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FEATURE Healthy kids PLE STEPS FIVE SIM Esther Mills-Roberts offers some tip tips on keeping your children feeling good and staying healthy. K ids are typically charged with boundless energy, they keep us on the go, they challenge, steaming through life and testing the boundaries. Some eat everything they’re given, while others make food a battleground. Some are prone to allergies, whilst others might be fine with foods, pollens and contact allergens. Some are sensitive emotionally and others might be able to switch off to other’s input. As some say, children don’t come with a manual, but there are ways to help our children towards a happy, healthy life. 1 Healthy mind, healthy emotions Without doubt, our children’s minds are busy. According to the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, children as young as three are now accessing the internet, typically for one to two hours a day. In 2010, a quarter of children aged eight to 12 were on social networking sites, and 87 per cent said that they had been bullied online. There’s no escaping it – the demands on our children’s heads are more intense than ever. In fact, research from Netmums has found that children are now struggling with offline activities, such as reading a book. This makes diet and lifestyle choices for a healthy mind all the more important these days. As well as lifestyle and social choices, nutrition can play its part. Research has shown that children who have breakfast can concentrate on their studies at school better than those who don’t. Fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to erratic thinking, so encouraging a diet high in wholegrains and eating foods with carbs and proteins (with a bit of good fat) is preferable to high sugar and fat snacks. Water is also vital for concentration, and lethargy is more likely to occur if a child is dehydrated. A variety of drinks from juices, smoothies and waters, as well as dairy and dairy alternatives will help to increase the range of nutrients in the diet that feed into pathways needed for energy and concentration. These days, there is a plethora of information about the role of essential fatty acids and brain health. EPA and DHA are known to help with concentration and learning, as they are found in abundant quantities in the brain. Where dietary intakes from seeds and nuts and other sources, such as oily fish, are low, then supplements might be helpful. As well as this, a child who eats little, is fussy or dislikes fresh fruit and vegetables (at five to 10 portions daily) might benefit from a multinutrient formulation with enhanced levels of antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, as well as zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium. There are many age- appropriate children’s multinutrients on the market, in forms such as tablets, chewables and liquids. 16 children health.indd 16 Try this z s Aid Kid ★ Nature & MInerals ivitamin Mult r l ★ Lepico Echinaforce Junio l ★ A.Voge ‘For babies and c ★ OptiBa children’ Active ★ Cherry FOR MORE TIPS TO LIVE a NATURAL LIFESTYLE LOG ON TO 20/07/2017 17:51