Two children drinking from water fountain
Dehydration, Kids, Kids Health

Dehydration in Kids

Children are very prone to dehydration. We often work hard at making sure our kids eat their meals and snacks but hydration often gets overlooked.

Children are even more prone to dehydration because of their size, activity level, often lack of interest in drinking fluids, as well as dealing with sensitive taste buds.

If you notice that your child is not urinating frequently and/or their urine is of a darker color and has a strong smell, your child is probably dehydrated. Dehydration can show itself as constipation, low energy, crankiness, nausea, dry mouth, dry skin, lack of tears, skin that does not bounce back when pinched, sunken eyes, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and even headaches, to name a few!

One of the best ways to help with hydrating the body is to encourage the consumption of vegetables and fruit, especially fruit. Fruits are jam-packed with micro-nutrients and lots of water.

Easy ways to encourage fruit eating, is to:

. Lead by example! Eat fruits often and find creative ways to eat more fruits and to try new fruits

. Incorporate fruits into meals as salsas, in salads, as toppings on desserts etc.

. One of my favorite ways and it works very well. Leave cut up pieces of fruit in the reach of children. When my daughter has friends over for a sleepover for example, in the morning I knock on the bedroom door and say something fun like “Room Service” and deliver a plate of various fruits cut up. They always eat it! They may not eat the whole plate but they always eat quite a bit.

. Make fruit bowls. Take a banana and chop it up in small pieces or even mash it and then add any other chopped fruit that you like. I change it up all the time and add things like chopped apples, berries, pears, melon and whatever I feel like. I even sometimes drizzle maple syrup or honey on top for added nutrients and for more deliciousness. I have not met a person yet, child or adult, who can resist my fruit bowls. When you make them into bowls like this it is like eating something substantial and the taste is incredible!

. Make fruit smoothies and homemade fruit juices. There are tonnes of recipes if you search Pinterest or Google. I saw one the other day where you put frozen pineapple and orange juice and it looked amazing!

. And on that note, keep bags of frozen fruits in your freezer and let the kids go at it. My daughter loves to make smoothie concoctions with her friends and they have a lot of fun doing it. Frozen fruits make it really easy.

. Lemon water is a GREAT way to hydrate the body. In the morning juice a half of a lemon, add hot water and a bit of honey in a large cup or tea pot and let it sit for a minute. This is the BEST way to start the day. It wakes up and energizes the liver, provides micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and hydrates the body big time! It is a great source of Vitamin C too. Anytime you can add lemons or the juice of lemons to your child’s diet, it’s a big win! Squeeze lemons on salads and even vegetables and other foods. Lemon helps to kill bacteria and also enhances the flavors in food. You can’t go wrong with lemons ever!

Lemon and honey water

As a side note, as a Nutritionist who is also a forever learner and education seeker, I can say with complete confidence that I NEVER worry about the sugar in fruit, if that is something that comes to mind. The natural sugars in fruit are necessary for the brain and the liver to function properly. People are suffering out there because a lack of this natural sugar!!!! And let’s face it, it is almost impossible to have our kids overeat the healthy stuff, so I just work at ‘more’… getting in more of the good stuff.

I hope you found this post on hydration helpful and happy fruit chopping! 🙂

Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, and Certified Life Coach who loves being a Mom to her daughter Sivanna Roses… as a side note Sivanna is working on a presentation for school called “Healthy Eating” and her mom is quite proud of this. 🙂 Oh ya!

Anxiety, Children's Health, Kids, Kids Health

Sore Tummy – 6 Ways to Help Your Child with Anxiety

As a parent, how often have you heard the words “I have a sore tummy” or “My tummy’s sore”? I’m sure most parents have heard these words but some more than others.

I have taught my own daughter, who gets a sore stomach, to tap into and listen to the clues that her body offers. Sivanna is 12 and she has been listening to her tummy talk for several years now. She is learning what foods make her feel a certain way and she also knows that when she is experiencing anxiety it shows up in her gut.

There are many forms of anxiety that children feel. Some of which, but are not limited to, separation anxiety, fear, dread, uncertainty, worry, feelings of inadequacy, and the list goes on.

The stomach is often called the second brain, is referred to as ‘gut instinct’, and is home to the enteric nervous system, and is also linked to the solar plexus chakra.

The solar plexus or third chakra is a control center for will, personal power, personal responsibility, mental capabilities, the intellect, forming personal beliefs, decision making, self-confidence, independence, personal identity and personality, so it seems very fitting that as children grow and evolve, the tummy is a barometer for anxiety and angst.

How can we help our young children with anxiety?

  1.  First and foremost we can help by discussing and creating conversations around what they are feeling in their body and what it means to them. Sivanna and I mutually came to the conclusion that some of her tummy strains, were anxiety and we openly discussed it. Now, when she feels this particular type of angst, we peel back the onion layer, so to speak, to see what is underlying there.
  2. Listening to your child. This is something I have to work on myself. I know I never truly listen enough. Let’s face it, we all want to be heard and listened to. While the conversation may not seem important to us, it is extremely important to them. Try listening with an open heart and a non-judgmental mind to make room for clearer communication and your child’s willingness to share.
  3. Let you child know that they are ‘safe’. Let them know that they can openly discuss anything with you at anytime. Let them know that there is NO-thing that they cannot share with you. They need to feel safe and that  they will be worthy of your love and support NO MATTER WHAT!!!! This is indeed what unconditional love means. We all need to feel safe, heard, and supported.
  4. Ask your child for their input on what they are feeling, what they think might be underlying in this particular way of feeling, and really probe them for input. Children love to be heard, love to share, and love to feel that they are worthy of providing input.  It is also a good idea to ask them for possible solutions to help relieve the angst or anxiety. Ask them what ideas do they have to alleviate this feeling they are having?
  5. Sleep! Make sure your child gets enough sleep! We all know what it feels like to be tired and worn out. It’s hard to cope with life. Make sure you support your children in a routine that provides adequate sleep, rest and downtime.
  6. Proper nutrition and nutritional deficiencies play a BIG role in children’s anxiety. Children don’t always eat optimally for many different reasons and they may suffer from common digestive and assimilation issues, just like adults, so making sure your child gets the proper micro-nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc. is hugely important to help with both anxiety and overall health.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I really believe the more we openly discuss the issue of anxiety and teach our children to tap into what their body and mind is saying to them, the more we can help them and help others who are suffering too. Let’s start the conversation…..

Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Life Coach, Mom, Step Mom, Gramma, Great Gramma, Mom by Heart and often referred to as Momma Maggie 🙂  She runs a facebook page for parenting support and it can be found at Link to follow Maggie’s Parenting FB Page