From the first moment that couples learn they are going to become parents, the health of their baby becomes a focal point of their everyday thoughts and decisions.
Starting with what they eat, their exercise habits and all the way to the amount of sleep they get, parents are becoming increasingly cautious about the best way to optimize their health so their future child can be as healthy as possible.
Melina Roberts, a naturopathic doctor and the founder of Advanced Naturopathic Medical Centre in Calgary, recently published a parent’s guide to raising a healthy child through a revolutionary food introduction nutritional program.
In Building a Healthy Child, Roberts shares a program that outlines ways parents can build a healthy digestive tract throughout the beginning stages of life by giving them the right nutrition at specific times during their development.
Throughout the book, she aims to change the way parents introduce foods to their children to significantly improve the health of the future generation.
“If we introduce foods based on these key concepts, we can avoid common childhood illnesses like allergies, eczema and asthma, and also form the foundation of long-term health,” Roberts said in a press release.
She said that she started the search for this program in an effort to keep her daughter healthy throughout childhood and into adulthood while finding very little information.
“The more I researched, the more I realized that a program like this didn’t exist,” she said. “We were being told to introduce poor quality foods at the wrong time of development, which were promoting a disastrous cycle of bad health.”
Invermere naturopathic doctor Mike Baker said he agrees that this education on nutritional timing can be extremely important for the health of a newborn child. From his perspective and practice, a common problem in our society can be introducing over-processed foods to children whose digestive tracts aren’t able to digest the foods as easily.
“We’re not getting the nutrients that come out of whole foods so that’s certainly part of it,” he told The Echo. “If you’re missing vitamins and minerals at that age, that’s a critical time for immune system development and growth so you need to give the body what it needs and whole foods can offer that.”
He said this book could serve as an important informational guide to parents about the importance of optimizing nutrition even prior to conception.
“The mother’s health prior to and during pregnancy is a determining factor in the how healthy the baby will be and what illnesses it may develop as it grows.”
Baker said that he commonly works with patients to optimize their diets, taking a Mediterranean diet approach that’s based on whole fruits and vegetables, minimal meat through poultry and fish with healthy fats coming from nuts and seeds as well.
Without having read the book yet, Baker said that he thinks the message from Roberts is important for educating society on nutritional timing and hopes people are able to learn more about what to feed children in the early stages of their development.
“I think that this book will be great,” he said. “It’s a conversation I have with new parents frequently about what I introduce and when I introduce it and I think this will be a really good guideline for that.”
Building a Healthy Child is available for purchase in hardcover, softcover and e-book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse.