Nourish Mama by Sherry Rothwell

Posts Tagged ‘improving children’s digestion’

Thou Shall not Feed Thy Child, Like a Little Adult

It is important not to think of infants and children as little adults in our feeding of them because essentially their digestive systems do not mature until about the age of 6 or 7.

Their digestive enzymes are not as plentiful or as efficient as ours and they are less able to assimilate the nutrition that is provided.

“Intestinal materials including undesirable particles are more readily absorbed into the bloodstream through the porous lining of the digestive tract. Their digestive capacity may be weakened or impaired due to poor dietary choices and environmental stresses. This weakness can persist well into adulthood increasing the likelihood of chronic childhood and adult illnesses.” Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD

Infants have few teeth, and few children chew their food well. Foods that are not chewed well put an extra strain, calling for more enzymes and mechanical heat to be generated where there is already a low supply.

The following food choices weaken children’s developing digestive capacities.

1) Foods that are too hot, spicy and fried.
2) Foods that are too cold or cooling in temperature and quality.
3) Foods that are smothering or heavy and thick in nature (like ice cream) they smother the digestive fire.
4) Foods that are dampening-ones that produce mucous and phlegm (like pasteurized milk).

Instead, emphasize foods that are whole, simple, warm, cooked, and easy to digest and traditionally prepared, including ones that are neutral or warming in their thermal nature.

Mucous and inflammation are a by-product of poor digestion, contribute to a leaky gut and produce the following common symptoms in babies and children:
colic, vomiting and spitting up
constipation and diarrhea
ear fluid and chronic ear infections
chronic nasal congestion and sinusitis
acute and chronic allergies
acute and chronic coughs
asthma, eczema and more

In the acute conditions the body is cleansing itself, but when the discomforts become chronic it is a sign that the body no longer has the vitality to cleanse itself of the foods, environmental toxins and life stressors that have weakened the digestive, immune and nervous system.

When the body shows mucous and inflammation symptoms, it is a sign that our children are out of balance and that we need to put our attention on creating a diet and lifestyle that is more supportive and reflective of our children’s true needs rather than taste or convenience.

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