kid won't eat it!, you are fooling yourself and hurting your child. There I said it!

I have had parents tell me that I do not understand because I can afford good food, or my kids listen, etc... Well the truth is this. I grew up wanting for much but never eating poorly. My parents made it a point to save and spend what they had on food and school. I am grateful to them everyday for their choices because they gave me a framework to parent my children. Maybe it was growing up in war torn Europe that changed their behavior maybe not. I don't actually know as I write this. I may ask.

I was raised to eat what was served or wait for the next meal. And I waited many a time. And I waited. You get the picture. My parents won these battles, period. I was not indulged because of my bad behavior.

My kids have two parents who have a set of rules that are non negotiable until they leave our roof. They will study. They will eat well. They will be respectful to others. They will know that they are loved and that God is with them.

Back to the diet. Parenting without arguing is key. Your rules, your house and so much love that you won't let them eat junk. Aim for a lot more vegetables and fruits and way less processed foods like bread, pasta, chips, cakes, processed meats and any kids food with a cartoon character on it! This is an amazing way to shift their micro- and macro- nutrient profile.

Look to the food lists on the weekly micronutrient articles for ideas on filling in your child's diet for completeness.

Oh and by the way this is the same diet that feeds your good gut bugs.

Dr. M