A four-year-old complaining of knee pain or a 10-year-old suffering from constant headache isn’t a rarity these days. When I tell how tired it is after some important chores it’s my little munchkin’s turn to repeat the same. Pathetic, isn’t it? Its so weird to hear words such as tired, painful or hurting from our tiny tots when they have not even fully bloomed yet. We are into a generation of rearing kids who would do nothing but stare at gadgets, eat junks and feel pain after playing for some time outside. Let’s assume that you miss out on a day’s exercise session or fail to eat healthy food. So, do we blame ourselves or the food? Both!
Food Minus the Nutrients
We eat fresh fruits and vegetables minus the freshness in it. We drink plenty of water minus the sweetness in it. We have all the resources but none of them are up to their mark. Strawberry has secured a place for itself in the top 10 contaminated foods and even the red beetroots that we eat today are adulterated sometimes. Disgusting!
Milk from cows is adulterated with water, groceries are adulterated with stones and hybrids are planted to reap better harvests that are beneficial. Mankind has started looking into everything beyond quality. The word quality seems to have no place in our dictionaries. Maybe that’s the reason for such multitudinous diseases affecting us and tiny tots not knowing to read or write wearing glasses!
To compensate for such insufficiencies in nutrition levels such as vitamins, minerals and others its been found with the help of a research that almost a third of children under the age of 19 use dietary supplements or alternative medicines. Multivitamins were most-commonly used followed by vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and melatonin. The study published in the reputed journal JAMA found that vitamin/mineral supplements use remained unchanged between 2004 and 2014. It was non-vitamin products and other herbal supplements whose consumption increased by two-folds during this period. It’s also been analyzed that alternative medicines such as digestive aids, probiotics and energy stimulants were used by almost 3% of children and 5% of teens.
Dietary Supplements have never been regulated by the FDA and we are really not aware of what goes into these supplements too. Reputed research scholars feel that many of these supplements are involved in adverse drug events (specifically cardiovascular ones) which is a safety concern. They are worried whether there would be any benefits that would surpass its disadvantages.
The other day I heard from one of the mothers that she nourishes her child with a healthy diet along with multivitamins and folate supplements occasionally. Parents rely too much on these supplements for providing their kids with super powers or energy.
Likewise, the latest frenzy on prebiotics and probiotics has not diminished. Their use is four-folds higher now compared to the previous decade. Probiotics and prebiotics are often dispensed as the carrier of good bacteria and help in the digestion process. Certain studies confirm their effectiveness in treating diarrhea and the kind of diarrhea that people suffer from after taking antibiotics. These also help to deal with stomach issues and certain cases of inflammatory bowel disease as well. Yogurt is the most-preferred probiotic especially now that it comes in a variety of flavors whereas bananas, onions, garlic and honey are healthy prebiotics.
Children these days fail to sleep well especially after the use of the smartphone technology. This is not the only disadvantage and the list goes on and on. If you are interested to know about it and correct your kids, www.firsteatright.com is the place for you. Melatonin is a hormone secrete by the body for aiding in sleep. When production of this hormone is lower than expected quantities adults use melatonin supplements. For children too, this has become a common supplement now. But studies are still underway in realizing whether melatonin supplements are 100% effective in dealing with sleep problems.
Apart from oral medications parents have started training their kids on practicing yoga and meditation too which is a good sign. Yoga helps in the overall wellness of the body and has the beauty of being a fried to all age groups. Along with your football and cricket why not allocate some time for yoga and meditation too? Instead of relying on supplements to shower your kid with nutrition why not prepare nutritionally-rich dishes and lure them into eating it?
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.