Every parent wants the best for their children; to be as intelligent, athletic, charming, and as well mannered as possible. Someone once told me that how well your children turn out is a direct reflection of how well you parent.
How can we set the table to give children the best opportunity to succeed in life? Here are some tips that will help your children reach their fullest potential by focusing on proper growth and development:
The importance of Breakfast
Eat protein at breakfast instead of cereals, toast and muffins to increase productivity throughout the day and improve brain function and mood. Breakfast sets all of our neurotransmitters for the rest of the day. Spiking their insulin with carbohydrate rich foods will lower energy, clarity, focus and productivity.
If you’re trying to incorporate this later in a child’s life, try and negotiate with your kids. For example, let kids keep their cereal, but have them eat it at dinner or as a bedtime snack instead.
Take Nutrients to Facilitate Development: Fish Oil and Carnitine
Supplement with fish oil and carnitine, but be cautious as children under 6 are not capable of metabolizing EPA fish oil, so stick with the DHA. Taking fish oil and carnitine gives toddlers an unfair advantage academically as well as athletically. If you are breast feeding use liquid carnitine and pierce a DHA fish oil cap and rub it on the nipple. This helps regulate the infant’s feeding schedule and blood sugar. Amazingly, it also improves cognitive function and coordination for rest of their life. If you’re in post pregnancy, it’s imperative that you start taking fish oil immediately. Pregnancy depletes omega 3 levels, and it can take up to 23 months to replenish them. Finally, if your child has tough skin and waxy ears it can be a sign of an omega 3 deficiency.
Ensure Adequate Daily Protein
Ensure there is protein in every meal. Plenty of research has shown that high protein diets lowers ADHD and enhances a child’s concentration and motivation. Also, a diet higher in protein has shown to accelerate female maturity. Use small meals and have your child ask for more.
Plan Multiple Feedings Per Day
Eat multiple meals a day as poor behavior is associated with low blood sugar. Talking back is a sign of low blood sugar. Poliquin Group Wellness greens mixed with some whey protein works great for this and is a tasty snack.
Use Inositol to Balance Brain Neurotransmitters
Children that are constantly worried and cannot take control may benefit from taking inositol. Inositol is an amazing nutrient that has shown to balance neurotransmitters in the brain. It also tastes like a pixy stick and comes in powder form.
Limit Environmental Toxins
Reduce environmental estrogens using the ewg.org site. Puberty has been shown to be offset by toxic shampoo, moisturizers, and other household and beauty products. Excessive environmental estrogens can increase body fat and cause early puberty for girls. Researches are finding that boys are beginning to hit puberty 18 months later due to the frequent use of cell phones and video games. Prepubescent kids with cell phones? Really?
Food Sensitivities & Allergies
Consider removing foods that create sensitivities and allergies, such as gluten and processed foods. I strongly encourage everyone to read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis. Only about 30% of the population can handle wheat and gluten products and these tend to be African Americans, French Canadians and Indians. Gluten has been linked to: autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, osteoarthritis, low thyroid function, aggravation of pms/menopausal systems, accelerated aging and neuromuscular system issues.
Supplement with Vitamin D, Multi Vitamin and a Probiotic
My long term Functional Medicine colleagues swear by using D3 and iodine in a good quality multivitamin for smarter and more athletic kids. They preach how their kid’s without using these nutrients have lower IQs and less athleticism than those that did. It’s very important to have an optimal D3 status to ensure optimal glucose and insulin levels.
Also, probiotics taken from day 1 through month 6 have shown to decrease a child’s likelihood of allergies by 50%! The two years preceding puberty is the most critical time for these nutrients. Age 11-13 is the best time to set up gut flora using a probiotic.
Entitlement, kids are full of it. Make them earn things
Use a grateful log to instill a positive outlook on life. The grateful log is a bedtime routine you can go through with your children. It has been proven to dramatically lower stress and improve outlook on good things to come. Before going to bed ask your child, “what are 5 nice things someone did for you today?” Then proceed to ask them, “What are 5 nice things you did for someone today?” There is a direct correlation between how you l think about things and the return you get. If you expect bad things to happen to you, it’s more likely to happen. Whereas, if you expect the best for yourself, it’s more likely to happen. Concentrating on the positive and ignoring the negative creates happiness and opportunities.
I hope you enjoyed the content as much we did writing it!