February 11, 2019
1) We are dead in the middle of winter and that means that your vitamin D level is likely bottoming out and you may feel the winter blues. This is a good time to consume foods with vitamin D in them, stand in front of a full spectrum light daily or to take a supplement. Oily fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon are great sources of D. Other sources are fortified milks, livers and shellfish. It is especially important for nursing mothers and their infants to get adequate amounts of vitamin D. We recommend that all babies take 400 IU of liquid oral vitamin D daily while nursing.
2) Fasting is a good thing so do not fret if your toddler skips meals. It is very normal. The only critical issue regarding skipping meals is that when they do eat, it should be whole food nutritious choices. Not flour and sugar based snack foods. Also, be careful with juice in the toddler years as children will drink their calories instead of eating them. They can often lose weight if this occurs. We do not recommend juice until after age 2 years. It should be minimal in volume, i.e. 2- 4 ounces daily with meals only. Never snack with sugar infused beverages like watered down juice or milk throughout the day as this can destroy a tooth's enamel and predispose a child to cavities.
3) Cold weather is great to induce cold shock resilience proteins. Don't worry about the child that wants to go to school in shorts as long as they carry a jacket to wear if they get cold. Prevention of extreme cold is key. Be prepared for these events by carrying the clothes needed to stay warm.
4) Animals in your home environment are very useful to induce immune tolerance as a child matures. I highly recommend getting a dog and or cat before one has their first newborn child delivered. Being exposed to animals early in life is a clearly defined benefit to immune stability.
5) Travel often with your children. See the United States. We have the most amazing country in the world for the ability to see changing environments. In North Carolina alone, you can be at the beach one day and the beautiful mountains the next while sliding in a trip to Charlotte or Raleigh to museum hop. Sometimes I think that kids learn significantly more from field trips than standard instruction as a break from the monotony of book learning. (assuming they are lucky enough to still be on books and not tablets!)
6) Check your kids and your own behavior with screens. This continues to be an issue for most Americans.
7) Later start times for high school teenagers improves scholastic outcome. A study by Dr. Dunster et. al. in December's pediatrics looked at this exact issue. This is not rocket science. Increased sleep = increased brain cognitive ability due to the rested mind working better.