With the rise of metabolic disease and obesity it’s best to start feeding your children properly at the start. Studies relate obesity with compromised immune system. With the bombardment of unnatural pollutants in our environment and food supply it’s no wonder many diseases today are immune system and nervous system related. A watchful eye on what they eat will help give infants immature defenses a chance to develop. Here are suggestions that may help guide you and your little ones.
Don’t overfeed. Some children display normal signals when they are full. Infants usually lean away, turn their head from the food source, or purse their lips shut.
Avoid additives. Avoid ingredients such as excess sugars, fats and artificial ingredients. At best try to stick to organic foods to limit pesticide contamination. Some genetically modified foods have also been shown to suppress the immune system-may lead to complications later such as autism or allergies.
Avoid allergic foods. Experts advise withholding the introduction of solids until the infant is developmentally ready for solids-about 3 months old or 13 to 15 pounds due to the risk of food allergies. Highly allergic foods are peanuts, eggs, soy, and wheat. Ask your doctor when it would be appropriate to have an allergy profile to rule out allergic foods (most likely after the age of one if severely allergic). Symptoms of severe allergic reactions are swelling, itching and even asphyxia (a closing of the airways-very dangerous). If your child has been diagnosed properly, consult your physician for a prescription for an emergency anti-inflammatory such as an epi-pen.
Specify feeding. Babysitters and family members need to be given specific directions on what, how much, and how often to feed the baby. Write these out on a piece of paper and make sure your caretakers are made aware if there are specific food allergies.
Avoid food for love. Grandmas soul food is soul food because we remember feeling comforted when fed to the likings of fatty and sugar laden foods. But for this generation, communicate by praising, holding, spending quality time, cuddling, and playing with your children.
Avoid excess sugars. Limit juices and sugars especially if child is overweight and has a familial tendency towards obesity and diabetes. Keep fruit intake in moderation. When feeding dessert it’s been advised to limit and feed with nutrient dense low glycemic fruits such as apples and pears.
Victor Herbert, M.D.J.D., Genell J. Subak; Total Nutrition: The only Guide You’ll Ever Need; St. Martin’s Griffin, New York @1995 by Mount Sinai School of Medicine.