CAT | Kids Health
It’s no big secret that children are picky eaters. If chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese were on the menu every day, how easy parents’ lives would be. But a diet high in processed and refined foods, and low in fruits and veggies has far reaching consequences, especially on little bodies.
First, the more children don’t eat fruits and veggies, the more likely they’ll not want to eat them later in life.
Second, a diet low in fruits and veggies means a diet low in many nutrients and fiber.
Third, when children don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, they get constipated.
A recent study found that primary school children who didn’t like fruits and vegetables were 13 times more likely to develop functional constipation than children who did like fruits and veggies. As a parent, you might not even realize your child is constipated. Maybe your children are in school or day care, so you can’t keep track of every potty break. Ask about their bowel movements. At least one healthy bowel movement daily (quantity counts!) is an indication that they are not constipated.
Studies are finding that constipation in children is increasing. This is largely due to dietary habits, including water intake. Children who drank less than 400mL (13.5 ounces) of fluid daily were also more likely to be constipated.
Be persistent in trying new veggies from time to time. Children’s tastes change, and often, a veggie that was detested last month seems to go down without a hitch the next. For the pickiest of eaters, there are many recipes out there that help you “hide” the veggies by adding them to other foods in stealthy ways. You may even find yourself trying new veggies by using these tricks.
In addition, a fiber supplement can help increase stool bulk and promote bowel regularity. Look for a great tasting fruit and veggie fiber that can be mixed into a smoothie or added to juice.
A recent study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that in almost all of 268 pregnant women tested, eight different types of chemicals were found in their bodies. Chemicals found include pesticides, flame retardants, PFCs from non-stick cookware, phthalates, car exhaust pollutants and even DDT, a chemical that has been banned since 1979!
These toxins can pass right through the placenta and into the fetus. In fact, a previous study, done by the Environmental Working Group, found that unborn babies carry over 200 different chemicals in their bodies, even before they are born.
The study in pregnant women looked for 163 different chemicals, so it only scratches the surface, because over 80,000 new chemicals are introduced each year. The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) was found in 96 percent of these women. Prenatal BPA exposure has been linked to adverse health outcomes, affecting brain development and susceptibility to cancer in later life.
Certain chemical levels found in these women were at levels known to be harmful to children. While concerning, this does not even take into account the additive effect that chemicals have, which is considered to be more dangerous because new chemical compounds can be formed when chemicals mix, and little is known about the possible consequences of this.
Toxins are everywhere. We live in a toxic soup. We can reduce our exposure, but we cannot prevent it. That’s why a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and supporting the health of the body’s channels of elimination (colon, liver, kidneys, lymph, blood, lungs and skin) are so vital to reducing the harmful effects that toxins can have on our health.