A 3-Step Pediatric Nutritional Study

1. Nutritionally Supplement The Diet With A Good Quality Multivitamin/ Multimineral Formula

True, nutritional supplements are only supplements to a healthful diet, but this step is at the top of the priority list. Even with the best intentions and unlimited supermarket dollars, the science on the subject shows that it’s nearly impossible for parents to obtain all the nutrients needed for their child through food alone.

In fact: EVERY study that’s been performed to date has demonstrated multiple nutritional deficiencies in children who are faithfully consuming the American diet. Setting the foundation for a child’s health and mental performance will require nutritional supplementation – even if the child’s diet is “better than average.” This step will protect against nutrient deficiencies that can emerge with even a relatively healthful diet.

2. Supplement The Diet With Omega-3 Fats From Fish Oil

Omega-3 deficiencies have been identified in the scientific literature as a causal factor in ADHD.43-46 Children with ADHD have been reported to have significantly lower plasma DHA and DHA red blood cell concentrations when compared to normal (control) non-ADHD children.44 In studies conducted at Purdue University, the lipid profiles of 53 boys with ADHD were compared to a control group of 43 boys without ADHD. Boys six to 1 years old who had below-normal plasma DHA concentrations had a documented greater prevalence of temper tantrums, learning problems, and other behavior and sleep problems, as well as significantly higher levels of anxiety, hyperactivity and impulsivity.45 The researchers found that subjects with ADHD had significantly lower concentrations of DHA in plasma and red blood cells compared to the control group. The ratio of total n-6 to n-3 in the subjects with ADHD was significantly higher than in control subjects (P
Furthermore, a recent randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention over 15 weeks performed in a group of children aged seven to 1 years who exhibited ADHDrelated problems with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity produced quite favorable results. Researchers found significant medium to strong positive treatment effects in the group given n-3 supplementation.46

3. Increase Consumption of Nutrient-Rich Foods

If your pediatric patients – like most children – would prefer to fill up on processed foods, this is certainly understandable, but parents need to be aware of the fact that this could well be interfering with their health in numerous ways. Start by showing parents how to begin making a healthful change by first factoring in some whole, nutritious, unprocessed foods, and then work to completely substitute healthful whole foods for processed junk as often as possible.

For every food a child adores, parents can find or create a less processed version as a replacement. Reference the table in the right column for some ideas you can suggest to parents. Advise patients that they can find healthy recipes for kids online, in cookbooks, or on the shelves of your favorite bookstore. The aim here is to start substituting less processed foods for their old favorites, and in time, they’ll learn to love them just as much.

Summary

As children are rapidly growing and learning, and since they have even less of the willpower required to make good choices in a world full of processed junk, it is especially crucial that their bodies and brains be supplied with the nutrients they are likely to lack.

Food processing and other aspects of the modern diet have significantly degraded the micronutrient quality and quantity of the average American diet. Today, multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that children and adults frequently consume diets that provide suboptimal nutrient composition. These inadequate diets negatively affect the health outcomes of adults and children. Nutritionally oriented physicians can significantly improve patients’ health outcomes by simply helping patients to better understand the importance of daily supplementation, as well as providing instruction regarding how to select good quality nutritional supplements that will meet the specific needs of each individual.