Carotenoids are vital to a child’s health providing antioxidant properties to aid their growth. Lutein is a dietary carotenoid found in yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables as well as leafy green vegetables. Lutein has been known for its strong supportive role in eye health, especially in decreasing the risk of age-related eye diseases. The presence of lutein in breastmilk and fetal retina (an eye structure) has also suggested lutein’s potential critical role in infants/children population.
Lutein (from the Latin word luteus, meaning “yellow”) is a yellow pigment that has the ability to showcase various colours. It is one of the 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids, and is referred to as ‘macular pigment’. A high amount of macular pigment is important to protect and prevent eye related damage in children and the elderly. It acts by filtering the damaging blue wavelengths of light (400 nm – 480 nm) to protect the photoreceptors in the retina. For example when your child is consumed with technology for long durations this radiates damaging blue wavelengths. A high amount of macular pigment acts as a barrier for the eye to protect and deflect these lights from harming the retina.
The need for obtaining adequate amounts of lutein is critical in today’s society due to the dramatic increase in electronic devices and technological uses in everyday scenarios (televisions, phones, tablets, computers). The usage by children in today’s age is concerning, according to the Vision Council, “Nearly one in four kids spend more than three hours a day using digital devices and more than twenty percent of parents are very concerned about their children’s screen time”. As children’s eyes are vulnerable to blue light damage, lutein supplementation could help maintain visual function and performance by filtering blue light and protect photosensitive cells in their eyes.
Interestingly, recent preliminary studies have also found lutein to be the predominant carotenoid in the brain of infants. Lutein has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and may protect the brain from free radical damage.
The human body cannot naturally create lutein so it must be consumed through dietary sources. Good sources of lutein include corn, spinach, broccoli, kale, and egg yolk. However, considering the relatively low consumption of vegetables in children, the average intakes of dietary lutein are far less than the amount recommended.
The newly introduced allKiDz® Multivitamins Plus with Lutein provides a natural, refreshing and delicious way to fill the nutritional gap! Along with the 13 essential vitamins and minerals, it offers lutein derived from the marigold-flower in the unesterified (“free”) form. This “free” form is found in majority of the food consumed in the human diet, and is more readily absorbed into the bloodstream and utilized by various organs allowing your child’s body to benefit the most from this form.
Visit your local retailers to try a sample today and allow your children to lead their lives with healthy minds, healthy bodies and healthy eyesight.
- Snodderly, D. M., Brown, P. K., Delori, F. C. & Auran, J. D. The macular pigment. I. Absorbance spectra, localization, and discrimination from other yellow pigments in primate retinas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 660–673 (1984)
- Johnson, E. J., Maras, J. E., Rasmussen, H. M. & Tucker, K. L. Intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Differ with Age, Sex, and Ethnicity. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 110, 1357–1362 (2010)
- Pérez-Gálvez, A. & Mínguez-Mosquera, M. I. Esterification of xanthophylls and its effect on chemical behavior and bioavailability of carotenoids in the human. Nutr. Res. 25, 631–640 (2005).
According to WebMD, Asthma is still the leading cause of chronic illness in children and affects about 7 million children in the United States and, for unknown reasons, is steadily increasing. These are scary facts for parents, and with the weather constantly changing your child is more prone to an asthma attack than ever before. Here are 3 home remedies that could help your little soldier.
- Ginger tea mixed with 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
Ginger and garlic both have anti-inflammatory properties and anti bacterial properties that will help to relax their airways and eliminate phlegm allowing your little soldier to breath. To mask the taste of the garlic add honey.
WARNING, your little one might feel nauseous after drinking this tea, but give it a few hours and you will see a complete 180.
- Massage the chest with warm sesame oil (dime size) with a pinch of salt and a steam inhalation
This remedy is like a natural a mentholated topical ointment to help them breath. If you do not have a face steamer, pour boiling water in a bowl, add little droplets of sesame oil in the water, and put a thick towel over your soldier’s head. Make sure your soldier is taking consecutive breaks to cool down and does not stay under the towel for longer than two minutes each turn.
WARNING, be prepared for little ones nose to run like crazy during this as the steam and oil breaks down the phlegm in their body, so have lots of tissues by their side.
- Boil a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a glass of milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Dairy products are something many doctors warn parents against with kids with asthma, but combined with ginger and turmeric powder it becomes a great way to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties and anti bacterial property that helps to prevent blockage in airways, restore normal breathing patterns, and relaxes lung muscles. Give this twice a day.
Sources: webmd.com [https://wb.md/2DITcAj], 1800remedies.com [https://bit.ly/2EPhzLU], life-saving-naturalcures-and-naturalremedies.com [https://bit.ly/2rcieVK], homeremediesforlife.com [https://bit.ly/2FLGxNx]
It is now widely accepted that probiotics contribute to a broad range of beneficial health effects, but did you know that probiotics also present a unique manufacturing challenge: how to keep the probiotics active and viable during manufacturing, storage, and exposure to stomach acid and bile during consumption? As live bacteria, most probiotic strains are unstable under room temperature and degrade rapidly without special storage conditions.
Thankfully, there is a notable exception in the form of Bacillus coagulans! Bacillus coagulans is highly resilient, and is able to survive without special handling to successfully proliferate in the gastrointestinal environment for maximum health benefits.
Bacillus coagulans – a trending probiotic that helps with gastrointestinal health
Bacillus coagulans is exceptionally resilient due to its protective, spore-like protein coating, which allows it to survive less-than-ideal external environments, stomach acid, and even bile salt. Upon safe arrival to the small intestine, the probiotics germinate and multiply rapidly1, contributing to a favourable gut flora and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria at the same time.
The use of Bacillus coagulans in children’s digestive health
Bacillus coagulans has a well-documented history of use for children, with proven beneficial health effects in a safe, mild, and effective format. Some uses include:
In a 2013 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, treating diarrheic children with Bacillus coagulans reduced both incidents and duration of antibiotic-associated diarrhea to within 10 days.2
Acute rotavirus diarrhea in infants
A one-year study in 112 newborn infants suggests Bacillus coagulans supplementation has a protective effect on the frequency and duration of diarrhea caused by rotavirus infection.3
Preliminary study suggests that the use of chewable Bacillus coagulans in children prevents dental caries by inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus bacteria in the mouth.4
allKiDz® Probiotic Gummies are made with Bacillus coagulans for the greatest benefits to your child and family, and all in a chewy, deliciously yogurt-flavoured gummy! Your kids will love them for the fun texture and great taste, and you’ll love it for helping to protect your little one’s health!
- Ghandi AB. Lactobacillus sporogenes, an advancement in Lactobacillus therapy. East Pharm 1988:41-43
- La Rosa M, Bottaro G, Gulino N, et al. Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea with Lactobacillus sporogenes and fructo-oligosaccharides in children. A multicentric double-blind vs placebo study. Minerva Pediatr 2003;55:447-452.
- Chandra RK. Effect of Lactobacillus on the incidence and severity of acute rotavirus diarrhea in infants. A prospective, placebo-controlled double-blind study. Nutr Res 2002;22:65-69
- Jindal G, Pandey RK, Agarwal J, Singh M. A comparative evaluation of probiotics on salivary mutans streptococci counts in Indian children.Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2011;12:211-215
Probiotics are all the buzz right now. But, what exactly is a probiotic? Let’s break it down, the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro meaning “promoting” and biotic meaning “life.”
They are known as friendly microorganisms that live mainly inside our gut. We often associate bacteria as causing disease, but what if we told you that probiotics are GOOD bacteria that can be beneficial to our bodies!
Probiotics work to balance the number of good microorganisms versus the not so good microorganisms that live in your body. By establishing a good balance of microorganisms – your immune system and digestive system are able to maintain a healthy environment. This healthy balance reduces your child’s susceptibility to colds, digestive concerns, allergies, and more.
Probiotics - PROTECT, PREVENT AND PLAY!
They help us to:
- Have a healthy digestive system9
- Have a strong immune system (more than 70% of your immune system lives in your gut!)8, 11
- Create a friendly and healthy gut environment by outnumbering bad bacteria
- Protective us from invading pathogens
Probiotics can help children with:
- Negative effects from antibiotic exposure7
- Common colds6
- And more!
So, you can see how probiotics are friendly and can help our children have a
- Happy tummy
- Happy skin
- Happy immune system
- Happy development
To increase the number of good bacteria that your child receives, you can supplement with a good quality probiotic. Alternatively, probiotics are present in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. In order to get enough probiotics into your system a supplement can be the best option! Be sure your child consumes the probiotic supplement with food to ensure optimal absorption!
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- Anabrees, Jasim et al. “Probiotics for Infantile Colic: A Systematic Review.” BMC Pediatrics 13 (2013): 186.
- Chapman, CM et al. “Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains?” Eur J Nutr 50.1 (2011): 1-17.
- Cruchet, Sylvia et al. “The Use of Probiotics in Pediatric Gastroenterology: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations by Latin-American Experts.” Paediatric Drugs 17.3 (2015): 199–216.
- Das, Rashmi Ranjan. “Cesarean delivery, antibiotic exposure, and probiotics: Relationship with childhood asthma.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 128.5 ( 2011): 1133-1134.
- Furrie, Elizabeth. “Probiotics and Allergy.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 64.4 (2005): 465-469.
- Hatakka, Katja et al. “Effect of Long Term Consumption of Probiotic Milk on Infections in Children Attending Day Care Centres: Double Blind, Randomised Trial.” BMJ : British Medical Journal 322.7298 (2001): 1327.
- Hempel, Susanne et al. “Probiotics for the Prevention and Treatment of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” JAMA 307.18 (2012):1959-1969.
- Mueller, Noel T. et al. “The Infant Microbiome Development: Mom Matters.” Trends in molecular medicine 21.2 (2015): 109-117.
- Quigley, Eamonn M. M. “Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease.” Gastroenterology & Hepatology 9.9 (2013): 560–569.
- Scourboutakos, Mary et al. “Mismatch Between Probiotic Benefits in Trials Versus Food Products.” Nutrients 9.4 (2017): 400.
- Vighi, G et al. “Allergy and the Gastrointestinal System.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology 153.Suppl 1 (2008): 3-6.
- Yeşilova, Yavuz et al. “Effect of Probiotics on the Treatment of Children with Atopic Dermatitis.” Annals of Dermatology 24.2 (2012): 189–193.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for our babies! We as humans absorb UVB rays from the sun in order to produce Vitamin D naturally in our skin! Our babies are very gentle, especially in the early stages of their lives and exposure to the sun is not recommended. So, how do babies get Vitamin D and why is it really an essential vitamin to be given so early on? Below we will go through my ultimate guide on Vitamin D and babies!
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that is produced naturally in our bodies when we are exposed to the UVB rays of the sun. However, exposure to the sun has been controversial over the years. This has led to covering our skin with clothing, sunscreen, shade, etc. But the less exposure we have to the sun the less Vitamin D we produce. Therefore, supplementing with Vitamin D can be very helpful!
Should you give your child a Vitamin D supplement?
A Vitamin D supplement can be very beneficial to our babies especially under the age of 6 months when they should not be exposed to the sun. A deficiency in Vitamin D has been known throughout history to cause Rickets, which is a weakening or softening of our bones. This is due to the role Vitamin D has in the absorption of calcium.
As your child ages, you may feel like they are exposed to enough sun. However, there are some other factors to consider. For example, our latitude, cloudy days, their complexion, time of day, smog and the season. Those with darker skin tones have a harder time in producing Vitamin D than those with lighter skin tones.
Even if a mother takes a supplement and eats Vitamin D rich foods and breastfeeds, their child will still not get enough Vitamin D. Therefore, it is important to give your child some sort of Vitamin D supplement to ensure they are getting their recommended daily requirement.
How do I know if my child has a deficiency in Vitamin D?
• The child is breastfed
• The child is not exposed to sunlight
• The child lives in the northern hemisphere (includes Canada – since fewer UVB rays can reach us here!)
At what age, should your baby start taking Vitamin D?
You can start as early as a few days after they are born. If you are breastfeeding, your child needs to supplement since there is not enough Vitamin D in breastmilk. If you are giving your child less than 32 ounces of Vitamin D fortified formula daily, you can also supplement with Vitamin D. Please consult your doctor before giving your child any supplement.
What are the benefits of Vitamin D?
The biggest benefit of Vitamin D for our children is the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also beneficial in supporting our immune system!Therefore, it is important our children get enough Vitamin D as their immune system is constantly developing.
How do you know what supplement is best?
Ensure you obtain a Vitamin D3 supplement and NOT Vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the active form. Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, make sure your child takes their supplement around the time of feeding. This will ensure it is absorbed properly.
Are there food sources of Vitamin D?
Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D such as cereal and milk. There are also some foods that naturally contain Vitamin D such as salmon, tuna, and liver.
As you can see, Vitamin D is one of the most important supplements we can give to our children. So, if you are thinking about providing your child with any supplements, Vitamin D can be the best place to start! As always, speak to your healthcare provider before giving your child any supplements.
Johnson, Lana R. “Vitamin D Insufficiency Due To Insufficient Exposure To Sunlight And Related Pathology”. Inquiries Journal. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
“Vitamin D Supplementation | Breastfeeding | CDC”. Cdc.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
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Jaundice is often used to describe the yellow color of the skin or the whites of eyes. It is a common condition seen in newborn babies. So, what truly going on in the body to cause this? Well, it indicates that there is excess bilirubin in the bloodstream. Bilirubin is a yellow material created in the body as it replaces old red blood cells. The liver’s role is to break down the bilirubin which will eventually be removed via stool. But the liver may be still developing in babies, therefore the liver may not be able to keep up with the production of bilirubin in the body.
While it may seem alarming for your baby to have a condition so early on in life, it is very common and often not worrisome!
What are the common causes of Jaundice?
- Bilirubin is produced faster than the liver can break it down.
- The liver is still developing in babies, meaning it might need some time in order to effectively break down the bilirubin.
- The intestines may be absorbing the bilirubin which would normally be removed via stool.
- Breastfeeding jaundice can occur within the first week of the baby’s life. This is due to babies who are not nursing well or the mother’s milk supply is low.
What are the common symptoms associated with jaundice?
- Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes
- Babies with severe jaundice may be very tired and feed poorly
What should you do if you notice jaundice in your baby?
Health care providers will check for jaundice once the baby is born. Hospitals will generally check for jaundice after 24 hours have passed. However, jaundice can be seen in babies after 2-4 days of being born. If you notice any signs of jaundice you should get your baby tested. This is done with a blood test to measure levels of bilirubin. Most of the time it is not a problem and goes away within 2 weeks.
What is the common treatment for jaundice?
Treatment is generally not required. Initiating treatment for jaundice will depend on the level of bilirubin, how fast the levels are rising, the baby’s age, and how early the baby was born.
The best treatment is to ensure the baby is getting enough fluids via breastmilk or formula. Feed the baby often is recommended in order to encourage regular bowel movements.
Phototherapy may be used if the baby’s bilirubin levels are really high – this is the common blue light used in hospital settings. The light helps to encourage the breakdown of bilirubin in the skin.
When should you be concerned?
You should be concerned if your baby has a fever, seems to be listless or is not feeding well. If in any case, you have a suspicion that your baby has jaundice talk to your medical provider.
Jaundice, Newborn. "Newborn Jaundice: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia". Medlineplus.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
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I’m sure it no surprise that you have heard the buzz about DHA/Omega-3/fish oil supplementation for our kids! It has become a known supplement that is important to include in our daily routine. But, why exactly is it important for our children? What kind of fish oil is best? On the blog today, we are going to go into the nitty gritty on everything you need to know about fish oil supplements for kids.
What is Omega-3 (DHA)?
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). They are essential because our bodies cannot produce them, instead we must get the fatty acids from our diet. These fats are incredibly important as they make up every single cell in our body! Two common types of omega-3 are known as EPA (eicosapentaenoicacid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
In order to get enough omega-3 from our diet we would need to consume salmon or sardines a couple times a week and our bodies would need to properly absorb the fish in order to obtain the value of the oils. Therefore, most children do not get enough omega-3 in their daily diet. So consuming a fish oil supplement is key for our children’s health!
What are the benefits of DHA in fish oil?
There are a multitude of benefits of fish oil, especially for our children. Here is a list of benefits:
• Supports healthy brain development
• Supports growth and development
• Helps to improve vision acuity
• Helps to treat skin concerns (ie. eczema)
• Helps with mood disorders (ie. anxiety, depression)
• Helps children with ADHD
DHA, in particular, has been shown to help with brain development in our children. A study done at Oxford University showed higher levels of DHA helped with reading, memory and behavioral problems. Therefore, looking for a supplement with higher DHA than EPA is important for children!
How to choose a good fish oil?
There are a few things to look out for when purchasing a good quality fish oil. The first is the type of fish that is in the product – look for sources of small fish such as anchovies and sardines. The second is making sure the fish oil is in triglyceride (TG) form as this is the form commonly found naturally in fish. If the supplement is in ethyl ester form it is not found in nature and can only be created through chemical synthesis (therefore this ethyl ester form is cheaper!).
So as you can see, fish oil is a great way to provide some extra support to our little ones! As always, talk to your doctor before supplementing with fish oil.
"Taking Omega-3 Every Day Could Help Children Who Have Poor Reading Skills". Mail Online. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.
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