Just this past Tuesday, we had our first parent workshop night that we’re calling “Tea Tuesday,” where families can connect, learn, and create. The lovely Sapna Fliender, a holistic health coach and Family Nurse Practitioner, shared valuable insights on how to keep our kids healthy. Her takeaways shifted my thinking, and I felt compelled to share for our very first blog post.
As a new business owner working full-time, having two toddler sons, and being a foodie, I find myself struggling to find balance when it comes to health and nutrition for both myself and my kids. I’m aware that our wheat and dairy do not have the same composition they once had 40 years ago, as it’s become far more difficult on our bodies to digest, and that eating organic, when possible, is the way to go. I’m also aware that our environment is far more toxic and soil depleted than ever before, so to me, it makes sense why there has been such a significant increase in sickness amongst our population.
Sapna Fliender helped me realize that it’s time to be proactive on health and shared with Tea Tuesday some simple steps to getting started. She mentioned that it’s not just necessarily what you eat, but rather what you absorb. So many foods that we eat today can break down our intestinal lining and cause inflammation. Numerous studies have looked our “Western diet,” consisting of dairy, processed foods, dairy, corn, soy, and refined vegetable oils, and have associated them with the incidence of chronic disease. If these foods cause 90% of food sensitivities, so why are we eating them?
Some shocking facts:
- 1 in 2 children today have a chronic illness (30 years ago this was 1 in 6)
- 1 in 8 children have asthma
- 1 in 5 have eczema
- 2 to 3 out of 5 have seasonal allergies
- 1 in 12 children under 4 years of age have a food allergy and 1 in 3 has food sensitivities
- 1 in 80 have celiac disease
- 1 in 7 is obese
Functional medicine is what Fliender practices, where she looks at the whole picture to find root causes of illness, rather than simply treating the individual symptoms. As parents, we should find out what is causing our child’s reflux instead of giving an anti-acid, figure out why our child has eczema versus going straight to the steroid, or dig deeper into why our babies are constipated before using Miralax.
My overwhelm began to diminish when Fliender broke it down into simple steps on what we can do:
1. Read ingredient labels on packaged food and avoid artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and GMO foods such as soy, corn, canola, choosing healthier organic options.
2. Replace gluten with gluten-free options.
3. Make bone broth and use it as a base in our cooking. Benefits are that it has collagen & glycine that heal gut lining & reduce intestinal inflammation.
4. Try to cook 80% of your child’s meals at home.
Just these small, doable changes can help boost our and our child’s guts, immune and nervous systems… So get that bone broth boiling, mama’s!
Tala Brinderson, MA, OTR/L
Infinity Kids Owner