natural health for babies and toddlersOver the last 3 years, after my son was born, I have evolved my practice to incorporate more children’s health and wellness.  Common childhood illnesses such as digestive problems, sinus allergies, asthma, frequent colds, and skin problems can often be resolved quickly with Oriental medicine.

Of course, the best health solutions are often right in your own home.

Here are some other resources I personally use and recommend for raising healthy babies and kids:

1.  “Breast is best” is the adage on feeding babies, and I whole-heartedly agree.  The positive evidence for breast-feeding is overwhelming.  If, for whatever reason (health problems, adoption, etc.), a mother is not able to breast-feed, whole, raw milk (from the Farmer’s Market or local dairy farmer with healthy grass-fed cows) is a good substitute.  NOTE:  raw milk is not the same that you buy at the grocery store; also, the fat content of the milk is ESSENTIAL!  Growing infants and babies need that fat to build a healthy gut and make proper neural connections.

2.  For babies first food, most sources (pediatricians, books, your friends…) recommend rice cereal.  This is NOT good advice!  Babies digestive systems really can’t handle grains very well until around age 2.  The best solid foods to start baby on are:

-eggs (hardboiled and mashed is good; especially the yolk),

-steamed and mashed vegetables (carrots, peas, sweet potato, tomato are what I typically fed my son)

-you can mash the vegetables with some good quality organic whole butter

-mashed avocado (this is a naturally perfect first food; the consistency is great for baby teeth, and it’s full of essential vitamins that baby needs to grow big and strong)

3.  For toddlers (aka “picky eaters”):  this is a tricky time!  Whereas babies will eat pretty much what you give them, toddlers may put up a bit of a fight!  Sweeter vegetables like carrots and bell pepper slices tend to be better liked than, say, beets or cabbage.  If your child refuses a food, don’t give up on it!  Research has shown that it takes on average 10 times introducing a new food before a child may view it as safe to eat.  This is partly because of evolution’s effect on our taste buds.  Humans are geared to believing that sweet = safe and bitter = poison or danger.   Just choose as wisely as you can and be persistent but not necessarily pushy.  I give my toddler a variety of food choices at meal time and let him decide what he wants to eat.  Often he eats all of it!

4.  AVOID:healthy family and children

-wheat:  wheat contains gluten which is a sticky protein that is not digested well by almost everyone.  It is the hidden factor in most cases of eczema.  It can also contribute to other skin problems, digestive problems, sinus allergies, immune system imbalances, hyperactivity, and thyroid disease.

-white sugar:  obviously you won’t be able to protect your young one from sugar forever.  Eventually they will go to a birthday party and have cake…and that’s okay.  “Know” rather than “no.”  “Know” that sugar is addictive; that in uncontrolled daily amounts will lead to emotional instability, decreased immune system functioning, and obesity.

-preservatives, fake sugars, artificial colors:  these are not foods; they are toxins.

Let me know if there are other topics regarding children’s health that you would like to see in the future!