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Kids Good Stuff for Skin Health

Research suggests that more than 65% of children experience skin issues by the time they are five.3 This can be influenced by a number of circumstances including family history, immunity, social and environmental factors.3 Climate can play a role (warmer climates have been shown to increase the risk of conditions like pyoderma), as can low


Research suggests that more than 65% of children experience skin issues by the time they are five.3 This can be influenced by a number of circumstances including family history, immunity, social and environmental factors.3 Climate can play a role (warmer climates have been shown to increase the risk of conditions like pyoderma), as can low hygiene, which has been associated with increased rates of scabies.2

The skin makes up the integumentary system and provides our bodies with a physical barrier against infection, chemicals and the surrounding environment. When this barrier is compromised by dramatic changes such as climate and hygiene, alterations in the skin can occur, resulting in skin disorders.1,2 Immune disfunction or dysregulation also plays a significant role in the proliferation of skin disorders.1  

What are some common skin conditions in children?

Like adults, skin conditions in children can manifest in a plethora of ways. While parents often hear horror stories of impetigo, head lice, scabies and shingles, it’s Atopic Dermatitis (AD) or eczema that is actually one of the most common childhood skin conditions.4,5

Eczema is a pruritic (itchy!), chronic skin condition, with 50% of cases diagnosed by the age of one.6 Eczema has a significant impact on quality of life, with 50% of children reporting negative effects on sleep, mood and physical activity.6

The prevalence of eczema is thought to be the result of interactions between genetic and environmental factors, and immune dysregulation. Increased serum immunoglobulin E (IgE), elevated Th2 cytokines and T cells have been identified in eczema.4 Children with a family history of eczema, asthma or allergic rhinitis have an increased risk of eczema compared to those without a family history.6

How to keep your child’s skin healthy

There are a number of lifestyle factors that can improve children’s skin health:

  • Drink water. Children aged between 4 and 14 should consume 5-6 cups of water per day.7
  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals like sulphates and parabens.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Add one daily serve of Kids Good Stuff to your child’s diet.

Kids Good Stuff for skin health

Kids Good Stuff is an all-in-one, convenient nutritional supplement that contains ingredients to support skin health.

Beta-glucans

Beta glucans are derived from sources such as yeast, grains and fungus and possess biological activities that enhance immune function.8 Beta glucans have been found to promote wound healing via modulation of immune cellsand proliferation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts through specific receptors such as Dectin-1.8

Probiotics

Inflammation is an immune response commonly seen in skin conditions. Probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus exert anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory effects via interactions with T and B cells.9 Probiotics may therefore assist in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as AD.9

Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid (B5) is a water-soluble B vitamin and has been found to be effective in treating skin conditions such as acne via antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions.10 B5 is also suggested to regulate skin barrier function through the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes.10

B7 (Biotin)

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and has been shown to be beneficial for hair and nail growth.11

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant in human skin.12 Patients with AD are found to have lower levels of vitamin C, therefore supplementation may be beneficial.12 Vitamin C supports skin integrity, via cell growth and differentiation, and also exerts antioxidant effects.12

Vitamin D

Children with AD have displayed lower levels of serum vitamin D, suggesting vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of AD.13 Vitamin D may have positive effects on AD via regulation of Th1 and Th2 cytokines and the promotion of skin cell proliferation.13

Manganese

Manganese is an essential trace element that is found to be deficient in children with skin rashes.14 Manganese may be beneficial for skin health via its ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species within the skin.15

Skin conditions in children can range from mildly inconvenient to uncomfortable and debilitating. Looking after their skin nutritionally with Kids Good Stuff is the first line of defence.

References:

  1.             Vakirlis E, Theodosiou G, Apalla Z, Arabatzis M, Lazaridou E, Sotiriou E et al. A retrospective epidemiological study of skin diseases among pediatric population attending a tertiary dermatology referral center in Northern Greece. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 2017;10:99-104.
  2.             WHO | Epidemiology and management of common skin diseases in children in developing countries [Internet]. Who.int. 2021 [cited 9 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/fch_cah_05_12/en/
  3.             Foley P, Zuo Y, Plunkett A, Merlin K, Marks R. The Frequency of Common Skin Conditions in Preschool-aged Children in Australia. Archives of Dermatology. 2003;139(3).
  4.             Boguniewicz M, Leung D. Atopic dermatitis: a disease of altered skin barrier and immune dysregulation. Immunological Reviews. 2011;242(1):233-246.
  5.             Pediatric Contact Dermatitis | Children’s National Hospital [Internet]. Children’s National. 2021 [cited 9 April 2021]. Available from: https://childrensnational.org/visit/conditions-and-treatments/skin-disorders/contact-dermatitis
  6.             Peterson M. Eczema and children – the novel approach | FX Medicine [Internet]. Fxmedicine.com.au. 2019 [cited 9 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.fxmedicine.com.au/blog-post/eczema-and-children-%E2%80%93-novel-approach
  7.             Water [Internet]. Nutrient Reference Values. 2014 [cited 9 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/water
  8.             Majtan J, Jesenak M. β-Glucans: Multi-Functional Modulator of Wound Healing. Molecules. 2018;23(4):806.
  9.             Kober M, Bowe W. The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. 2015;1(2):85-89.
  10.             Yang M, Moclair B, Hatcher V, Kaminetsky J, Mekas M, Chapas A et al. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of a Novel Pantothenic Acid-Based Dietary Supplement in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Facial Acne. Dermatology and Therapy. 2014;4(1):93-101.
  11.             Patel D, Swink S, Castelo-Soccio L. A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. Skin Appendage Disorders. 2017;3(3):166-169.
  12.             Wang K, Jiang H, Li W, Qiang M, Dong T, Li H. Role of Vitamin C in Skin Diseases. Frontiers in Physiology. 2018;9.
  13.             Umar M, Sastry K, Al Ali F, Al-Khulaifi M, Wang E, Chouchane A. Vitamin D and the Pathophysiology of Inflammatory Skin Diseases. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 2018;31(2):74-86.
  14.             Manganese [Internet]. National Institutes of Health. 2021 [cited 9 April 2021].  Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/
  15.             Treiber N, Maity P, Singh K, Ferchiu F, Wlaschek M, Scharffetter-Kochanek K. The role of manganese superoxide dismutase in skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2012;4(3):232-235.

Protein 101 for Kids

What is protein? Protein is one of three macronutrients on which our diets are built (along with carbohydrates and fat) (1). It’s essential to almost every physiological process in the body, including, but not limited to, growth and repair (1). Protein is particularly important for children’s growth, neurodevelopment and long-team health (2). Protein consists of


What is protein?

Protein is one of three macronutrients on which our diets are built (along with carbohydrates and fat) (1). It’s essential to almost every physiological process in the body, including, but not limited to, growth and repair (1). Protein is particularly important for children’s growth, neurodevelopment and long-team health (2).

Protein consists of 20 amino acids (1); 11 of these are known as non-essential amino acids and can be made by the body, whilst the other 9, known as essential amino acids, must be obtained externally through diet (1). Amino acids form together in long chains to create the building blocks of protein and are present in all living cells exerting both functional and structural properties (1). Functionally, the body can break down tissue proteins into amino acids and utilise them for energy or glucose production (1). Some proteins can act as enzymes to support digestion, the building of bones and glucose production, whilst certain hormones such as insulin and glucagon use proteins to help regulate blood glucose levels and human growth hormone (3).

Why is protein so important for growing kids?

Brain growth and development relies on a high rate of protein synthesis (2). The amino acids that make up proteins, for example arginine and leucine, are required to synthesise crucial signalling molecules such as neurotransmitters and determine neuronal complexity (2). These amino acids also function to create other compounds, such as creatine, which is a key marker of kidney function, and peptide hormones which exert effects on the endocrine system (2). Research has highlighted the importance of protein for infants, with preterm babies who have higher protein intakes displaying greater head circumference growth and improved neurodevelopmental outcomes compared to those with lower levels of protein at birth (2). Furthermore, animal studies have demonstrated the effects of amino acid deficiency, in particular leucine, on decreased neurodevelopment (2).

How much protein does a child need?

The World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organization states the reference values for protein intake as 0.9g/kg/day for boys aged 3 to 18 years old and girls aged 3 to 15 years old (4). This means if your child weighs 20kg they require 18g of protein per day.

Best sources of protein:

Protein is present in both animal and plant foods. Whilst the amino acids found in animal proteins is closer to that of humans, all of the essential amino acids can be obtained from plant sources as well (1).

Some of the highest sources of protein include:

  • Chicken (32g per 100g)
  • Pork (31g per 100g)
  • Tuna (29g per 100g)
  • Firm Tofu (17g per 100g)
  • Lentils (9g per 100g)
  • Yoghurt (5.7g per 100g)
  • Cheese (Parmesan) (35g per 100g)
  • Pumpkin Seeds (29g per 100g)
  • Eggs (12g per 100g) (5)

How can I increase protein in my child’s diet?

Whilst your child may be having three meals a day, they may not be consuming protein with each meal. One of the best ways to increase protein in your child’s diet is through snacks either side of meals. Here are some of our top tips to increase protein in your child’s diet!

  • Add cheese to bread or crackers and use it to top baked potatoes and vegetables.
  • Blend tofu or plain Greek yoghurt with melted chocolate to create a creamy chocolate mousse.
  • Add yoghurt to smoothies.
  • Store hard-boiled eggs in the fridge to have on hand as a quick handheld snack.
  • Create cut-outs of cheese slices, ham and sandwiches using fun shaped cutters. 
  • Sprinkle seeds or nuts on fruit and yoghurt.
  • Add peanut butter or almond butter on toast, fruit or blend into a smoothie.
  • Add one serving of Kids Good Stuff to 250ml water or milk of choice. Alternatively, you can add Kids Good Stuff to a fruit smoothie or your child’s favourite baked goods.

Kids Good Stuff contains 8g of pea protein isolate, which is an effective, kid-friendly dose of high-quality protein. Pea protein isolate is vegan, gluten, soy, and dairy-free, and is also free-from common allergens including peanuts and egg, making it a low-allergen, safe option for children. It has an absorption rate of over 89% and contains all 9 essential amino acids, including leucine, which is needed for human growth and development.

Kids Good Stuff is the perfect addition to your child’s diet, providing protein along with 11 fruits and vegetables to support optimal growth and development. For more ideas on how to incorporate Kids Good Stuff into your child’s diet and to shop products, click here.

References:

  1. Nutrient Reference Values, (2014). Protein. Retrieved from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/protein
  2. Cormack, B. E., Harding, J. E., Miller, S. P., & Bloomfield, F. H. (2019). The Influence of Early Nutrition on Brain Growth and Neurodevelopment in Extremely Preterm Babies: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 11(9), 2029. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092029
  3. Medline Plus, (2020). What are proteins and what do they do?. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/howgeneswork/protein/#:~:text=Proteins%20are%20large%2C%20complex%20molecules,the%20body’s%20tissues%20and%20organs.&text=Enzymes%20carry%20out%20almost%20all,that%20take%20place%20in%20cells.
  4. FAO/WHO/UNU. Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition. Joint WHO/FAO/UNU Expert Consultation. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser. 2007:1–265. https://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/WHO_TRS_935/en/
  5. My Food Data, (2021). Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein. Retrieved from https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/foods-highest-in-protein.php

Kids Good Stuff for Brain Health

The first 1,000 days of an infant’s life are said to be critical to their neurocognitive development [1]. However, beyond these 1,000 days, lifestyle and environmental factors continue to have a huge impact on brain development, none more so than nutrition. Failure to provide adequate nutrition can lead to long-term consequences affecting behaviour, cognition and


The first 1,000 days of an infant’s life are said to be critical to their neurocognitive development [1]. However, beyond these 1,000 days, lifestyle and environmental factors continue to have a huge impact on brain development, none more so than nutrition. Failure to provide adequate nutrition can lead to long-term consequences affecting behaviour, cognition and mental health [1].

With the pace of modern life and the rise of processed and convenience foods, it can be hard to ensure your child is getting all the required nutrients for brain health. Kids Good Stuff was formulated in conjunction with leading independent health experts to support all 11 body systems, including the brain and nervous system. Designed as a daily supplement, it helps fill the key nutritional gaps in the diets of children aged 4-14 and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and plant foods that work synergistically to promote brain health.

Key Nutrients in Kids Good Stuff for Brain Health:

Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum):

Kids Good Stuff contains 250mg flaxseed which is a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are made up of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) which play a critical role in brain health. EPA has been shown to modulate behaviour and mood, whilst lower levels of DHA have been associated with poorer performance in spatial and learning tasks [2]. ALA in particular, has been shown to result in a higher brain mass when given to pups in studies, highlighting the value of flaxseed for brain development [2].

Sunflower lecithin:

Lecithin contains phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylinositol substances that form part of the cell-membrane. Lecithin also provides choline, a precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which acts as a key messenger between cells. Research has demonstrated the importance of lecithin for healthy brain development via its effects on synaptic development. Lecithin was shown to upregulate synapsin I (SYN1), which supports neural complexity and activity [3].

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri extract):

Bacopa, most commonly known as Brahmi is a perennial herb native to India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. It is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural cognitive and memory enhancer. Recent studies have highlighted the benefits of Brahmi for children with hyperactivity and attention challenges [4]. Brahmi was found to be effective in reducing hyperactivity and improving cognition by acting as a free-radical scavenger and antioxidant, promoting neuroprotection, increasing choline, reducing β-amyloid, increasing cerebral blood flow, improving mitochondrial efficiency, and modulating neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin, and dopamine [5,6]. Kids Good Stuff contains 50mg of Brahmi which is considered a safe dose for children.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin (Tagetes erecta (Marigold) flower extract):

Lutein and zeaxanthin are classified as xanthophyll’s and are part of the carotenoid group. Extracted from the marigold flower, lutein and zeaxanthin play an important role in eye, brain and nervous system development, particularly during the early stages of life [7]. In the same way lutein protects the retina from damage, via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, lutein also protects the brain [8]. Lutein spans the membrane and works to block the oxidation of lipids such as DHA which is necessary for membrane structure and fluidity in the brain [8]. Zeaxanthin also functions as an antioxidant, exerting macular and neuroprotective effects [9]. Supplementation with both zeaxanthin and lutein has shown to improve central nervous system xanthophyll levels and cognitive function in young adults and are therefore vital nutrients for brain development [9].

Bioflavonoids:

Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that are naturally found in many plant-based foods such as citrus, tea, berries and chocolate [12]. Bioflavonoids are associated with improved cognition, eye health and reduced inflammation and oxidation [10, 11]. Specifically, bioflavonoids in the form of blackcurrant have been shown to improve brain health via inhibiting monoamine oxidase (MAO) [12]. Higher levels of MAO are correlated with lower dopamine and therefore lower working memory and attention [12]. Cocoa has been shown to improve the focusing ability of the eyes of young adults and has also demonstrated positive benefits for cognition [12]. Citrus bioflavonoids are associated with improved attention and general executive function [12]. As bioflavonoids all have slightly different actions, Kids Good Stuff has been formulated to include a spectrum of flavonoid compounds including blackcurrant, cocoa and citrus, to ensure optimal support. The evidence also suggests that taking bioflavonoids derived from wholefoods is superior to taking isolated flavonoids, which is why Kids Good Stuff contains 11 real fruits and vegetables.

Nutrition plays a crucial role in promoting brain health for children. Kids Good Stuff is an all-in-one formula that provides the key vitamins and minerals to promote optimal health, including brain health. To find out more about the benefits of Kids Good Stuff, click here.

References:

[1] Cohen Kadosh, K., Muhardi, L., Parikh, P., Basso, M., Jan Mohamed, H. J., Prawitasari, T., Samuel, F., Ma, G., & Geurts, J. M. (2021). Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children-An Update and Novel Insights. Nutrients, 13(1), 199. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010199

[2] Parikh, M., Maddaford, T. G., Austria, J. A., Aliani, M., Netticadan, T., & Pierce, G. N. (2019). Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. Nutrients, 11(5), 1171. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051171

[3] Latifi, S., Tamayol, A., Habibey, R., Sabzevari, R., Kahn, C., Geny, D., Eftekharpour, E., Annabi, N., Blau, A., Linder, M., & Arab-Tehrany, E. (2016). Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity. Scientific reports, 6, 25777. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep25777

[4] Kean JD, Downey LA, Stough C. A systematic review of the Ayurvedic medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri in child and adolescent populations. Complementary Thera- pies in Medicine. 2016;29:56-62.

[5] Vishnupriya P, Padma VV. A review on the antioxidant and therapeutic potential of Bacopa monnieri. React Oxygen Spec. 2017;3:111-20.

[6] Suen J, Thomas J, Kranz A, Vun S, Miller M. Effect of Flavonoids on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Adults at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review. Healthcare. 2016;4(3):69.

[7] Wallace TC. A Comprehensive Review of Eggs, Choline, and Lutein on Cognition Across the Life-
span. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2018;37(4):269-85.

[8] James M Stringham, Elizabeth J Johnson, B Randy Hammond, Lutein across the Lifespan: From Childhood Cognitive Performance to the Aging Eye and Brain, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue 7, July 2019, nzz066, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzz066

[9] Renzi-Hammond, L. M., Bovier, E. R., Fletcher, L. M., Miller, L. S., Mewborn, C. M., Lindbergh, C. A., Baxter, J. H., & Hammond, B. R. (2017). Effects of a Lutein and Zeaxanthin Intervention on Cognitive Function: A Randomized, Double-Masked, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Younger Healthy Adults. Nutrients, 9(11), 1246. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111246

[10] Lamport DJ, Dye L, Wightman JD, Lawton CL. The effects of flavonoid and other polyphenol consump- tion on cognitive performance: a systematic research re- view of human experimental and epidemiological studies. Nutrition and Aging. 2012;1(1):5-25.

[11] Patel S, Mathan JJ, Vaghefi E, Braakhuis AJ. The effect of flavonoids on visual function in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experi- mental Ophthalmology. 2015;253(11):1841-50.

[12] Lamport DJ, Dye L, Wightman JD, Lawton CL. The effects of flavonoid and other polyphenol consump- tion on cognitive performance: a systematic research re- view of human experimental and epidemiological studies. Nutrition and Aging. 2012;1(1):5-25.

Back-to-school Tips To Keep You Organised

Preparing for the return of the school year is a daunting task for many parents. With school uniforms, stationary and some back-to-school anxiety felt by the child, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. To make the return to school easier, here are our top five tips that will ensure you and your child are organised.


Preparing for the return of the school year is a daunting task for many parents. With school uniforms, stationary and some back-to-school anxiety felt by the child, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. To make the return to school easier, here are our top five tips that will ensure you and your child are organised.

Create checklists – Checklists are an easy way to organise your thoughts and keep you on track.Create lists of tasks and appointments that need to be attended to before the school year starts – things like cleaning backpacks and lunch boxes, checking that shoes and uniforms still fit, picking up any text books needed for the year ahead.

Schools often provide a checklist of stationery and other items required for the classroom. If yours doesn’t then check your local stationery store like Officeworks or Staples.

A checklist may also be useful to manage the morning school rush. Pin a list to the family fridge with the key morning tasks such as 1) Getting dressed 2) Brushing teeth and 3) Packing lunchboxes.

Sort out Sleep – The key to a good routine is sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that school aged children get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep[1].

Two weeks before the kids return to school, encourage them to go to bed and wake as if they would during the school term. This will help re-establish a healthy sleeping pattern and reduce the morning sleep ins! Limiting screen time at night and making sure children are active during the day are also great ways to encourage good sleep.

Focus on Nutrition – Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day for both parents and children. If you are short on time in the morning, a breakfast smoothie is a quick and easy way to get nutrients into your body.

Try adding 1 scoop of Kids Good Stuff (for the kids) or Good Green Vitality (for you!) to your morning shake. This provides your body with essential nutrients and energy to fuel your day. Click here for more nutritious breakfast ideas.  

Prepare in advance – Meal preparation and planning is a key tool that can be used to keep you organised throughout the school week. Read more about back-to-school lunch box tips here.

Plan for Homework – Homework is dreaded by many students as well as parents. To lessen the load and encourage good homework habits, you can organise your child’s schoolwork by developing a homework plan. This can be manually drawn out on a calendar or digitally scheduled using free Apps such as ‘My Study Life’.

If you have a designated space in the home for your children to complete their homework, declutter the area before they return to school. It’s easier to think clearly in a clear space, plus the clean-out will allow you to take stock of stationary you already have so that you don’t double up. Labelling drawers and folders will also encourage your children to stay tidy and organised.

Make it easier and reduce your child’s back to school anxiety by planning ahead and getting organised.



Back To School Lunch Box Tips And Tricks

Getting the kids ready to go back to school after the Christmas break can be a daunting task! Between organising school uniforms and after school activities, it’s easy to leave the kids’ lunch boxes to the last minute. Here are our top tips and tricks for planning and preparing healthy lunches that will ensure a


Getting the kids ready to go back to school after the Christmas break can be a daunting task! Between organising school uniforms and after school activities, it’s easy to leave the kids’ lunch boxes to the last minute. Here are our top tips and tricks for planning and preparing healthy lunches that will ensure a stress-free start to the school year.

1. Planning ahead.

Setting aside the time to come up with lunch box ideas for the week ahead will not only keep you organised, it will also save you time on those mornings when you are rushing out the door.

How To:

  • Allocate 1 hour on the weekend to write out lunch box ideas for the week ahead. You can do this by manually drawing out a plan or using a planner App.
  • Choose meals and snacks that keep well in lunch boxes – some examples include savoury muffins, protein balls, wholegrain crackers and pasta.
  • Structure lunch boxes around the three key macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and protein. See the image below for a visual guide on how to fill your kids lunch box.
  • Make sure you include variety – children may grow tired of the same foods, so it is important to incorporate some different lunch options! A good way to do this is by changing up their snacks and rotating between different fruits and vegetables.

2. Batch cooking.

Once you have planned out the children’s lunches for the week ahead, set aside time to shop, cook and portion out meals on a Sunday as this will ensure you are prepared for the week ahead.

How To:

  • Allocate 1-2 hours on a Sunday to prepare meals and snacks.
  • Batch cooking is an efficient method that can be used to prepare many meals at once. Pick some of your child’s favourite recipes and double the quantities to increase the number of serves.
  • For easy grab and go snacks, wash, pre-cut and store vegetables and fruit ahead of time.
  • Freeze any leftovers as these can be used at a later date.

3. Hide extra nutrients in food.

If your children are fussy eaters and struggle to eat their vegetables or a variety of foods, a great way to include more nutrients in their lunchboxes is by hiding them in their favourite foods.

How To:

  • Grate or blend vegetables such as carrots and zucchini into sauces.
  • Add chia seeds or ground flaxseeds into yoghurt.
  • Choose wholegrain breads that have visible seeds and grains.
  • Blend spinach into egg mixtures.
  • Add a scoop of Kids Good Stuff into baking and smoothies – click here to explore some kid friendly recipes!

4. Get the kids involved.

Do you cook with your kids? It may seem overwhelming, but It doesn’t have to be stressful. Getting your children involved in the act of meal preparation not only provides valuable skills and education, it also exposes them to different foods. 

How To:

  • When planning out lunch box ideas for the week, sit down with your kids and let them contribute ideas. This will ensure they will enjoy their meals more and actually eat them.
  • When preparing food, get the kids involved with the washing, sorting and assembling of ingredients.
  • Baking is a fun and exciting hands-on activity for kids. Try a healthy take on your favourite classics.
  • Encourage the kids to help you pack their lunch boxes. This can be an activity that gets the kids excited about their lunches!

For more tips of how to pack a healthy lunch box, click here https://www.nuzest.com/blog/how-to-pack-a-healthy-lunchbox/

Long-lasting Energy For Kids

To keep up with the demands of school, extracurricular activities, sports and friendships, kids often need a bit of an energy boost. Growing kids Children and adolescents are going through massive periods of growth and development, and this means they need plenty of food. In fact, young teens need more calories than any other stage


To keep up with the demands of school, extracurricular activities, sports and friendships, kids often need a bit of an energy boost.

Growing kids

Children and adolescents are going through massive periods of growth and development, and this means they need plenty of food. In fact, young teens need more calories than any other stage of life. Unfortunately, this is also a time when many girls intentionally diet to restrict calories. By age 15, over 75% of girls reported dieting at some point.1 Not only can this lead to low energy, but there is potential for nutritional deficiencies when total food and calories are insufficient. Remember, it’s not just growing boys that need to eat more, girls do too!

Rather than aiming for a specific calorie goal (as this changes based on things like height and activity levels), encourage your children to eat until they’re full, neither overeating nor undereating, and focus on a varied diet filled with complex carbohydrates (like whole grain bread, beans, sweet potato, quinoa and brown rice), a rainbow of fruits and veggies, fats and protein. Try my recipe for delicious overnight oats, full of complex carbohydrates to keep kids energised until lunchtime.

Adding a product like Kids Good Stuff (or even Good Green Vitality for adolescents) to their daily routine is a great way to ensure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to thrive.

Specific nutrients for energy

  • Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred energy source, and the only source that our brains can use. Simple carbohydrates (like white bread and sugar) are used quickly, while complex carbohydrates (like brown bread, wholemeal pasta, fruits and veggies and beans) give us longer lasting energy. Try to include complex carbs with each meal and snack to boost energy.
  • Protein takes longer for your body to break down and turn into energy so it is a longer lasting energy source that also provides satiety (minimising the risk of reaching for sugary snacks). Kids Good Stuff is a plant-based smoothie mix with 8g a protein in every serve.  
  • B vitamins help our bodies extract the energy from the food we’ve eaten,2 so it’s important to make sure your children’s diets have enough of them. This can be easy as B vitamins are found in a wide range of foods including meat, dairy, eggs, beans and lentils, and seeds (especially sunflower). If your child is vegan, however, they will need to eat food fortified with vitamin B12 or take a supplement like Kids Good Stuff (which is packed with a full spectrum of B vitamins), as this vitamin only occurs naturally in animal products.
  • Iron is needed to transport oxygen around the body and to the brain.2 If you’ve ever been in a closed room full of people with no open windows, you’re probably familiar with that dozy feeling that low oxygen produces. To avoid this, make sure your children are eating plenty of iron-rich foods, not just meat, but beans and red lentils, chia and hemp seeds, spinach and tofu can all help to boost iron. Having a source of vitamin C at the same time (from oranges, of course, but also capsicum, kiwi, tomatoes and broccoli) can help the body absorb more iron. Only give your child an iron supplement if their doctor has advised it; not everyone’s body can process excess iron, and it’s much easier for our bodies to regulate it from food sources.

Sleep hygiene

It might sound obvious, but helping your kids get a good night’s sleep is crucial for ensuring their energy lasts all day, and there are several ways to encourage this. The routines and activities we do before bed are labelled ‘sleep hygiene’; good sleep hygiene promotes good quality sleep, while poor sleep hygiene tends to disrupt sleep.

Good sleep hygiene tips include:

  • Make sure your children wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even weekends. While it might not make you popular, it really helps set kids’ body clocks so they aren’t overtired come morning.
  • Make their bedroom restful. A comfy mattress, nice bedding and a dark, clutter-free room can all promote good sleep.
  • Stretching, yoga or meditating before bed can help to calm the mind if they are worriers. Get the family involved and do it together to promote restful sleep in everyone!
  • Enforce a ‘no screens’ rule an hour or so before bedtime. The blue light from screens can disrupt the hormones which make us sleepy; fast-paced, bright tv shows and social media can also be very stimulating for the brain making it harder to switch off at night.
  • Adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to a warm bath is a great way to relax before bedtime. For older children who prefer showers, a lavender body lotion or pillow spray are good options.

References:

  1. Hohman EE, Balantekin KN, Birch LL, et al. Dieting is associated with reduced bone mineral accrual in a longitudinal cohort of girls. BMC Public Health 2018;18(1):1285.
  2. Tardy AL, Pouteau E, Marquez D, et al. Vitamins and minerals for energy, fatigue and cognition: A narrative review of the biochemical and clinical evidence. Nutrients 2020;12(1):pii:E228.

The Power of Kids Good Stuff

How diet and supplementation support hair regrowth in autoimmune hair-loss.


A recent paper has been published in the Cureus Journal of Medicine in which an eight-year-old patient achieved remission of Alopecia areata (AA) through the use of diet and supplementation including Nuzest’s Kids Good Stuff in the regimen. 

What is Alopecia areata (AA)?

AA is a common autoimmune condition targeting the hair follicles causing ‘spot baldness’ (or more extensive) hair loss in individuals. Autoimmune diseases are conditions that trigger the immune system to attack part of your own body; in the case of AA, the hair follicles are targeted, contributing to an individual’s presentation of hair loss. White blood cells attack healthy hair follicle cells, causing them to shrink and fall out. This is often present on the scalp in small patches, however, hair loss can occur over other parts of the body. 

Hair loss is a physical, external sign which may indicate that something is going on within the body. Nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders and pharmaceutical drugs are just a few factors that may contribute to hair loss. 

The Case Study & Case Presentation

A case study by Cliff J. Harvey published in November 2020 reports the treatment of AA through the use of combined diet and supplementation.[1] The patient was an eight-year-old male who presented with AA.

Advice was provided to the patient’s parents to increase zinc, vitamin A and vitamin D-rich foods, to avoid gluten and dairy where possible, and to focus on a whole foods diet reducing intake of processed ‘packaged’ foods.[1]

The supplementation regimen consisted of our Kids Good Stuff multi-nutrient powder which is rich in vitamins A, D3, zinc and secondary antioxidant nutrients; paired with a zinc sulfate supplement and a fish oil with added vitamin D. Lifestyle advice was also given to spend 5-10 min outside daily. 

Key micronutrients including vitamin D, zinc and vitamin A were supplemented through a daily dose of Kids Good Stuff. Per 15g serve the following amount of key micronutrients were provided: 

  • Vitamin A – 400μg RE
  • Zinc – 6mg
  • Vitamin D3 – 10μg

The Results

After following the prescribed dietary and supplement regimen for two months, the patient’s hair was seen to grow back. After five months, it was reported the patient achieved complete remission, with evidence that the patient’s hair had completely recovered. Additional research suggests there is a relationship between the incidence and severity of AA and several micronutrients, including vitamin D, zinc and vitamin A.[2]

Read the full case report here.

The Benefits of Kids Good Stuff

Kids Good Stuff is an all-in-one nutritional support formula providing the right balance of vitamins and minerals to fill nutritional gaps in a child’s diet. It’s true that even as adults, many of us don’t get all the essential micronutrients that we need to thrive from diet alone and without vital nutrients we can’t perform and feel out best – this rings true for kids too! 

Insufficient intakes of nutrients increase rapidly from infancy. For example, from the age of 2-4 to 14-18, around 1/3 of males and over ¼ females don’t consume sufficient vitamin A and for boys and men, zinc insufficiency consistently rises from childhood to over 2/3 of the male population by adulthood.[3] The major reason being, we are not getting everything we need from diet alone as diets high in refined and processed foods are favoured. 

Kids Good Stuff is not a substitute for healthy, balanced meals, but is a daily supplementation to help support the health and growth of our kids. The nutrient rich formula includes microalgae, mushrooms, vegetables and high polyphenol fruit and berry extracts which provides an array of phytonutrients, trace and ultra-trace minerals necessary for proper absorption and utilisation of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in kids. Each ingredient works together in a range of different functions, supporting all 11 systems of the body, including the integumentary system (hair, skin and nails). 

Kids Good Stuff was designed specifically with children’s needs in mind. It’s packed full of vitamins, minerals and other great stuff to set kids up for a good day and to support and nourish their growing bodies.


References:

[1] https://www.cureus.com/articles/42894-combined-diet-and-supplementation-therapy-resolves-alopecia-areata-in-a-paediatric-patient-a-case-study

[2]ABS. Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results‐Foods and Nutrients, 2011‐12. Australian Bureau of Statistics Canberra; 2014.  

[3]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316992207_The_Role_of_Micronutrients_in_Alopecia_Areata_A_Review

Better Nutrition for Better Behaviour

The most important meal of the day That’s right, breakfast! If you’ve ever run out of the door without breakfast on a workday, you’re probably familiar with the distraction that hunger can cause. This is no different in children – attention and memory are improved in children that have breakfast compared to those who don’t,


The most important meal of the day

That’s right, breakfast! If you’ve ever run out of the door without breakfast on a workday, you’re probably familiar with the distraction that hunger can cause. This is no different in children – attention and memory are improved in children that have breakfast compared to those who don’t, and some types of breakfast seem to improve attention more than others. For example, children who ate low GI (or glycaemic index – a measure of how quickly your blood sugar rises after a meal) breakfasts saw greater improvement in attention than those who had high GI breakfasts.1 Common high GI breakfast foods are white bread, high-sugar cereal and baked goods like muffins and pastries, whereas low GI options include oatmeal, eggs and wholemeal toast.

Examples of how to turn a high GI breakfast into a low GI one below:

Of course, it’s a little reductive to say that it’s only breakfast that is important when thinking about attention and behaviour in children. Making sure children eat regularly through the day and focussing on low GI foods ensures they have sustainable energy to focus and helps to reduce the poor behaviour that often arises from hunger.

Specific nutrients to help

As well as ensuring that children eat regularly, it can be helpful to ensure adequate intake of a few key nutrients.

  • Magnesium, in concert with Calcium, helps calm the nervous system by regulating nerve firing and reducing over-excitation of the nervous system. For diets low in magnesium, supplementation might help to reduce anxiety. Check out this anxiety supplements which might help you a lot.
  • B Vitamins support all areas of health and mood; in particular B6 supplementation (with magnesium) has demonstrated improvements in symptoms of hyperactivity and aggressiveness in children.3
  • Iron deficiency in children has several symptoms, one of which is poor behaviour, and treatment with supplemental iron can reverse the behavioural symptoms.4 There’s no harm in increasing iron-rich foods in the diet (for example spinach, beans, lentils, tofu and red meat) as our bodies are very good at regulating iron from food sources; however you should only ever give children iron supplements if your doctor has identified an iron deficiency.
  • Zinc insufficiency is associated with a number of behaviour problems including anxiety/depression, withdrawal, emotional reactivity, attention problems and aggressive behaviour.5 Including more beans and lentils, seeds like hemp or pumpkin, nuts like cashews or almonds and dark chocolate can give your kids a boost of zinc in their diets.
  • Omega-3s have been found to improve problems like inattention, hyperactivity and oppositional behaviour in children, both with and without a diagnosis of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).6 [Hibbeln] As well as oily fish, omega-3s can be found in seaweed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, walnuts and beans.
  • Protein keeps them fuller for longer, helping to avoid afternoon ‘hanger’ tantrums!

To help achieve the levels of nutrients kids needs to thrive, try adding a Kids Good Stuff multivitamin smoothie to their daily routine. It contains over 50 ingredients including magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, naturally occurring iron, zinc and protein.

Things to avoid

Experiment with removing artificial colours, flavour enhancers and preservatives to see if this makes a difference in your child’s behaviour (some children are more sensitive than others); these include:

This can be an overwhelming task and it’s best to work with a professional (like a dietician, nutritionist or naturopath) when making restrictions to a child’s diet.

Allergies and intolerances

Allergies and intolerances don’t always show up as the classic symptoms of rash, itchy throat, bloating or diarrhoea. Behavioural problems can also be a sign of an undiagnosed allergy or intolerance. Speak to your doctor if you suspect this and they can arrange an allergy test for you.


References

  1. Adolphus K, Lawton CL, Champ CL, et al. The effects of breakfast and breakfast composition on cognition in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Adv Nutr 2016;7(3):590S-612S.
  2. Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017;9(5):429. 
  3. Mousain-Bosc M, Roche M, Polge A, Pradal-Prat D, Rapin J, Bali JP. Improvement of neurobehavioral dis-orders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Magnes Res. 2006;19(1):46-52.
  4. Mahajan G, Sikka M, Rusia U, et al. Iron profile in children with behavioural disorders: A prospective study in a tertiary care hospital in North India. Indian J Hematol Blood Tranfus 2011;27(2):75-80.
  5. Liu J, Hanlon A, Ma C, et al. Low blood zinc, iron, and other sociodemographic factors associated with behaviour problems in preschoolers. Nutr 2014;6:530-545.
  6. Hibbeln JR, Gow RV. Omega-3 fatty acid and nutrient deficits in adverse neurodevelopment and childhood behaviours. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 2014;23(3):555-590.
  1. Adolphus K, Lawton CL, Champ CL, et al. The effects of breakfast and breakfast composition on cognition in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Adv Nutr 2016;7(3):590S-612S.
  2. Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017;9(5):429. 
  3. Mousain-Bosc M, Roche M, Polge A, Pradal-Prat D, Rapin J, Bali JP. Improvement of neurobehavioral dis-orders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Magnes Res. 2006;19(1):46-52.
  4. Mahajan G, Sikka M, Rusia U, et al. Iron profile in children with behavioural disorders: A prospective study in a tertiary care hospital in North India. Indian J Hematol Blood Tranfus 2011;27(2):75-80.
  5. Liu J, Hanlon A, Ma C, et al. Low blood zinc, iron, and other sociodemographic factors associated with behaviour problems in preschoolers. Nutr 2014;6:530-545.
  6. Hibbeln JR, Gow RV. Omega-3 fatty acid and nutrient deficits in adverse neurodevelopment and childhood behaviours. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 2014;23(3):555-590.

Kids Good Stuff – a Parent’s Best Friend

By Nicola Miethke, Clinical Naturopath and Nutritionist  Despite our best efforts as parents to give our children a wholesome, balanced diet filled with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats, it’s never quite that simple! Perhaps your child is a picky eater and you’re worried that their diet of sausages and


By Nicola Miethke, Clinical Naturopath and Nutritionist 

Despite our best efforts as parents to give our children a wholesome, balanced diet filled with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats, it’s never quite that simple! Perhaps your child is a picky eater and you’re worried that their diet of sausages and potato every night just isn’t cutting it. Maybe their schedule is so busy or they are so active that it’s hard for them to find the time to eat enough whilst on the go. Or maybe your child has a sensory processing disorder or food allergy/intolerance which limits the variety of foods they are able or willing to eat. Whatever it is, most of children won’t eat everything we give them.

So how we can be sure that our children are getting everything they need for healthy growth and development whilst still having the energy to just be kids?

First and foremost, the priority is continuing your best efforts to help your child get the nutrients they need from a predominantly wholefood, unprocessed diet. But, with various issues affecting our children’s food intake (as mentioned above) and the following statistics to prove it, there are a lot of gaps that need to be filled:

  • 95% of children eat insufficient serves of vegetables
  • 40% of children eat insufficient serves of fruit
  • 40% of our children’s energy intake is from discretionary foods
  • On average, only boys aged 4-11 and girls aged 9-11 meet the recommended daily intake for grains
  • Almost all children aged 4-18 do not meet the recommended serves of dairy products, meat and alternatives1,2,3

In short, almost all children are missing the mark in at least three of the five primary food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and alternatives, dairy and alternatives) making it very difficult for them to get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. “Thrive” being the key word here. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamins and minerals set out by government guidelines are purely a baseline for survival. They do not take into consideration individual needs, activity levels or requirements for optimal wellbeing.

It doesn’t help that we are busier and more time poor than ever, and packaged convenience foods are so readily available. Unfortunately, it’s these foods (biscuits, crackers, muffins, potato and corn chips, snack bars) that children tend to love because they are the highest in sugar, salt and saturated fats, providing them with little other than high levels of kilojoules or what we call “empty calories”. They’re great at keeping them quiet but far from nourishing.

Some of the most common nutritional deficiencies we see in children are vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron and zinc.4 Approximately 85% of girls aged 12-18 have inadequate calcium intake, 70% have inadequate magnesium levels and 40% are low in iron.2,5  Whilst 60% of boys aged 12-18 have inadequate magnesium levels and 70% don’t get enough calcium.5 It’s also very common for children, particularly teenagers, to show signs of low levels of B group vitamins (such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating and irritability) when the pressures of school life start to create additional stress. The reason why we see these deficiencies creep up as our children get older is because the period between the age of 4 and 14 is characterised by rapid growth, and cognitive and emotional development. Therefore, giving them a strong nutritional foundation during these years is the best strategy for avoiding problems later on.

Is there is an easy solution?

Thank goodness, YES! Nuzest’s Kids Good Stuff (KGS) is the nutritional insurance for our kids that we have all been looking for to put our minds at ease. Adding it to your child’s normal daily diet it will not only fill the gaps to help them reach their RDIs, it will help to ensure they are going above and beyond these recommendations for optimal health, growth and development.  

For example, every serve of KGS contains 200% of the RDI for Vitamin D for children aged 4-14, 261% of Vitamin C, 278% of Vitamin B12, 83% of zinc, 63% of iodine and 21% of calcium. Not to mention a host of other essential vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, herbs, protein and probiotics to support all 11 body systems through this time of rapid growth.

Is Kids Good Stuff easy to take?

One of the things that kids love the most about Kids Good Stuff is that it tastes too good to be healthy. So good that even the fussiest of eaters will be happy to take it. With 8g of the highest quality pea protein per serve, Kids Good Stuff makes the perfect addition to breakfast or is a healthy and satisfying snack all on its own. Alternatively, it can be blended with your children’s favourite smoothie ingredients or added to raw snacks and treats for a nutrient boost.

As a parent, knowing that just one scoop a day can be the difference between your child not getting the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly and your child thriving, it’s an absolute must! It will make you feel confident that you are giving our children the best start in life.  

Why is it better than a regular multivitamin?

If you ask me, Kids Good Stuff is a clear winner over any multivitamin capsule or gummy. Not only do children associate gummies with candy, deeming all varieties of chewy confectionary to be “healthy” to them, but it’s impossible to get all the nutritional support children need in just one small chew or capsule. Because Kids Good Stuff comes in a concentrated powder form with no fillers, it’s able to deliver over 50 ingredients in quantities that will actually have a beneficial effect.

Even more importantly than the quantity though is the quality of the ingredients. And Nuzest have absolutely assured this. Every vitamin, mineral, herb and probiotic in Kids Good Stuff has been selected based on maximum bioavailability, meaning that the body can recognise and absorb every ingredient and none of it goes to waste.

In summary, if you are looking for nutritional insurance to give you peace of mind that your child is getting all the nutrients they need to grow and thrive then there is nothing like Kids Good Stuff. With everything they need for healthy development, strong immunity, good digestion and gut support, healthy bones and long-lasting energy without any of the bad stuff, it’s the best way to keep them happy and healthy from the inside out.

Please note that vitamin and mineral supplements can interact with medications. If your child has been prescribed medication by a GP or specialist, it’s important to consult them before taking a nutritional supplement.

References:

AIHW (2018). Australia’s Health 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2010 from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/australias-health-2018/contents/indicators-of-australias-health/fruit-and-vegetable-intake

AIHW (2018). Nutrition Across the Life Stages. Retrieved 13 October 2020 fromhttps://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/fc5ad42e-08f5-4f9a-9ca4-723cacaa510d/aihw-phe-227.pdf.aspx?inline=true

AIHW (2019). Poor Diet in Children. Retrieved 13 October 2020 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/food-nutrition/poor-diet/contents/poor-diet-in-children

Raising Children Network (2020). Vitamins and Minerals. Retrieved 12 October 2020 from https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/healthy-lifestyle/nutrients/vitamins-minerals#vitamin-and-mineral-deficiencies-nav-title

ABS (2015). Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes. Retrieved 12 October 2020 from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-usual-nutrient-intakes/latest-release

Maximising mood in your minis

In the most recent surveys looking at mental health in Australia, almost 1 in 7 children and adults aged 4-17 had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder; nearly half (45%) of adults had been.1 [aihw] As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our children and try to prevent these illnesses


In the most recent surveys looking at mental health in Australia, almost 1 in 7 children and adults aged 4-17 had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder; nearly half (45%) of adults had been.1 [aihw] As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our children and try to prevent these illnesses manifesting. Of course, this advice isn’t a cure-all. Sometimes, no matter what we’ve tried, our children will end up with a diagnosis of this kind, but by focussing on good nutrition and lifestyle modifications, we can help to reduce the risk.

Good food for good mood

Like most health states, people of all ages who have, or are at risk for, mental health disorders should aim for a varied diet including a range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, meat or beans and tofu, nuts and seeds and a few treats. Try to keep sugary, fatty treats as a ‘sometimes’ food – there is some evidence suggesting that diets high in both saturated fat and sugar can affect a substance made in the brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (or BDNF); BDNF is often low in people with depression, and when levels increase symptoms of depression can improve.2 [O’Neil] There are a few nutrients we can make extra effort to include which have been shown to be protective against mental health disorders:

  • Omega-3 fats: there are a number of ways that these fats might help to protect against depression. It might be that they protect the brain and its processes, or perhaps that they reduce inflammation (which is commonly seen in people with depression). [Grosso] Science isn’t sure yet, but we do recommend including them in the diet. Oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3s, but seeds like flax and chia, walnuts and soybeans are great vegan sources of omega-3s.
  • Tryptophan: a necessary component of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’ (low levels of this hormone contribute to both anxiety and depression), tryptophan cannot be made in the body and must be present in adequate amounts in the diet to ensure enough serotonin can be made. Higher intake of tryptophan has been shown to lead to lower rates of depression, irritability and anxiety.3 [Lindseth] Tryptophan is an amino acid – the building blocks of protein – so is usually found in high protein foods like poultry, eggs, dairy, peanuts and pumpkin and sesame seeds. If you prefer a protein powder or shake, look for one that is a ‘complete protein’ like Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein, this means all the amino acids (and therefore tryptophan) are present.
  • Pre and Probiotics: there is a reason our stomachs are sometimes called our “little brain”. We’ve long known that our brain controls our gut, but we now know that the gut can influence the brain, too. Remember serotonin that we talked about above? About 95% of serotonin is made in the gut,5 [banskota] so it’s important to keep our guts healthy. Taking pre and probiotics can improve the microbiota (the mix of bacteria living in our stomach and intestines), and can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.6 [liang].

Along with a variety of fruits and vegetables and a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, Nuzest’s Kids Good Stuff contains 3billion CFU probiotics plus prebiotics from flaxseed, psyllium husk and apple pectin to help protect all aspects of children’s health.

Other lifestyle tips

It’s usually best to approach any illness with a holistic approach – that means not just focussing on symptoms but looking at the body and mind as a whole, and trying more than one treatment. So while you make small tweaks to the diet, you could also encourage some of the following:

  • Meditation and mindfulness can be a great practice for those with anxiety, depression and stress.
  • Sleep can be disturbed in those with poor mental health, aim for good sleep hygiene .
  • Exercise releases endorphins which can boost mood, even a short walk can be beneficial!
  • Socialising can be hard when suffering with depression or anxiety; encourage your children not to isolate themselves and continue seeing friends.

Medical help

This advice is intended to help your children boost their mood and reduce their risk of developing more serious mental health problems like depression and anxiety. If you suspect your child has a problem beyond low mood, it’s best to talk to your GP. Medication shouldn’t be feared! Work with your child’s doctor to find the best medication, if it’s necessary; your GP can also refer your child to a suitable therapist if needed.


References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mental health services in Australia. Prevalence, impact and burden. 2020. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
  2. O’Neil A, Quirk SE, Housden S, et al. Relationship between diet and mental health in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Am J Public Health 2014;104(10):e31-e42.
  3. Grosso G, Galvano F, Marventano S, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: Scientific evidence and biological mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2014;2014:313570.
  4. Lindseth G, Helland B, Caspers J.  The effects of dietary tryptophan on affective disorders. Arch Psychiatr Nurs 2015;29(2):102-107.
  5. Banskota S, Ghia JE, Khan WI. Serotonin in the gut: Blessing or a curse. Biochimie 2019;161:56-64.
  6. Liang S, Wu X, Jin F. Gut-brain psychology: Rethinking psychology from the microbiota-gut-brain-axis. Front Integr Neurosci 2018;12:33.

Nutrition for girls: from birth to adulthood

Our nutritional needs vary according to which stage of life we are in; from birth to adulthood, changes in growth and development, puberty, increasing activity, learning and some health conditions can all raise the requirement for certain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat). If your child has a health condition affecting


Our nutritional needs vary according to which stage of life we are in; from birth to adulthood, changes in growth and development, puberty, increasing activity, learning and some health conditions can all raise the requirement for certain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat). If your child has a health condition affecting their nutritional needs, her paediatrician can refer you to a registered dietitian for more specific advice.

0-6 months

At this age, baby girls should be getting all the nutrients they need from breastmilk and/or formula. Animal and plant milks are not a suitable source of nutrition for infants; if a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is suspected in a formula-fed child, soy or hydrolysed formulas are available.

Though some doctors and paediatricians may advise that you can begin solid foods between four and six months, most dietitians agree that you should wait until at least six months, unless there is a medical need. The signs that your baby is ready to start solids include:

  • She can sit unsupported
  • She shows an interest in the food you eat
  • She has lost the tongue-thrust reflex

Ensure you have read about safe feeding practices and know the difference between gagging and choking to give you more confidence when starting to feed your baby solid foods.

6 months – 3 years

This is a period of rapid growth and development when requirements for both micronutrients and macronutrients are higher, on a per kilogram of bodyweight basis, than at any other time of life.1 Compared to adults, children up to 3 need more total energy (i.e. kilojoules ), protein and unsaturated fat per kilogram of bodyweight; they also have a higher need for water due to sweating less, and this need is increased further in times of fever, diarrhoea or extreme heat.2 At 6 months, babies have an increased need for iron which is often not adequately met by formula or breastmilk – serve an iron rich food (strips of meat, mashed beans and lentils or seeds like chia and hemp) with each meal to ensure she has plenty of opportunities to top up on her iron intake.

Good sources of protein and unsaturated fat for babies and toddlers include eggs (for young babies, serve scrambled or boiled and mashed on strips of toast, toddlers often find it fun to dip toast strips into a soft boiled egg), chia seeds (encourage your toddler to get involved by sprinkling the seeds on her food by herself!), oily fish like salmon and homemade hummus and pesto (increase omega-3 fats in hummus and pesto by replacing some of the olive oil with flaxseed or walnut oil).

Offering a varied diet, encouraging your children to eat intuitively and not forcing them to eat when they’re full or restricting food when you think they’ve eaten too much should ensure that children meet their nutritional needs and set them up for a healthy relationship to food in later life, a particular concern in girls for whom eating disorders and dieting are a continuing problem.

3 years – puberty

This is the period of slower growth between the high growth periods of infancy/toddlerhood and puberty. For girls, puberty usually starts between about 9 and 11 years, but can happen earlier or later – this is just an average. Genetics, race and diet can all affect the timing of puberty in girls, with diets high in processed, high-fat (predominately trans and saturated fats) foods associated with an earlier onset of puberty; conversely, underfeeding and malnutrition are associated with delayed onset of puberty.2

Continuing to feed a balanced and varied diet will support girls’ growth and development. Remember that a balanced diet does not mean that no processed foods or treats should be allowed! Moderation is key; to set our children up with the tools that will enable them to live a life free of restrictive food rules, modelling balance in food choices is a crucial step. Picky eating, common in toddlerhood, should begin to ease with children more open to trying new foods; for those in whom pickiness continues, a nutritional shake might be an appropriate addition to the diet to fill any gaps.

Puberty and adolescence

This is the second of the high growth periods of childhood, and as such nutritional needs are increased to meet the demands of this growth spurt. It is commonly understood that boys need to eat more during puberty and adolescence – the same is true of girls. While boys often need more total energy than girls, this is due only to a tendency for larger frames and higher muscle mass; the energy needed per pound of body weight is the same for boys and girls. During this time, girls should be strongly encouraged to eat to fullness, without restricting kilojoules or food groups, to ensure adequate nutrition to support growth. This is particularly important for girls who are athletic, participate in organised sports or practice dance or gymnastics, for whom nutritional needs are higher and there is often greater pressure to shrink to or maintain a smaller size.

Though protein needs are higher during puberty, the body has an increased efficiency for utilisation of dietary protein,2 so while you should continue  to ensure that your child is offered protein as part of meals and snacks regularly via meat, eggs, tofu, beans and lentils, fish or a protein shake (these are great for a quick snack after sports!), it’s not necessary to overthink it. Protein deficiency is rare in a standard western diet.

More common, is iron deficiency. While deficiency severe enough to cause anaemia is less common, a subclinical (i.e. causing few or no obvious symptoms) lack of iron is not unusual, especially among girls who have a heavy menstrual period. Many of the protein sources noted above are also high in iron, with green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli, seeds like chia and hemp and nuts like cashews being other great additions to boost iron intake. Serve iron with a source of vitamin C, like citrus, kiwis and capsicums, and separate from tea and coffee to enhance absorption.

There is also an increased need for calcium, zinc and folate.2 Calcium can be found in dairy products (and fortified dairy alternatives), green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli (but not spinach, which is low in calcium compared with other green vegetables) and edamame beans. Zinc is found in meat, shellfish (especially oysters), chickpeas and other beans, and nuts and seeds. Folate is particularly important for anyone at risk of pregnancy (i.e. menstruating, sexually active and not using a reliable birth control method) since this B vitamin is vital for the early development of the foetus and is most needed in the time before a woman usually finds out she is pregnant. Beans and lentils, green vegetables (especially dark green like spinach and kale, though asparagus is also a good source), eggs and beetroot are good sources of folate. For anyone actively trying to get pregnant, it is recommended to take a supplement containing at least 400mcg of folate.

Late adolescence and early adulthood

Girls usually stop growing in height aged around 14 or 15, though weight is likely to continue to increase before stabilising at an appropriate adult weight for her height. During late adolescence, a woman’s nutritional needs are approximately the same as they will be for the remainder of her early adulthood until reaching menopause.

Key nutrients to focus on are iron and folate, for the same reasons they are important in early adolescence. Total energy needs may decrease depending on the level of activity – for many, high school includes a significantly higher amount of physical activity than is continued into adulthood, when work may include long periods of sedentary behaviour.

To mitigate the risk of osteoporosis (a disease overwhelmingly affecting women, who account for 80% of cases) in post-menopause, it’s important to maintain bone mineral density throughout adulthood; this can be achieved through regular resistance training and ensuring adequate intake of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D is made by our skin from sunlight – be sure to follow safe sun practices! – but is also found in fatty fish, egg yolks and mushrooms. Vitamin K is found in highest amounts in dark green vegetables, like kale, spinach and chard, but is also in brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts), meat, kiwi avocado and cheese. Sources of calcium can be found in the section above.

The takeaway

It might seem overwhelming to think about all the nutrients that your girls need at different stages of life and development, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By following healthy eating guidelines, including a rainbow of fruits and veggies each week, offering morning and afternoon tea as well as regular meal times, and placing some trust in them to eat to fullness, it should not be difficult for them to get everything their bodies need. If you have concerns, you could speak to her doctor about a suitable single or multivitamin supplement.

References

1. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Nutrition guide for clinicians.
2. Soliman A, De Sanctis V, Elalaily R. Nutrition and pubertal development. Indian J Endocrinol Metab 2014;18(Suppl 1):S39-S47.

Nutrition for Boys: from Birth to Early Adulthood

Throughout life our nutritional needs change to meet differing demands due to growth and development, activity, puberty and some health conditions. Birth to adulthood is a time of rapid changes, and our needs for the macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) differ according to age and stage. If your child has


Throughout life our nutritional needs change to meet differing demands due to growth and development, activity, puberty and some health conditions. Birth to adulthood is a time of rapid changes, and our needs for the macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) differ according to age and stage. If your child has a health condition which affects his nutritional needs, your paediatrician can refer you to a registered dietitian or nutritionist for advice specific to your child.

0-6 months

Before six months, babies should be getting all their nutrition from breastmilk and/or formula; animal and plant milks aren’t appropriate for babies. If your formula-fed baby has a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA), there are soy and hydrolysed formula options available.

You may have read (or been told by your doctor) that you can begin offering solid food between four and six months of age; most dietitians agree that you should wait until at least six months unless there is a true medical need.

You should wait to see the following signs of readiness before offering your son solids, such as:

  • he is sitting unsupported
  • he shows interest in your food
  • he has lost the tongue-thrust reflex.

Be sure to familiarise yourself with safe feeding practices and the difference between gagging and choking so you are more confident that you are feeding your baby safely when you start solids.

6 months – 3 years

This is a period of rapid growth, when children’s nutrient needs are higher, per kilogram of bodyweight, than at any other time of life.1 In particular, children need more total energy (kilojoules), protein, essential fatty acids and water – especially when they have a fever or diarrhoea, or on very hot days.1 Iron needs also increase and are difficult to meet through breastmilk or formula, so it is important to ensure that you are offering an iron-rich food source with every meal and snack. Great food sources of iron include meat, mashed beans and lentils – if you’re serving the same foods you eat and the meal is low in iron, an easy and quick addition are chia or hemp seeds sprinkled on top of their food!

Good sources of protein and unsaturated fats for children include eggs (serve scrambled or hard boiled and cut into quarters or mashed on toast for younger babies), seeds like chia or flax, oily fish like salmon or homemade pesto and hummus – you could even replace some of the extra virgin olive oil with walnut or flaxseed oil to boost the level of omega-3!

If your family already eats a varied diet there’s no need to make big changes for your baby or toddler, he can eat everything you eat (except honey if he’s under the age of one) as long as it’s served in a safe way to reduce choking risk; but be conscious of his extra needs for iron, protein and fats, and build meals around this. If your family’s diet isn’t as varied as you’d like, now is a great time to make some changes! Encourage your baby to eat intuitively – that means allowing him to eat until he is full without pressuring or cajoling him to eat more. Children are excellent intuitive eaters if given the chance and will rarely over or under eat; encouraging this from a young age will set him up to have a positive relationship with food throughout his life.

3 years – puberty

This is a period of slower growth between the high growth periods of infancy/toddlerhood and puberty. Puberty starts about age 10 or 11 for boys, though this is an average and may be a little earlier or later.2

Continuing to offer a varied diet, without restricting eating or pressuring children to eat, should be all you need to do to ensure adequate nutritional intake. Remember that a varied diet doesn’t mean no treats are allowed! Moderation is key – it’s not helpful to ban foods which are often labelled “unhealthy”, like high-sugar or high-fat convenience foods (both of which can have a place in a healthy diet, it’s all about balance), as this is likely to lead to overeating when the opportunity arises.

To learn more about smart snacking and support your children intuitively eat and reach for healthier foods, read our article on Children and Snacking: the good, the bad and the interesting.

Puberty and adolescence

At puberty your child once again enters a period of extremely rapid growth – in boys, weight gain increases from an average of 3kg per year to 9kg per year (almost all of which is made up of lean tissue, i.e. muscle and bone) and height increases from about 5cm per year to 9.5cm per year on average.2 All this growth requires a lot more food! This teenage growth spurt means both sexes need to increase their intake significantly (especially if they engage in a lot of sports or athletics) though boys usually need a bigger increase than girls, simply because they tend to be taller with bigger frames; the number of kilojoules per kilogram of bodyweight is the same for boys and girls.2

During this growth spurt, protein needs are increased; however, the body becomes much more efficient at using dietary protein.2 It’s still important to offer protein regularly, in the form of meat, eggs, tofu, beans and lentils or a high quality protein shake (great for a quick snack after sports!), but you probably don’t need to worry that they aren’t getting enough – protein deficiency is extremely rare in a standard western diet.

Of the micronutrients, there is an increased need for calcium, zinc and folate.2 Dairy is a good source of calcium, but there are other sources too, like fortified dairy alternatives, green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale (not spinach, though, which is low in calcium compared with other green veggies) and edamame beans. Zinc can be found in meat and shellfish (especially oysters) with chickpeas, nuts and seeds being great plant-based sources. Green vegetables are a good source of folate, as well as beans and lentils, eggs and beetroot.

Late adolescence and early adulthood

In late adolescence, a boy’s nutritional needs become approximately what they will be for the remainder of his early adult life (i.e. until around age 50).1 In late adolescence and early adulthood, boys and men have increased needs for several vitamins and minerals – vitamins C, K, B1, B2 and B3, choline, magnesium and zinc.1 Total energy needs may increase or decrease in the transition from school to work, depending on the type of career – for example an office-based job often includes long periods of sedentary behaviour compared with the regular physical activity frequently undertaken in high school.

Vitamin C is found in lots of fruit and vegetables, but is particularly high in citrus fruits, capsicums and kiwis. Salmon is a good source of most B vitamins, including all the ones mentioned above, as is liver; beans and lentils, eggs, dairy and seeds are vegetarian sources of B1, B2 and/or B3, though in lower amounts – in fact the B vitamins are in most plant-based foods so eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains should mean an adequate intake. Foods high in choline include chicken and fish, eggs, beans, broccoli and peas. High magnesium foods include nuts, especially almonds, green leafy vegetables and whole grains; this is, however, another of those nutrients found in most foods.

The takeaway

More important than focussing in on individual macro- and micronutrients is looking at the diet as a whole – ensuring your child gets the nutrition he needs in different life stages doesn’t need to be overwhelming! By offering a rainbow of vegetables through the week, encouraging your child to eat to fullness and not restrict foods, following healthy eating guidelines, offering morning and afternoon tea as well as regular meals and encouraging him to be active in a way he enjoys, it should be easy to ensure your child gets all the nutrients he needs to grow and develop. And while food should always be used as a primary source of nutrition, there may be times in your child’s life where you may like to consider including a good quality multi nutrient supplement, such as Kids Good Stuff, in their diets to help fill any nutritional gaps. However, I always recommend that you speak to your doctor before doing so to ensure it is appropriate for your child’s individual needs.