Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Why and When to Add Food Supplements to Our Kids?

Nutrition is always important, especially during childhood. It is a vital part of a growing body. This can also be challenging as it isn’t that easy to get kids to eat nutritious food. In this, a lack of nutrients occurs, and thus the immune system becomes weaker. These kids are more prone to different illnesses like flu, rashes, fever, asthma and others. If it is not possible to get nutritious food for whatever reason, at least supplements can help to reduce the missing minerals, vitamins, and other good substances. Take a look if and why supplements are suggested to be the best for natural growth and health. You can find the answer you might agree with a practical and theoretical point of view.

Kid’s immune system is not fully developed and at the same time also continually challenged by infectious microbes in schools, home, daycare centers and other places. It is also affected by allergens and irritants in foods, chemical toxins, and overuse of medications such as antibiotics and cold remedies when sick with simple as flue, fever and diarrhea and others. When taking medications mainly antibiotic, parents should be careful and are suggested to use them only in crucial situations.

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Food supplement benefits

Food supplements can be an effective approach to helping maintain optimal immunity in the face of such challenges. One of the most vital supplements for the brain is suggested to be Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. A kid should take them on daily bases[1], and it can help to avoid even ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) which both are a neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder. For the heart health, the best are fish oils, minerals like iron are good to prevent anemia. Food supplements can also include various vitamins from A to K.[2] Vitamins are an important part of any kid’s growth and health. Depending on the age and health issues (inborn or occurring), it is possible to use some other supplements as they allow to gain higher amounts of nutrients than from food.

Dietary supplements for kids of all ages

Is it true that kids need to take food supplements?

As parents, we are concerned with our kid’s health. This question often arises when we think that our kids don’t eat enough food or not enough of what we adults consider to be “healthy foods.” As a professional nutritionist and a mother of 2, I would encourage you to do whatever you can to include real food in your kid’s diet. Parents need to remember that it takes time for a kid to accept new tastes, so don’t give up if your kid refuses to eat healthy food at first.


Food benefits

Food provides the necessary and essential minerals, vitamins and other macro and micronutrients we need. If we eat dense, clean, local, organic, and fresh food, then there is no need for the supplement pill. Experts say that any kid should be able to gain the necessary vitamins, etc. from the food like milk and dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, etc.), fresh fruits (banana, apples, etc.), green vegetables, protein from chicken, meat, eggs, fish, grains (steel-cut oats, brown rice, etc.)[3] This kind of food might be challenging for those kids with diabetes, allergy, asthma and other health problems that are already there. If you feel and know this is not the case, you may consider supplementing your kid’s diet with pills.

Here are some guides you want to have:

Supplements are useful when:
a. We need to fill the nutritional gaps (nutritional deficiency). This needs to be evaluated by a nutritional consultant.
b. We need to fight a disease.
c. We need toxic environment protection.

How to choose the right product:

Don’t save on food supplement – chose the highest quality available product in the market to achieve better health results.

Are the product’s ingredients synthetic or organic?-organic is obviously preferable?

Choose companies that provide research support, fact sheets and, if possible, impartial third party research (or peer reviews).

Look at the expiration date. You want to use products that are fresh and powerful.

Chose capsule that can dissolve fast.

Check the amount of the specific ingredients in each capsule, and levels of product purity.

Safe for human subjects

Taking supplements regularly and continuously, for a specified time frame is the most effective method. Our bodies, including also kid’s, need to adjust the metabolism accordingly.

Pay attention for the digestion part of supplements. For example, you want to avoid synthetic vitamin A (acetate or palmitate forms) and vitamin E (dl-tocopherol forms) since they are not well assimilated and can aggravate the liver.

If taking medication: Parents with kids that are taking medication need to be extra cautious since we still do not completely understand the interactions between dietary supplements and medications. From a nutritional perspective, it is more the medication portion of the equation rather than the supplements that cause the complications. It is possible to avoid complications of ADD and ADHD as well as some others simply by taking fully nutritious food.

Which dietary supplements to choose

Finally, “Dietary Supplements for Kids of all ages” –do not believe this statement, “No diet is right for everyone” – this also applies to food supplements. Really? – Do you think that six years old needs the same amount of supplementation as 15 years old?

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Think about eating real food. I’m encouraging you to put the efforts, “shop, chop & cook” for yourself and your kids and families. A quality of food (GMO) really matters. And if you still think you need supplementation, consult a professional that could support your health decision. When facing health challenges like celiac, cancer that are more serious health problems than gas and bloating, food poisoning or some others, special food supplements can be highly important and beneficial. In these cases, nutrition from foods might not be enough, and this is when supplements should step in.


[1] Supplements for smart kids. Accessed from: http://www.foodforthebrain.org/smart-kids/supplements-for-smart-kids.aspxrel=”nofollow”

[2] Thinking about taking food supplements? Accessed from: http://www.safefood.eu/Publications/Consumer-info/Thinking-of-taking-food-supplements.aspxrel=”nofollow”

[3] Vitamins for Kids: Do Healthy Kids Need Supplements? Accessed from: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/vitamins-for-kids-do-healthy-kids-need-vitaminsrel=”nofollow”

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