Due to their growing bodies and brains, children have their own set of nutritional needs. Unfortunately, with busy after school activities, families are consuming more fast foods and processed snack foods. Also, video games and increased screen time have led to less time outdoors and less physical activity. As of 2018, 19.6% of children and 18.11% of adolescents are obese.
Vitamin D3 is produced from a reaction between the sun and the skin. Use of sunscreen and limited outdoor play time can contribute to a deficiency. Vitamin D is a part of immune health, and bone health. D3 supplementation improved emotional, conduct and peer problems in children with ADHD. Aim for blood levels of 60 mg/dl.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that regenerates other antioxidants and is important for immune health.
DHA is an essential fatty acid that is vital for brain health. Supplementation of more than 450 mg per day of DHA and EPA showed improved cognitive skills in children and teens.
Probiotics contribute to immune health, help create neurotransmitters and vitamins and protect against dangerous bacteria in the gut. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG was found to be effective in preventing diarrhea and respiratory infections in day-care centers.
A disruption in Fatty Acid metabolism is linked to ADHD. A specialized medical food containing essential fatty acids significantly improved focus, academic performance, attention and mood in children and adolescents with ADHD.
Dietary and Lifestyle Factors:
Limit sugar sweetened drinks which have been linked to an increase in Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and reduced immune function in children and teens. This includes sodas, juices, sports drinks and energy drinks.
Limit processed foods and fast food.
Make healthy foods fun.
Aim for at least one hour of out-door playtime per day outside of school.
Activity in green spaces and parks improved children’s health, mood and mental health.
Limit screen time.
Curb Diab Rep, 2018 BMC Pediatr. 2021, April 17. Pediatrics 2021
Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2017 Sept. J Atten Disord. 2017
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.