Identifying Digestive Disorders
Do you ever feel that your child might be dealing with digestive issues? Does your child or teenager complain of frequent stomach aches, headaches, gas or bloating?
Do they experience allergies, hay fever or asthma symptoms? Are they constipated or have diarrhea? Do they have skin break-outs or are prone to rashes?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” your child’s digestive system is not working properly. It is never too soon to tackle this issue, and it never too late. One of my clients, a single mother of three, did not clean up her diet until the kids were almost out of the house. It is not easy to tell 16 and 17-year-olds that pizza is no longer on the menu for dinner, but broccoli is. Yet, with patience and humor. she managed to launch three young adults who came to love salads, grilled chicken and stir-fried veggies. They also loved their clear skin and improved digestive functioning.
Five Keys For Healing Your Child’s Gut and Digestive Disorders
Here are five keys to healing your child or teen’s gut and digestive system:
- Breakfast is Mandatory. That said, it does not have to be eggs or cereal, or anything solid. Smoothies are the number one choice for many teens and kids. Recipe: Blend till smooth–2 scoops of high-quality protein powder, frozen fruit such as bananas or berries and non-dairy milk such as rice, almond or coconut. Throw in some probiotics for their immune system.
- Hydration. Most kids and teens are dehydrated. Spice up their water with stevia-sweetened electrolytes, and encourage them to take a large water bottle to school. Let them purchase a cool one so they will be more apt to use it. Once they are hydrated, those after-school headaches will clear right up.
- Real Food. Eat as little junk food as possible–no sugar or sodas at home. Substitute non-dairy milks for cow milk, especially if your child experiences asthma or allergies symptons. Pack lunches with protein, veggies and snacks they love. My kids never liked sandwiches, so instead, they got turkey jerky, protein bars, bananas, slices of turkey, almond butter on apples, nuts and almond flour muffins. (Health food stores have wonderful gluten-free mixes.)
- What Goes on in the Bathroom. Yes, the bowel habits of a colon therapist’s family do qualify as dinner conversation. While you do not need to go that far, you might inquire politely and ask if your kids are “going” at least once daily. If they are not, they need help with fresh fruits, raw veggies, plenty of good fats. These two products are safe for kids and teens–Dr. Schulze’s Intestinal Cleanser #3 (a liquid), and Health Force Intestinal Movement Formula. Smooth Move is a lovely tasting tea that is safe for teens who occasionally suffer from constipation.
- Walk Your Talk. The most important thing you can do for your kid’s health and diet is to take care of your own. My favorite story about walking one’s talk is from a reporter who was covering Ghandi. He tells of a young mother who approached Ghandi, and begged him to implore her daughter not to eat sugar. The daughter had been recently diagnosed with diabetes. Ghandi surprised the mother by saying, “No Madam, I’m afraid I can’t do that!” The woman said, “But you’re Ghandi. She will do anything you say!” Ghandi replied, “Madam, come back next week and I will talk to your daughter.” The next week, the woman brought her daughter to Ghandi, and he gave her a no-nonsense talk about the dangers of eating sugar. When the woman asked Ghandi why he didn’t give her that talk the week before, he said, “My dear woman, last week I was still eating sugar.”
Your Cleansing Buddy is Closer than You Think!
I encourage my Happy-Gut Makeover participants to find a cleansing buddy. In our last session, one of the cleansing buddies was a woman’s thirteen-year-old daughter. They both completely changed their diets, healed their digestive system, and bonded over home-made soup. I hope to have more parent-child duos in my Spring Happy-Gut Makeover, beginning in April!