Let’s Give Our Children the Health Advantage

As parents, we always want the best for our children and want to give them a head start in life.  The one area that would have the most significant effect on performance is also the area that is the most neglected.  We, as a society, greatly neglect proper nutrition for our children.  We feed our children poor nutrition, introduce the wrong foods too early, put a strong emphasis on poor quality foods and then expect our children to develop into these healthy, intelligent, successful, leaders of the future. We have the opportunity to make changes and truly give our children the health advantage by focusing on feeding our children high-quality nutritious foods that will properly nourish their bodies, feed their brains and improve performance in all areas of their lives. Our bodies are intelligent.  Our bodies are able to turn the foods we eat into every cell, tissue and organ that make up our body. Everything we eat literally nourishes every cell in our body.  We need to give our children’s bodies the proper building blocks to build a solid foundation of health.  This involves feeding our children the right foods.  This is the best way to prevent disease and nurture health. Since the beginning of human existence, our bodies have been hardwired to digest “œreal” foods in their natural state.  The further our foods are from being natural, the more difficult it is for our bodies to break them down and turn them into useful building blocks.  Therefore, if we want to build a healthy body, we need to avoid feeding our children processed, refined foods.  Refined foods...

Naturopathic Doctors 101

Naturopathic Doctors 101 “You’re a Na-tur-ro…what?”  This is not an uncommon phase to be heard by a Naturopathic Doctor, even here in New Hampshire where there is a good concentration of Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). Even patients of NDs are often unaware of the plethora of therapies and services NDs are trained in.  Naturopathic Doctors attend one of 5 accredited universities in the United States.  These doctorate level programs are a minimum of 4 years long with a competitive option for another 1-3 years of residency. Naturopathic medical school curriculum contains the same basic sciences of conventional medical school (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, etc…) as well as additional classes in naturopathic-specific therapies.  Examples of these Naturopathic-specific therapies include: nutritional therapies, counseling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and physical medicine.  This education prepares graduates of accredited programs to enter the medical profession as primary care physicians after passing the Naturopathic licensing board exams (NPLEX). There are 17 states (and counting) that provide licensure for NDs currently in the United States.  Each of those states governs a different scope of practice for NDs practicing within their state lines.  For example, the state of New Hampshire has a rather comprehensive scope of practice. NDs in NH are licensed medical providers with prescribing rights for the majority of common pharmaceuticals and have coverage by most insurances in the state. So how does a Naturopathic Doctor practice? Naturopathic doctors follow the same general model as Medical doctors, with extra assessments and therapies incorporated.  The process looks something like this: Obtain a detailed history of the patient’s current and past medical issues. Perform appropriate physical exam to aid in diagnosis Order any necessary labs or...

The Heart of the Matter

During the month of February, Americans see the human heart as the symbol of love. February is American Heart Month, a time to show yourself and the people around you love for healthy habits and lifestyles. Heart disease is not a major cause of death among children and teenagers, but it is the largest cause of death among adults in the United States. In fact, someone in America dies every 37 seconds from some form of cardiovascular disease When we think of heart disease or other cardiovascular issues, children aren’t typically the first people that come to mind. There’s a good reason for that: unless a child has a congenital heart defect or some other unusual condition, heart disease tends to develop later in life. And while genetics is certainly a factor for many adult heart disease patients, the simple fact is that most cases are related to a person’s long-term diet and exercise habits.   Children should come to mind when we hear or talk about “long-term habits.” Research clearly shows that attitudes toward food and exercise form early in life, giving adults a better base for a healthier lifestyle and long term effectiveness. A child with a habit of grabbing an apple or carrot instead of chips or cupcakes will probably grow into an apple/carrot eating adult. The same will happen for the child who reaches for a glass of water instead of soda. Likewise, a child who engages regularly in vigorous, active play is less likely to be obese and has a good chance of maintaining good physical fitness throughout life.   It is possible for...

Healthy Snacks For Back To School

As any parent knows, planning healthy snacks for children can be a struggle.  This is especially true if you are raising a picky eater. It can feel like you’re running a marathon in the search for healthy foods that choosy kids will actually eat.  And forget about trying to artfully design these foods into appealing shapes, textures, and configurations. It can be a major project! As a naturopathic doctor with a love of pediatrics and an organic eating, I am constantly searching for creative ways to get veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and proteins into children. Read on for healthful ideas on how to get nutrient dense foods into your child while keeping a smile on their face. Here are 13 of my favorite healthy snack options that will make your kids say yum: 1) Almond butter and apple slices.  Can also use pear or other fruit. Cut pieces into shapes to keep ’em coming back for more! 2) Raw cocoa energy balls. 1 cup almonds, ¾ cup medjool dates, ¼ cup raw cocoa powder.  Add into food processor or blender in multiple layers then blend and press into balls.  Pure bliss! 3) Salmon pancakes. Gluten free mini pancakes (it’s quick and easy to find a g.f. pancake mix at the grocery store), topped with sliced avocado and smoked wild salmon.  For more mature tastes, you can add wasabi mayo.   4) Ants on a log. Celery topped with almond butter and raisins.  You can also use dried currants, cranberries, blueberries, or chopped dried apricots in the place of raisins. Also try guacamole or hummus instead of nut butter and top with finely minced...

Back to School Herbal Boost Syrup

Back to School Herbal Boost Syrup :: Make Your Own Immune Booster for Children   It’s back to school for most children throughout the country. And with it comes exposure of many threats to the immune systems of our precious little ones. Complaints of sore throats, stuffy noses, and tummy aches are sure to ensue… …thankfully there’s an all-natural solution for protection.   Ingredients: 2 ounces dried elderberries 1 tablespoon Echinacea root 2 teaspoons dried ginger root 1 tablespoon true cinnamon chips 3 cups water 1 cup raw honey Directions Place berries, Echinacea, ginger, cinnamon chips, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Smash the berries with a potato masher. Then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth — extracting as much liquid as possible. Compost the plant material. Add honey to the liquid. Stir until well combined. Be sure to not allow the temperature of the liquid to be, or rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit while mixing. Bottle syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. To Use Administer to child at a rate of 1 teaspoon per day for prevention or 1 teaspoon per waking hour at the onset of cold/flu-like symptoms. Do not give to children under the age of one due to the honey in the syrup. Be sure to consult with a medical professional prior to giving this or any other herbal supplement. This syrup is also great for adults! Administer on same schedule as a child, however increase dosage to 1 tablespoon. Dr. Hilary Trojano Summit Holistic Medicine...

Preventing The Flu In Your Children This School Year

Preventing The Flu In Your Children This School Year   The common cold and influenza are viral infections usually caused by viruses that intrude into the nose, throat, sinuses, or ears. The pathogens travels either from hand to mouth and nose, or through the air on minute droplets carrying infected secretions from one person to another. Catching colds can actually be beneficial as it continues to train the immune system to be well tuned and capable of identifying and dealing with pathogens. It is important to recognize this and respect the body’s own ability to move viruses through and heal. If your child gets sick and gets over it within a couple of days this is usually a sign of a strong immune system- even if your child experiences more intense symptoms such as a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. This shows that your child’s defenses are strong and the immune system is working in a timely and efficient manner. On the other hand, if your child gets sick often and takes a long time to get over it, or if a child always seems to be experiencing a low grade cold or flu but rarely spikes a fever, this may be a sign of a weaker immune system. Either way there is a lot you can do naturally to support your child’s immune system to help minimize the frequency and duration of colds and flu. Dr. Hilary Trojano Summit Holistic...