Healthy Children Grow to be Healthy, Happy Adults

Raising healthy children means teaching them to appreciate a healthy lifestyle from the beginning. You can't just tell them they have to respect their liver health, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. What's the best teaching method?

The absolute best way to teach your kids to do these things is by example!

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Today we see more overweight youngsters, and more degenerative diseases (including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and leukemia) striking at younger ages, and an increased number of behavioral and emotional problems manifesting through hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, and ODD.

Why is this happening? I believe the primary reason is that our children are consuming the SAD (Standard American Diet) on a daily basis.

The SAD consist of fast food, prepackaged foods, and convenience foods. Basically, children today are overfed and undernourished!

Children are prone to the same liver problems and diseases as adults. Since their bodies and brains are rapidly growing and developing it is so extremely important for them to eat a balanced diet that supports healthy liver function.

In the following sections we are going to look at ten of the more common children's health complaints that could easily benefit from improved liver health. After that you will see a program that you can implement into your child's daily life to enhance health, and maybe even eliminate some health issues your child may be experiencing.

Common Children's Health Problems

  1. ADD/ADHD/ODD. The lack of healthy fats for proper brain function; excessive sugars (including high fructose corn syrup); food allergies; environmental toxins; vitamin deficiencies; and even poor spinal alignment, are all contributing factors to the growing epidemic of hyperactive and defiant children.

    Working as a school secretary for a few years was a real eye opener for me. I was amazed (and shocked!) at the number of kids in school who were on prescription medication to control behavior.

    According to the DEA, the number of prescriptions written for Ritalin since 1991 has increased by a factor of five (2.2 million) and about eighty percent of the eleven million prescriptions written for Ritalin each year are to treat ADHD.

    This means that nearly nine million children have been prescribed this medication, which is being compared to cocaine.

    Keep in mind that those eleven million prescriptions don't include the prescriptions for other similar ADHD products used in this very competitive market.

    Yes! The prescribing of Ritalin and other behavioral medications is BIG business.

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  3. Allergie and Asthma. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma attacks, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.

    Allergies and asthma are actually disorders of the immune system. They may also put a person and their offspring at much higher risk of developing autoimmune disease.

    According to the National Institutes of Health lay website,, nearly 9,000,000 children in the United States have asthma.

    Asthma causes swelling in the airways. Your allergies, viral infections, tobacco smoke, exercise, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and changes to weather usually trigger this swelling.

    Common asthma symptoms include trouble sleeping, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest congestion, although experts say that symptoms can vary from child to child.

  4. Colds or Respiratory Infections. Children under the age of 12 usually suffer from several mild respiratory infections each year.

    Symptoms of upper respiratory infections include a runny or stuffy nose, irritability, restlessness, poor appetite, decreased activity level, coughing, and fever. Many upper respiratory illnesses (such as influenza, cold, croup, and sore throats) are caused by viral infections and are usually treated at home with no medications.

    Lower respiratory symptoms include shallow coughing, fever, rapid breathing, and wheezing. Lower respiratory infections caused by viruses, such as bronchitis, may have to be treated with antibiotics to prevent complications. Bacteria can also cause respiratory problems but are much less common. The main causes of respiratory infections are asthma and allergy flares.

  5. Ear Infections. Children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years of age are most susceptible to developing an ear infection, and they are most common among ages 4 months to 4 years.

    This risk increases in children who attend child care since they are exposed to more colds and viruses than children who remain at home. Babies who lie down when feeding are also at increased risk of ear infection and placing them upright when feeding decreases that risk.

  6. Acid Reflux (GERD-gastroesophageal reflux disease). Anything that causes the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus (the lower esophageal sphincter or LES) to relax, or anything that increases the pressure below the LES, can cause acid reflux.

    Things like obesity, overeating, and certain foods, beverages, and medications can all cause acid reflux.

    Most babies outgrow reflux. However, reflux can also occur in older children. In either case, the problem is usually easily managed.

  7. Constipation. Children get constipated for the same reasons that adults do. They're either not getting enough fiber and fluid to keep them regular, or they're ignoring the need to have a bowel movement.

    Constipation is a common problem for infants and children and accounts for almost 3% of visits to a Pediatrician.

    A child may avoid having a bowel movement for various reasons:

    • The child has a hard bowel movement which may cause them to stop going normally. Then the stools get large, hard and painful, and they won't have a bowel movement.
    • Sometimes they are embarrassed.
    • They don't want to stop playing to use the bathroom.
    • Many don't want to use a bathroom outside of their home.
    • Sometimes they may not feel the need to go any more because they have previously resisted the need to go.
    • Very young children may feel anxiety about toilet training.

    Communication and diet are very important in dealing with this children's health issue.

  8. Stomach Virus. The stomach virus is an intestinal infection caused by several different viruses, and sometimes by contaminated foods, that can result in diarrhea and vomiting.

    Highly contagious, the stomach virus is the second most common illness in the United States. It causes millions of cases of diarrhea each year. The stomach virus can be contracted in one of several ways, including:

    • Eating foods or drinking liquids that are contaminated.
    • Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms.
    • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with a stomach virus and putting their hands in their mouth.

    Always keep a close watch on children with severe vomiting and diarrhea. They can easily become dehydrated.

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  10. Childhood Obesity. One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the diet and exercise habits of your entire family.

    Although there are some genetic and hormonal causes of childhood obesity, most of the time it's caused by kids eating too much and exercising too little.

    The biggest concern with children being overweight is that health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are now becoming problems in childhood.

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    Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

    The extra weight on your child's body can also cause problems with the development and health of your child's lungs, which could lead to asthma or other breathing problems.

  11. Tooth Decay. Poor diet leads to poor dental health. We teach our kids to brush their teeth after meals and floss daily, but children need to understand that diet is also important to dental health.

    A healthy liver helps deliver healthy nutrients to your teeth too. All of the information on this page about improving children's health, and liver health, also create good oral health.

  12. Acne. Surging hormones, poor diet, lack of exercise, food allergies and exposure to certain toxins may cause skin issues.

    Good nutrition, regular exercise, and a healthy liver will help with acne and various skin problems.

    Following the diet recommendations listed below should help eliminate or at least improve skin problems.

    Diets high in sweets, trans fats, and sodas will aggravate acne. Often consuming a diet high in dairy products will also cause more break-outs.

The Liverguru's Plan for Healthy Children

Contrary to what my teenagers seem to think, children and teenagers are not invincible. They require good nutrition and exercise so they can become healthy, happy adults.

I hope the following guidelines assist you in helping your child live a life filled with health and happiness.

  • Supplement. Your child needs to take a high-quality multi-vitamin supplement daily. Regardless of how well you feed your kids, there are going to be some deficiencies.
  • Enrich your diets with omega 3 fatty acids. Fatty fish such as, tuna (if canned use water-packed or olive oil-packed), salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, and lake trout are extra good choices.

    Use flax seeds, flax seed meal, and flax seed oil. Also consume walnuts, omega 3 enriched eggs, and dark, leafy green vegetables.

    For those who don't have alot of access to quality fish on a regular basis, you may want to consider giving your children a fish oil supplement daily. A brand that I trust and recommend, if your child can swallow a capsule, is Carlson Super Omega-3 Fish Oil.

  • You should consult with your doctor or pediatrician about supplementing with fish oil as some people experience side effects.

    An alternative to giving them fish oil would be giving them flax seed oil. If necessary you can mix it with a beverage or oatmeal, just don't heat it.

    One excellent organic source for flax seed oil is Barlean's Organic Flax Oil.

    You can also incorporate flax meal and flax seed into oatmeal, homemade muffins and bread, and smoothies. Omega 3 fats through a healthy diet is always the best approach with children.

    Check out the page on omega 3 fats for more information on benefits, sources, and precautions of omega 3 fat supplementation.

  • Use canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil as your primary oils. You might even try blending them together with some recipes.

    Canola for cooking and olive oil for dressings, drizzling, and dipping.

  • Avoid processed meats. Processed meats include hot dogs, sausage, bacon, pepperoni, bologna, corned beef, Spam, and well....the list goes on. These meats are high in sodium, nitrates, nitrites, colorings, flavorings, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils and fat.

    Processed meats are hard on the liver and can also contain "unfriendly organisms" that may be in a dormant state.

    Many processed meats contain some dairy ingredients which is something I found out completely by accident, when my son, who has dairy allergies, became very ill after eating some sandwich meat.

    Processed meats are a major contributor to degenerative diseases.

  • Eliminate any foods containing trans fats. Read labels. If the product contains any form of hydrogenated oil, shortening, or lard, put it back!

    Keep in mind that manufacturers in the U.S. can say their products are trans fat free if there is less than .5 gram of trans fat per serving.

    Trans fats are so bad that countries have actually banned their use!

  • Avoid consuming large amounts of sugar. Excessive amounts of refined sugar will be converted to fats which contribute to a variety of degenerative diseases. Sugar also depletes children's bodies of healthy nutrients.

    Especially avoid products sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. With regards to food allergies and intolerances, high fructose corn syrup is a major factor in behavior and intolerant reactions in both kids and adults today.

    But, please remember that some artificial sweeteners can be toxic to the liver, also. It is especially important for children to avoid aspartame. acesulfame-K, and saccharin.

  • Watch for food allergies. The most common food allergy is dairy allergy. Other foods that often cause allergies are peanuts, corn, and wheat.

    If your child has ever shown symptoms of a dairy allergy, even as an infant, you should consider eliminating dairy products from the child's diet for three months to see if it could be a factor in any behavioral or other problems which your child may have.

  • Consider sources of dietary protein, other than meat and dairy. I'm not trying to convert your meat-eaters to vegetarians, but reducing their consumption of high-fat meats and full-fat dairy products will help reduce saturated fats.

    Other good sources of protein are beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and grains. It's not necessary to have meat with every meal, every day.

    These alternative protein sources will provide you with a variety of other liver friendly nutrients. One of the best sources of protein is the egg. Don't be afraid of eggs, unless, of course your child is allergic to them!

  • Choose healthy breads and spreads. Whole grain and stone ground breads, pitas, tortillas, or flat breads are good choices, as long as they are consumed in moderation.

    If you have the time you might even try making your own breads occasionally. All kids seem to love fresh bread.

    If your child is allergic to yeast, you might try a yeast-free bread or a sourdough. If you prefer something lighter, try rice or rye crackers.

    For a healthy low-fat spread, that supplies even more nutrients, try a fresh, mashed avocado, all-natural nut butter spreads, hummus, or tahini (sesame seed paste).

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  • Try juicing with your kids. Do you own a juicer? Raw juicing is an excellent way to improve liver function. Kids love it.

    A fresh juice three to four times a week is very cleansing to the liver. You can even slip a little veggie juice in with the fruit juice for some extra nutrition.

  • Children need to drink plenty of pure water. Water is necessary for your child's body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. It also detoxifies their liver and kidneys, and carries waste from the body. When it comes to digestion and healthy liver function, it’s not happening without water.

    Adding some fresh lemon juice to the water will also provide a good dose of vitamin C and help with liver function.

  • Eliminate all sodas and energy drinks. These drinks go against everything that is healthy.

    It really frustrates me how these energy drinks are marketed toward children and teens.

    For a great alternative to sodas, try sparkling water mixed with their favorite fruit juice. Just mix equal amounts of juice and sparkling water and pour over ice!

  • Avoid food dyes. According to a new report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, food dyes pose risks of cancer, allergies, and hyperactivity in children, and should be banned.

    This is such a serious matter that the British Government asked companies to phase out most dyes by last December 31, 2009, and the European Union is requiring a warning label on most dyed foods since July 20, 2010.

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  • Consider a visit to a chiropractor. Recent research by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association found spinal manipulative therapy safe and successful in treating children of all ages.

    Common pediatric conditions treated by chiropractors include ear infections, asthma, allergies, infantile colic, ADHD and more. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off can be traced to the spine.

    Health problems that emerge in adulthood could often be prevented by having your children's spines checked by a chiropractor early. Many parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and are healthier than their peers.

    My children had their first chiropractic adjustments just a month or two after birth!

  • Physical activity daily. Sedentary lifestyles have become the norm in the U.S., with children spending more time in front of the TV, computer or video game console than reading books, playing outside or engaging in extracurricular activities.

    Get your kids active by setting a good example, taking advantage of community sports and activities. Sign them up for a camp, or age-appropriate classes at the local gym or community center.

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    Choose an exercise or activity that they can do along with you and encourage them to work out with you. There are companies out there that manufacture youth-size exercise equipment that looks just like the adult versions! That way mom or dad, and child can both get on the treadmill or stair-stepper and work out together.

All of these things together will improve your child's health physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Teens especially have alot of stress. Following these guidelines will make it easier to deal with the stress in their lives.

If you're having trouble with healthy food ideas for your children you've got to purchase the Healthy Eating for Kids ebook. It's really great, the recipes are simple, and it's cheap!

Healthy Eating for Kids ebook image

To buy this ebook and start cooking now, Click Here!

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Please remember to set a healthy example for your child. That is the most important step in teaching them new healthy habits. Believe me...I've seen it with my own two sons.

Be sure not to overwhelm your child with all of these changes at once. Try implementing these guidelines one at a time. Maybe one new healthy food or habit each week. You decide what works for your family.

The Keys to a Healthy Life website also offers good advice on feeding your child or teen a healthy diet.

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If your child is already on any form of medication for behavior or other health related issues, do not take them off of the medication unless your doctor gives permission. That could be dangerous to your child's health.

Always keep your doctor or pediatrician current on any changes you make in your child's diet, supplements, and lifestyle so you can work together to improve your child's health.

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