Everyone wants to raise a healthy baby. A lot of people, however, think that they can simply feed children the same foods that adults eat, in smaller portions. Putting aside the fact that most American adults have terrible diets, babies and young children are not designed to eat the same foods as adults.
And we all want kids to have a great start in life, even if we don’t know exactly how to give it to them.
If you really want to give your child a healthy start, you’ll never compromise on these three things.
Use Raw Milk From Mom During the First Few Months of Life
A mother’s breast milk does much more than simply give a baby nutrition. It also provides the gut bacteria that babies need to develop strong, healthy stomachs. Babies are born without any gut bacteria, but humans need certain bacteria to survive. Good bacteria in the gut, for instance, produce a lot of B vitamins, enzymes and other essential nutrients.
Raw milk from the mother is the most effective way to introduce good bacteria to a baby. It takes at least three weeks for the mother’s milk to do the job. Ideally, mothers can breastfeed their babies longer than that, and a lot of doctors suggest a minimum of one year of breastfeeding.
In some cases, mothers may need to use raw cow’s milk instead of their own breast milk. It’s not ideal, but some women have difficulty breastfeeding. In fact, about 20 percent of American women never breastfeed. For some of them, that’s because they or their children have medical issues that make breastfeeding impossible or extremely difficult.
Substituting pasteurized milk for raw milk will not have the same positive effect on your child’s health. Raw milk is alive. It’s essentially blood that doesn’t contain red blood cells. When food manufacturers pasteurize milk, they kill all of the healthy things that live in raw milk, including the bacteria. It’s no surprise, then, that babies who are given pasteurized milk never develop the strong gut they need to become healthy children and adults.
Keep Sugar to a Minimum
Seriously. And this is getting harder and harder to do. Americans eat an unprecedented amount of sugar. Even one soft drink contains over 9 ounces of sugar, which is more than the average American ate in a week just 100 years ago. Then, there’s all of the hidden sugar that gets mislabeled in foods like bread and chicken nuggets. Manufacturers may not call their ingredients “sugar,” but items like high-fructose corn syrup do just as much, if not more, damage than regular sugar.
The list of health problems that sugar causes includes tooth decay, obesity and a compromised immune system. It’s even worse when you give sugar to young children. Sugar takes a toll on the brain, making it nearly impossible for many children to concentrate. Sugar also causes a spike in energy levels. When the kids crash, they suffer from mood problems. You may call it crankiness, but it sets them up for bad eating habits that will shorten their lives.
Don’t Use Artificial Sweeteners to Avoid Sugar
Some parents who know that sugar can harm children decide to use artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, this isn’t much better. Sometimes, sugar substitutes are worse than the sugar they replace.
There are five really bad artificial sweeteners that you want to avoid:
- Saccharine, which was listed as a carcinogen for over 20 years
- Sucralose, which contains chlorine to prevent human bodies from digesting it
- Acesulfame potassium, another sweetener that uses chlorine to prevent digestion
- Aspartame, which has been associated with a host of health issues such as depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s, aggressive behavior and suicidal ideation
- Neotame, a Monsanto product that’s not only similar to aspartame but also turns into the carcinogen formaldehyde during digestion.
If you must use a sweetener, choose a natural option like honey or agave. The closer you get to nature, the healthier the product is. That applies to practically all foods.
So that’s it. Keep these three things in mind, and never compromise, and your children will have the terrific, healthy start they deserve.