13 Jan

Fussy Eating Guide for Children and Teenagers

Fussy Eating Guide for Children and Teenagers
It can be huge problem for
parents to get their kids to eat well and they can become very fussy about food. Quite often at various stages of development
they start to go off foods that they previously had eaten. It is inevitable as
well the food they go off is green and good for you. The problems arise when
they only eat certain foods and their nutrient status becomes depleted.
There may be nutritional
reasons for fussy eating and if you address these you child may start to eat
better. Fussy eating can lead to a lack of nutrients exacerbating the problem
as well. It can lead to fatigue, low immunity, dental problems, obesity, eating
disorders and other mental health problems.
Here are a few possible
reasons your child develops fussy eating and ways to help improve and increase
their choice of foods:
Zinc deficiency can lead to fussy eating. As a child has a more limited diet they may
start to develop deficiencies. Lack of zinc can lead to a loss of taste, smell
and appetite. Furthermore if the food has no taste it can then lead to texture
being a problem for some kids.
What to do: Increase zinc rich foods
into the child’s diet: pumpkin and sunflower seeds – buy a seed or coffee
grinder to grind seeds into a powder or buy them already ground and sprinkle on their breakfast each morning. Beef
and seafood are also good sources, make curries, casseroles, and cottage pies
and always add vegetables to them.
Supplementation may benefit
the child; there is usually a good level of zinc in a multi-viamin.
A nutritionist can test for
zinc deficiency and advise on supplementation.
Digestive problems
Low stomach acid may lead to feelings of discomfort and bloating in a child. Stomach
acid helps break down and digest proteins, if stomach acid is low then protein
food may linger around to long in the gut causing discomfort. The child may
also associate this with protein rich and food and stop eating it. Protein is
essential for maintenance, growth, mood and movement.
What to do: Always sit at a
table when eating, do not allow iPod’s, TV, phones or computer games when
eating. Make eating a ritual, the body needs to be prepared for digestion
distractions may confuse the body and it will not prepare itself for digestion
and absorption.
Foods that may help with low
stomach acid are: apple cider vinegar on salad dressings and vegetables, papaya
and pineapple also contain digestive enzymes, which will help breakdown proteins.
Drink water throughout the
day, staying hydrated helps with stomach acid but do not encourage large
glasses of water at mealtimes as this may dilute the foods nutrients.
Supplement: Caricol – pureed
Food intolerances
If children are intolerant to
wheat and dairy they may not be digesting it properly, large food particles can
escape into the bloodstream causing an opiate-like response to the food. This
is a feel good response when eating the food the child is intolerant to, this
then can lead to cravings.
Yeast overgrowth can also
lead to carbohydrate cravings. When a child craves a certain food suspect an
intolerance or yeast problem.
What to do: A nutritional
therapist can advise on testing for intolerance and give advice on possibly
eliminating a food from the diet, this should always been done under advice form a professional as it is important to replace the nutrients lost through cutting out a food.
such as MSG are found in processed foods and children may become addicted to
these chemicals causing a stimulating effect. This is why they may only choose a certain brand of food i.e.
McDonalds or a Domino pizza
What to do: try to home cook
these favourite foods so make your own pizza or burger at home and get them to help,
introduce slowly at first.
Top tips
– Eliminate and address any
food intolerances.
– Increase zinc rich foods and
supplement if need be.
– Make food interesting!
Taste, texture and the way it looks can have a dramatic effect on the way the
child sees food. Roast kale and cauliflower in the oven with olive oil and
turmeric, it is similar taste and texture to crisps. Use dips and encourage
children to dip carrots and celery into them.
– Eat at a table with no distractions,
ask them to help set the table so they know food is coming, make rituals around
– Ask your child to help with
the shopping, ask them to get 6 apples, or a packet of tomatoes. – Get a
vegetable box with random fruit and vegetables making it a surprise each week
to see what is in the box. Take them to farmer’s markets, get them interested
in food.
– Get them to help with menu
planning and cooking.
– Incorporate vegetables into
pasta sauces and soups and liquidise.
– Incorporate vegetables into
baking, beetroot and courgette work well in cakes.
– Don’t put pressure on them;
try to make meal times relaxed.
– However be firm, have a 1
try rule and keep trying, it takes quite a few times until a child starts to
like a food.
– Some things they are just
not going to like ever! I speak as a parent: don’t pick food out or avoid
making it though, put healthy food on the plate that they will like and the
stuff they won’t or new foods to try as well.
– Don’t lose heart, my
children have been fussy eaters and one still will not touch mushrooms and the
other salmon but they now eat a wide variety of food, especially vegetables
that previously they turned their nose up at.
– A nutritional therapist will
be able to help with a child and teenagers fussy eating habits and offer parents
the much-needed support.
– Avoid processed, refined
– Manage blood sugar levels by
reducing sugar and increasing protein with each meal.
08 Jan

Clean eating for 2015 – Love your liver

Clean eating for 2015 – Love your liver
There is a huge amount of
information at this time of year about weight loss, detoxification and
cleansing the body. Weight loss companies are all promoting themselves each one
claiming that their method will be the one for losing the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time. Detoxification and
cleansing the body also is common and people embark on all sorts of fasting and
detox programmes to rid themselves of the indulgence of the festive period.
My advice re
weight loss is to try to change how and what you eat so it is something you can
sustain and not embark on some quick, expensive weight loss programme for a
short period then revert back to old eating habits where weight will start to
pile on again. Also if you find it difficult to change, change 1 thing whether it is your breakfasts or lunches, change that first then move onto the next change.
By increasing
vegetables and fruit, reducing simple carbohydrates, increasing complex
carbohydrates, avoiding sugar, processed foods and fried foods you will be
notice a difference in the way you feel and look. By adopting this kind of
eating you will also support the liver and detoxification. So you do not
necessary need to go on extreme fasting detoxes to cleanse the body.
The liver is a very busy organ having over 500 functions to perform; it
is needed for digestion, hormone regulation, and controlling blood sugar and for
the metabolism of protein and fat.  The liver
produces bile, which is stored in the gall bladder, bile helps breakdown fats
in the body and is needed for the elimination of toxins. If the liver is doing
a poor job of elimination then the gall bladder can become sluggish, making it
hard to digest fats in the body. A sign of this may be oily stools. Fats are
needed for energy production and essential fats are important for skin and
brain health.
We are exposed to 100’s of
chemicals through our food, environment, what we put on our skin and medications.
The liver deals with with them all. We are constantly detoxifying and that is why
cleaning up your diet can help with the function of the liver.
The liver converts toxins
into other substances so they can be easily eliminated from the body. If the liver
is struggling due to a build up of toxins then symptoms develop: headaches,
skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, allergies, nausea, fatigue, low
energy, depression, Pre Menstrual Syndrome, achy muscles and bad breath to name
but a few.
Foods to help with the liver
Brassica vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, swiss chard and those dreaded Brussels
sprouts. These vegetables contain an important substance called indole-3 carbinol.
This substance helps the liver detoxify toxins. It promotes the first phase of
liver detoxification and also the second phase. It can help clear excess
oestrogens in the body, helping with hormonal symptoms such as migraines and
Turmeric is
a useful spice for liver detoxification as it slows up the first phase of
detoxification where the liver changes toxins into more soluble toxins so that
they are more easily eliminated in the second phase, these toxins can sometimes
be more harmful than they were before so it is important that they move onto
the next phase of liver detoxification and are able to be eliminated. Turmeric
also stimulates the second phase meaning it can prevent harmful toxins from
hanging around in the body to long.
Increase protein, many of the pathways in the liver need amino acids found in proteins to
detoxify and eliminate toxins. Good sources are: poultry, beans, lentils,
chickpeas, eggs, avocadoes and plain natural yoghurt.
B vitamins
are also very important, as they are also needed for detoxification. Beans,
pulses, lentil, wholegrains, poultry, red grass fed meat and fish are all good
sources of foods that contain B vitamins.
Minerals are important, especially selenium, Brazil nuts are a good source.
Magnesium another important mineral, Epsom salt baths are a great way of
increasing magnesium absorption.
Increase antioxidants – Eat Arcobaleno diet – rainbow foods – peppers,
beetroot, sweet potatoes, red, yellow, green peppers, green leafy vegetables,
berries, kiwi fruit, apples, cherries… and so much more.
Garlic and onions are also good food to improve detoxification, use wherever you can.
Fibre is
important as it helps us go to the toilet everyday, we should be aiming for 1-2
bowel movements a day, if this is not happening we are building up toxins in
the body. Good sources of fibre are oats, brown rice, fruit and vegetables.
Liver enhancing menu
Porridge cooked in coconut
milk with ground flaxseeds, handful of walnuts, berries of choice or 1 apple
and 1 pear and a scoop of protein powder.
Chickpea salad – 1 tin of
chickpeas, chopped courgette, chopped tomato with  an olive oil apple cider vinegar dressing
Chicken or fish curry with
lot’s of spices served with brown basmati rice and baked curried cauliflower
spiced with turmeric.
Fruit with handful of nuts
Oatcake with tahini and
chopped banana
Carrots, celery and or
peppers with humus
If you wish to do a detox
for a day or so, prepare your body first with these nourishing foods and I
would also encourage eating small amounts of protein while on a detox so that you
have the right nutrients to help the liver do it’s very busy job.
Detoxification is a serious business and it should always be done with great
For further information and
discussion on the above topics please contact me at info@arcobalenonutrition.co.uk.
Please add comments, discussion and questions as they are most welcome.