Tag Archives: Nordic Berries by Nordic Naturals

Kids and Food Choices

KidsfoodSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

When food fights occupy your meal times, it’s time for parents to take the helm. By now, many parents know that cajoling, threatening or bribing won’t work when it comes to influencing children’s food choices. Much of the time, children who might be termed “picky eaters” have an actual fear of trying new foods. A parent might consider that when a child says they don’t like a food even before they have tried it, it usually means they are simply unfamiliar with it. Even when your child claims to like only the usual suspects –pizza, chicken nuggets and fries– there are ways to instill a love for healthy food. Once established, healthy eating habits will follow them into adulthood. While many adults could also use a lesson in healthy eating, we are our children’s first role models. If we want to raise a household of healthy eaters, we must first practice what we preach, as eating habits are learned behaviors.

Combine these tips with variety, moderation, balance and the power to choose to ensure both you and your child are on the way to meeting your nutritional goals.

  • Take the time to shop with the kids and prepare food at home. Sure, you can stock your pantry and refrigerator with processed foods that are quick and easy to prepare but many are packed with added sugars, chemicals, preservatives, sodium and additives and contain little or no nutritional value. Get kids interested in a variety of foods by exploring the perimeter of the grocery store and have them choose something along the lines of a new or a tried and true vegetable or fruit, a yogurt flavor or something healthy that looks interesting to them.
  • Once at home, when time permits, allow the kids to help prepare the meal. Provide support and encouragement and give them tasks they can complete themselves, such as peeling carrots or shelling peas. Children are more likely to eat the food they have proudly helped to prepare. As often as possible, set a priority to have everyone sit down to dinner together. Take the opportunity to talk about your day and enjoy that time together as a family. Eating as a family sets a positive mood that transfers to a positive attitude towards food.
  • Try to avoid nagging and cajoling to get kids to eat their vegetables. Telling them it’s good for them is not necessarily the best approach when they haven’t yet tried the food. Instead, suggest they try a bite and in a positive way tell them how delicious it tastes. Be patient. Learning to like food is a process, so you may have to serve a food a half dozen times or more before a child tries it and decides he likes it. Once that happens, you can tell them why it’s a healthy choice. Remember, the key is not just getting the kids to eat healthy food but teaching the kids to like healthy food. Once they have decided they like it, eating it naturally follows.
  • Unless it’s a very special occasion, cook the same meal for everyone. You are not running a restaurant, you are just trying to feed your family healthy meals while managing the balance of your day. Make sure there are choices, and then let everyone choose what they want. While you can certainly prepare your children’s favorite healthy foods, don’t give in to letting your child dictate the menu every night or insist on the same two or three foods for every meal.
  • Children require 3 meals and 2 snacks and lots of water daily. You can cut down on nagging and crankiness by being prepared. Keep healthy snacks like small bags of carrots, apple slices, fruit bars or yogurt handy and let the kids choose what they want. It takes some planning but when kids know what their choices are, they are more likely to follow the rules and will eventually stop asking for cookies or chips.  
  • Kids are going to choose to eat their favorite foods first. So if you find they are leaving their vegetables uneaten the majority of the time, try offering some cut up raw vegetables with dip as an appetizer before dinner when the kids are really hungry. Sometimes kids eat better when there are no competing foods on the plate.
  • Allow the occasional treat. When everyone eats healthy balanced meals the majority of the time, you can stop for ice cream now and then or have some treats at the movies. Of course, there’s always Grandma’s house and you’d likely be hard pressed to convince Grandma not to give the kids a cookie or two.

With time and patience, kids will form a healthy relationship with food. When kids are feeling happy and energized, you might point out to them the healthy food that they had for lunch. If kids are hyper and cranky, you might suggest it was the sugary foods they ate at their friend’s party that is making their body hurt. Kids should know that food is fuel and that their bodies perform best when given food that is nourishing and beneficial. When your child steps up to the plate and gets a base hit in Little League, or competes in a swim meet or performs well in school, you can rest assured that your hard work and influence over their food choices is helping them be their best!

While you are working on getting more vegetables into your children’s diet, you may want to consider one of these great multivitamin and mineral supplements formulated specifically for kids:

Ultra Preventive Kids Grape (201035)
Ultra Preventive Kids Grape (201035) by Douglas Laboratories – This great tasting chewable multiple vitamin, mineral and trace element supplement is designed for children aged 4 and up. Hypoallergenic, no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, yeast, gluten, soy or dairy.
Multigenics Chewable Orange
Multigenics Chewable Orange by Metagenics – Designed for children aged 2 and over, this high quality naturally flavored chewable provides comprehensive and essential vitamins and minerals for overall optimal health. Non-GMO and gluten free.
Nordic Berries
Nordic Berries by Nordic Naturals – This delicious chewable gummy multivitamin and mineral supplement supports growth and development for children aged 2 and up. No artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives. Gelatin, gluten and allergen free.

Supplements For Children’s Health

Supplememts For ChildrenBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

It’s safe to say that children who eat a healthy balanced diet filled with a variety of nutritious vegetables and fresh fruits, whole unrefined grains, lean proteins and dairy foods may be getting the vitamins and minerals necessary to support physical growth, cognitive development and overall health.  Given the reality of time stressed parents, the ease of preparing highly processed foods, children’s natural propensity for sugar laden treats and their often finicky patterns of eating, it’s also safe to assume that many children’s diets are nutritionally deficient in  a litany of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber and omega-3’s

Although there is no substitute for regular, well-balanced meals for both children and adults, high quality vitamin and mineral supplements can help fill in nutritional gaps especially for children who simply don’t eat enough fresh nutritious whole foods.  Even in homes where a variety of healthy foods is available, children and teens don’t always make the best choices outside the home.  A multivitamin and mineral supplement ensures that their daily optimal requirements are met. 

Ultra Preventive Kids by Douglas Laboratories – This great tasting chewable multivitamin and mineral supplement is designed for children aged 4 and older.  This complete formula provides a full spectrum of bioavailable trace elements as well as important antioxidants, a complete B complex, and easily absorbable calcium and magnesium.  Choice of flavors and a teen formula also available. 

Nordic Berries by Nordic Naturals This naturally flavored chewable multivitamin and mineral formula provides essential nutrients for ages 2 and above.  No artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives.  Gelatin and allergen free. 

SuperNutes for Kids by Ortho MolecularThis naturally sweetened children’s supplement contains high quality professional grade vitamins and Albion minerals in a pleasant tasting chewable tablet specifically formulated for growing bodies. No artificial colors or flavors. 

FloraBoost for Kids by Ortho Molecular –  This great probiotic for kids supplies a proprietary blend of helpful microflora to support intestinal health.  No refrigeration required. 

Multigenics Chewable Orange by Metagenics –  This high quality supplement delivers bioavailable multiple vitamins, minerals, amino acid chelates and antioxidants in a chewable form.  For children aged 2 and over. 

Pro-Omega Junior Strawberry 500 mg by Nordic Naturals –  Ideal for children aged 5 and over this supplement supplies a blend of omega-3 fatty acids from purified deep sea fish oil.  Natural strawberry flavored softgel can be easily swallowed or chewed.   Free of environmental toxins and heavy metals.  Also available in Minis for children 3 – 5 years of age.    

Media Influence on Childhood Obesity

obeseBy Susan Brown

The fact is children are becoming increasing overweight and are less physically active.  In the United States, 17% of children are obese and 5% are severely obese.  Unfortunately, as obese children become obese adults, many are experiencing health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseaseMedia time including television watching, video gaming and computer use has been identified as one of the key factors contributing to obesity.  It is estimated that children ages  8 – 18 spend approximately 45 hours per week in front of a media screen.  During this time, children are exposed to commercials and food marketing.  Studies show that young children have a hard time distinguishing between advertising and programming content.

Research has found that there is a strong association between rates of childhood obesity and increased advertising for non-nutritious foods.  Parents who worried about television’s influence on children’s behavior, now worry about the influence on their weight and health.  Media advertising of unhealthy foods contributes to obesity by influencing children’s food preferences, requests, and diet.  There has been a huge increase in the number of food products being marketed to children through cross-promotions with popular TV and movie characters such SpongeBob, The Avengers, and super heroes.  According to one study, 72% of all advertisements aimed at children are for candy and snacks, sugared cereal, sodas, and fast food. 

Children, with their remarkable ability to recall ad content, influence what their parents buy at the grocery store by what the industry has termed “the nag factor,” or how much pressure kids put on parents to buy what they want before the parent gives in.  The majority of commercials aimed at children are for high-fat, high-sugar or high-sodium foods with little or no nutritional value.  Healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables are rarely advertised.  Product placement in children’s TV shows and movies, known as “advergaming,” strongly influence children as well, as children have the ability to remember the product after seeing it only one time. 

Let’s be clear.  A five year old doesn’t choose obesity.  More and more studies show that the obesity epidemic is not related to genetics even though children of obese parents tend to be obese also.  Media use has displaced physical activity for many children due to a number of factors including parental safety concerns and the lack of supervised recreational programs.  Declining physical activity both at home and at school is increasingly recognized as a contributing factor of obesity.  Other causative factors include:

  • No set meal times
  • Highly processed foods
  • Super sized portions
  • The sugar-fat-salt connection that stimulates overeating

It has become acceptable to eat at any time and food is available 24/7, essentially creating a food carnival.  It becomes a question of an individual’s will verses their environment.  Research shows a direct link between television food advertising and mindless eating.  Yale University research shows that children aged 7 – 11 who watched a half-hour cartoon that included food commercials ate 45% more snack food than children who watched the same cartoon with non-food commercials.  This increased amount of snacking can lead to a weight gain of nearly 10 pounds per year unless countered by an increase in physical activity or a calorie reduction brought about by a decreased intake of other foods. 

It appears food advertising triggers automatic eating regardless of hunger, making it a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic.  “Research shows a direct and powerful link between television food advertising and calories consumed by adults and children,” according to lead author Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.  Mindless eating in front of the TV doesn’t just lead to an unhealthy diet, it can lead to a less healthy life overall.  This is just one of the compelling reasons to turn off the TV and eat at the table where kids can focus on eating and enjoying the company of their families. 

Eating habits are learned behaviors.  Children don’t necessarily understand that a consistent diet of chicken nuggets, french fries and sodas is not healthy.  Most parents know that their kids are under continuous assault by corporate food advertising.  Parents can record their children’s favorite shows and edit out the commercials.  Turning off the TV is one way to encourage kids to be more active.  As parents, we need to be good role models by being active ourselves, lining our cabinets with healthy foods and practicing what we preach.  Parents who are active and who eat nutritiously are going to have a strong influence on developing their children’s healthy lifetime habits. 

The key is to not only get children to eat healthy foods but also to enjoy healthy foods.  For many children, this may be just a matter of exposure and giving children opportunities to experience foods.  When it comes to helping your child to love new foods, be persistent but not pushy.  Keep it positive and continue to offer the foods until your child begins to taste and eat them.  Remember, marketers “pester power” is strong but parents have the ultimate decision-making power. 

Carlson For Kids Chewable Vitamins and Minerals
Carlson For Kids Chewable Vitamins and Minerals by Carlson Labs –  One tablet taken daily helps to ensure your growing children receive the nutritional support they may need to maintain healthy immune function and promote normal growth and development.
Little One
Little One by Metabolic Maintenance A one-per-day multivitamin created specifically for children ages 6 -12 to meet their unique nutritional needs.   Each very small capsule contains only the finest ingredients in the most bioavailable forms.
Nordic Berries
Nordic Berries by Nordic Naturals A chewable multivitamin that supports growth and development during the early years.