Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Embracing a Holistic Approach to Ensure Children’s Health

There is a lot of advice for mums and dads on how to raise healthy kids. What many people do not realize is that the minds and bodies of children are very different so a one-size-fits-all approach would not work well.

Holistic care is one of the best and safest ways to keep kids happy and healthy, all the while allowing parents to raise them how they see fit and with the independence they require.

A Need for Holistic Health

Many people consider holistic medicine to not be true medicine despite the mountains of research and evidence stating that it is very effective. Holistic care incorporates care for the whole person including their body and mind. Although it has mainly been incorporated into healthcare provided to adults, the principles upon which holistic care is built can also apply to children.

The need for holistic care is evidenced by the fact that chronic and neurodevelopmental diseases and conditions are on the rise. The number of kids with chronic illnesses has been increasing for decades, and these numbers are set to rise in the coming decade.

Not only that, but incidences of ADHD, specific learning disorders, dyslexia, sensory processing disorders, communication disorders, and others are becoming scarily common.

Treating the Root Cause of Symptoms

When applying holistic care in the case of children, medical practitioner uses everything at their disposal to treat the root of the symptoms and not just the symptoms themselves. It is by understanding why these conditions are so prevalent that practitioners can start treating the cause.

A holistic mindset acknowledges that the environment, lifestyle, diet, and other factors can impact a child’s nervous system, immune health and gut health, all of which are tied to various ailments and conditions.

The Mind-Body Connection

Many of the things parents can do while following the holistic health approach have to do with their diet. However, it is also important to think about the impact the mind has on health and the symptoms that indicate illness and health conditions.

How the body and mind interact can manifest physically. For example, a child who is nervous about their first day at school might have a stomach ache. By understanding the connection between the mind and body, parents are in a better position to help their kids achieve holistic health.

Holistic parenting is about ensuring your kids attain the mental balance that helps keep symptoms and underlying ailments and conditions at bay. At its core, holistic parenting is about creating connections that make kids feel loved, cared for, and supported. 

Every interaction and point of connection such as hugs, enjoying meals together, shared activities, and conversations can shape a child’s brain and thus their body for the better. These interactions and connections are especially important for kids who have had some difficulty such as those in foster care.

Foster parents can help the mental and physical development of kids once they integrate them into their families and homes. There are lots of kids in need of foster parents and those interested can visit sites like thefca.co.uk to see how they can help.

Holistic parenting, whether you are a biological or foster parent, helps nurture a child’s body, mind, and soul from the inside, allowing them to develop the skills they need to cope with difficulties, emotional intelligence, good decision-making and resilience.

Food, Microbiome Health, and How it is all Connected

We are what we eat, and food is especially important for kids. A healthy brain is crucial for development from early on, and the diet that makes that possible can be a key indicator for health and later in life.

Changes in diet are associated with poor brain functionality, brain development, and changes in behaviour. Looking around, you will notice that our diets have been changing for decades now. Children are eating the wrong foods while also not eating enough of the right foods. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that kids are routinely overeating.

Studies show that the gut microbiome starts changing as soon as we are born. The development of this microbiome is influenced by our lifestyles, environment, diet, and maternal exposures. A diverse microbiome influences a child’s behavior, body, and mind. This means that the wrong diet leading to a poor microbiome can influence behaviour and the brain.

Doctors now recommend something they call “eating the rainbow”, which simply means eating foods of different colours, fibre content, nutrients, good fats and minerals every day. Doing so leads to healthier brains and bodies. 

Embracing Functional Nutrition

People who propose the best diets for kids mean well. However, they may not realise that they put a lot of pressure on parents when their kids do not eat what the “experts” advised. Parents should take the pressure off themselves by embracing what is known as functional nutrition for kids. 

Functional nutrition entails removing specific foods from the equation and focusing on the nutrients, minerals, fats, and fibre content our child needs. For example, switching from seed oils, most of which are unhealthy, to omega fats means they still get healthy fats, just in a different form.

Second, ensure your child has enough protein. Proteins are crucial for brain and muscle development. Fortunately, many kids get enough protein, so you do not have to worry about this.

Next, ensure your kids are getting the right kinds of carbohydrates. The wrong types of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and several health conditions and issues later in life. Calorie-dense carbs are typically tasty, but they cause a myriad of issues. 

What you need for your children are nutrition-dense carbohydrates. These typically come from vegetables and unprocessed grains like wheat or quinoa.

While it is typically targeted toward adults, it is important to start thinking about holistic care for your kids from when they are young. This gives them the right foundation so they can avoid many of the physical and mental complications plaguing many kids today.

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