One of the biggest reasons our kid’s health may decline, and their ability to learn and concentrate decline, is the quality of food that they consume. It’s vital that our children are comfortable eating a nutrient dense diet, filled with a wide range of nutritious foods. Fussy eating is a significant contributor to ill health.
Unfortunately, many kids today aren’t so comfortable eating a plate full of vegetables. Multiple things get in the way of them eating a quality diet. Add to that, our families are busier than ever, and we lack the time and patience required to reverse the poor eating trend.
Fussy eating an important topic, however, and we need to do whatever we can to improve their eating habits. As a parent that’s passionate about developing the next generation into the people they came here to be, I strongly believe that there’s not much more important than finding a way to improve their eating habits.
As a result of our children’s bodies not having the nutrients, they require to thrive, many regress from children that hit their targets, to children that are slowly slipping off the developmental curve. The opposite trend is possible, however. That is if their bodies get the nutrition they need.
Our bodies need nutrition, broadly speaking, for two main reasons.
- Provide nutrients to our cells, so that they can perform the functions they need to perform.
- Provide our gut bacteria with the nutrients they need to produce additional nutrients and molecules that we don’t get from food, out our normal cells can’t produce.
To be able to make the changes required to help our children, we need to remember these points. Remember these points, even when we are busy and stressed. Making decisions based on these points can take some of the stress away.
Notice that the two main reasons don’t mention calories directly. This is intentional. Calories fall into nutrients, but why should calories be more important than vitamins, minerals and antioxidants? To help transform the eating habits of your children, you may need to reduce your focus on calories and focus more on all nutrients.
What we eat affects our gut health, and our gut health affects our overall health in a big way. Our gut health has a significant impact on our brain. It’s not just that our gut’s produce so much of our neurotransmitters, our gut’s are the first barrier against unwanted chemical entering our bloodstream. If we develop increased gut permeability, substances can enter the bloodstream that should be there, and inflammation results.
To make things worse, gluten from many grains can cause increased gut permeability. Gluten often stimulates the production of zonulin, which signals the gut wall to increase its permeability. Unfortunately, zonulin also increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. The result of this can be proteins entering the brain that shouldn’t be there. Apart from the resulting inflammation, and other concerns, some proteins can trigger the food reward system in the brain. This means the person can be driven to eat more of these foods that have these proteins. These foods tend to be dairy (from the casein protein in dairy), and gluten from wheat. Since these foods can be adding to the issue of increased gut permeability, and inflammation, the person can get stuck in this pattern of eating, and have ill health.