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Dispelling 10 Myths About Feeding Children
There are so many myths surrounding the subject of feeding your child. Here are 10 myths I hope to dispel:
Myth #1 – We should introduce solids to babies at 4 months. Babies are born with holes in their intestines to allow for the easy assimilation of nutrients from mother’s milk. When a baby is 4 months old, those holes are supposed to close up and solids can be introduced, without setting the stage for allergies. These days, there are too many factors that children are exposed to that are preventing the holes from closing up e.g. Drugs, vaccinations, x-rays, radiation, processed foods, tap water, the chemicals in swimming pools, so it is better to wait until a child is 6 months old as it is more likely that the intestine will be stronger.
Myth #2 – A baby’s first food should be cereal. Even Health Canada is saying now that cereal is no longer the best first food. Cereal is a starch, which is one of the hardest foods to digest. Rice cereal is causing all sorts of reactions in children these days. Fruits and vegetables are far closer to breast milk in terms of their digestibility. And yes, there is iron in fruits and vegetables and it is far better digested than that added to rice cereal.
Myth #3 – Cereal makes a baby sleep through the night. This is only true in some of the cases and when it occurs, this is not a good thing. If consuming cereal causes a baby to sleep through the night, this means the baby is adversely reacting to the cereal by experiencing fatigue. Fatigue is the #1 adverse reaction to food! Each time a baby has an adverse reaction to food, he or she is unable to properly absorb the nutrients from the food causing the reaction.
Myth #4 – Meats should be introduced to a baby prior to one year of age. Why? Why do we rush the introduction of hard-to-digest foods? In the first year of life, a baby’s body should remain focussed on growing not on digesting food.
Myth #5 – Babies cry – it is normal and there is nothing you can do. Babies cry for a reason and it is up to us, their parents, to meet their needs. The longer their needs go unmet, the less trust our children develop in the world around them.
Myth #6 – An exclusively breastfed baby can go one to two weeks without having a bowel movement, as their bodies are simply assimilating their food. This is simply untrue. How do you feel when you go a day or two or longer without a bowel movement? Babies, children and adults need to have at least one bowel movement a day. The more waste we expel from our bodies, the healthier we remain. One of the top causes for missed bowel movements is adverse reactions to food.
Myth #7 – All pregnant and breast-feeding women need to drink lots of cow’s milk. This is one of the best marketing campaigns of all time – the Got Milk? campaign. Pasteurized cow’s milk is the #1 top allergen in North America and causes or worsens hundreds of symptoms, conditions and disease. Please see my prior blog post for more information on this subject.
Myth #8 – There is no nutrient value in juice so children should never be given juice. Have you ever had a bladder infection, drank cranberry juice and watched the bladder infection disappear? There is nutrient and other value to juice but the trick is to choose juice that has no added sugar or chemicals and is preferably organic. Also, only 8 ounces, diluted half and half with water, is the maximum recommended for a day. Making the juice yourself, using a juicer, is the ideal.
Myth #9 – A child cannot react adversely to carrots! Yes, they can and they are doing so more and more often. It is the high natural sugar content to which they are reacting. Try giving your child acidophilus (please see my prior post for more information) and see if their reaction disappears after a few weeks.
Myth #10 – Parents are ill-equipped to take responsibility for their children’s health. You can become equipped. Health needs to be earned these days; it doesn’t just come naturally to us. And there is a realm of complementary practitioners available to be part of your healthcare team i.e. nutritionists, chiropractors, naturopaths, homeopaths, massage therapists, cranial osteopaths/sacral therapists.
Are you surprised by any of these myths? I love receiving feedback. On this site, you’ll get commenluv. This is a plug-in that gives you the opportunity to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment.
Until next time,