When Ralphie’s little brother Randy wouldn’t eat his dinner in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” his desperate mom made a messy game out of mealtime to encourage her fussy eater to take a bite.
And while her fussy eater was a challenge, Ralphie and Randy’s mom certainly not alone.
Many moms struggle to ensure their kids get the right nutrients, but the challenge comes when kids refuse to eat anything other than chicken fingers or potato chips.
While it may seem that kids are just being stubborn, it turns out they may be hardwired to be picky when it comes to their food. Kids, experts say, are born with an instinctive desire for sweet and salty foods, along with an aversion to sour or bitter flavors. It dates back to our caveman days, as a survival mechanism to protect kids when their hunter-gatherer parents couldn’t watch them 24/7. (Ref. 1)
Instinctively, when wandering outside the cave on their own, caveman kids were genetically programmed to choose safe nuts and berries over the often bitter or sour poisonous options, which often are made all the more tempting by coming in bright, eye-catching hues.
And while that prehistoric survival mechanism was handy then, today, it could suggest that many fruits and vegetables are passed by in favor of other, more palatable, food options. It leaves moms everywhere worrying that their kids aren’t getting the nutrients they need for a strong, healthy childhood.
Outsmarting a picky eater
Between the ages of two and six, kids often develop a condition called food neophobia, or a fear of new foods.
And while it explains why kids at this stage of development will often eschew most foods in favor of only one or two that are considered palate-pleasing, it’s pretty frustrating for parents.
“We would look at a plate of food and say, ‘oh, look at this lovely food adventure, I wonder what this would taste like.’ They would look at a plate of food and be like 'DANGER, DANGER,’” Dr. Nancy Zucker, an assistant professor at Duke University’s School of Medicine, told ABC News.
While some kids who are picky eaters grow into adults who won’t touch a broccoli stalk – former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno once said he hadn’t eaten a vegetable since 1969 – most kids will eventually outgrow their aversion to a wide range of foods as their taste buds mature.
Usually, repeated exposure to new things can help. Regularly serving up a wide range of different vegetables and fruits, especially sweeter varieties such as carrots, sweet potatoes and nutrient-packed winter squash, will help your kids develop a more a more varied palate.
And in the meantime, for children over the age of 4, adding our Total Balance Children’s formula and the DHA rich fish oil to your child’s diet will be a great way to help ensuring your child’s “caveman-inspired diet” is left behind and a great platform for continued excellent health is laid.
Total Balance fills the void
Kids and adults are no different, and without the right amount of minerals, vitamins, proteins, enzymes and amino acids, your child’s young, growing body can’t function properly. So how do you know your child is getting enough of these critical nutrients?
Total Balance Children’s contains 89 nutrients aimed at children’s total health. Both gluten and dairy free, the supplement has an enteric coating that not only makes it easier to swallow – excellent for kids who have trouble taking pills – but also ensures that all of the nutrients are actually released where they should be...in the upper intestine. (Many supplements offer nutrients that are essentially wasted because they are destroyed by stomach acid before they can be absorbed.)
Total Balance Children’s is designed to provide nourishment to all the organs of the body – including the brain. It is packed with nutrients that are often missing from kids’ diets, even the diets of those who are not picky eaters.
Some key nutrients include:
- Folate - According to Parents magazine, folate, one of the B vitamins, is especially important to kids’ health. It helps ensure the healthy growth and development of cells, it helps strengthen bones, supports the production of red blood cells, helps nerves function properly and has been linked to preventing dementia in older people, meaning it could help your child’s brain develop better. Folate also helps prevent too much homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that impacts heart health, from building up in your blood. (Ref. 2)
- Eye health supporting nutrients such as Zeaxanthin to help guard against free radicals, Rutin to help support normal eye pressure, Lutein and Astaxanthin to help support against cloudy vision as well Bilberry extract to help promote healthy night vision.
- Piperine - To help support and enhance the absorption of nutrients to ensure your children are getting the best from the food and ingredients they ingest.
- Powerful digestive enzymes such as Bromelain, Amylase and Lipase to help improve the bioavailability of the nutrients and other synergistic ingredients in our Total Balance.
- SAMe - Probably one of the most potent and scientifically proven methylating agents that can help resist premature aging of cells. You’re almost guaranteed to not find this ingredient in other supplements for children due to the cost of adding this key ingredient. However at Xtend-Life, we’ve ensured that our Total Balance Children’s formula does contains SAMe.
- L–Methionine to help support healthy skin, hair and nails, L–Arginine and Taurine to support immune and muscle health, L–Carnosine to help support against the damaging effects of glycation, and L–Glutathione (a special reduced form of glutathione for maximum absorption) within an enteric coated tablet to protect this ingredient from stomach acids to ensure your child gets the full benefits of this potent antioxidant.
- Vitamin A from Natural Beta carotene - Vitamin A not only contributes to growth, it also helps improve eye and skin health and helps boost the immune system so it can better fight off infection. It also plays a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs.
- Calcium - Calcium is not only important for building strong bones and teeth, it also plays an important role in muscle contraction, transmitting messages through the nerves, and the release of hormones. If blood calcium levels are low, the body takes it from the bones to ensure normal cell function, potentially putting kids at future risk of developing weakened bones. Can also promote normal heart and muscle function and blood clotting.
- Vitamin C - This well-known vitamin – found in citrus and veggies – is believed to boost the immune system and serves as excellent ammunition against free radicals. The body needs vitamin C in order to produce collagen, an essential building block of our skin and bones. It is also required for the production of neurotransmitters that carry thoughts and emotions through the brain.
- Vitamin E - A powerful antioxidant, natural vitamin E helps boost health, but only when it is supplied in the form of both tocopherols and tocotrienols. Without both compounds on hand, vitamin E is rendered much less effective.
- Turmeric extract - Turmeric is one of the post powerful antioxidants available, and it has been shown to help support brain health and help the body control inflammation.
- Grape seed extract - Rich in antioxidants, grape seed extract is usually not included in children’s supplements because the cost to product a quality extract can be high. It not only helps boost circulation, it has been shown to help support the body’s immunity.
Should your child take a supplement?
So now that you’ve seen just a few of the powerful ingredients in our Total Balance Children’s, you might still be wondering if your child should take a supplement.
While many experts caution against it, there’s a good reason behind their concerns. Most children’s supplements and vitamins are synthetic, and are packed with sugar and other ingredients that don’t really provide the health benefits they should.
The naysayers claim that children don’t need supplements and say that even picky eaters should get enough from food. On the other side, it should be understood that these years are critical for growth and laying a healthy foundation for the future. We therefore agree with Joy Bauer, author of “Food Cures for Healthy Living.” Who suggests that a children’s supplement can be an important “insurance policy” that can fill in the gaps of a not-so-great diet. However, we believe the benefits go well beyond this. Given that many kids mimic adults when it comes to eating – and adults are often missing many key nutrients – a supplement can help fill these gaps.
With Total Balance Children’s, we use only the best quality ingredients, so you can be sure you’re getting the best for your kids. We do not use any of the petroleum based vitamins that are commonly used in many supplement products.
“We are unaware of any other supplement company who invests the time, money and expertise to ensure you get the best, most bioavailable nutrients available as we do - and you get them all in Total Balance Children’s,” says Xtend-Life Chairman, Warren Matthews.
What are the benefits that my child will receive from Total Balance Children’s?
Total Balance Children’s not only nourishes your child’s body and brain, it also helps boost his or her immune system, helps support the body against glycation – an aging process that is spurred by exposure to sugar – it may also help with a healthy sense of well-being, health energy levels and encouraging restful sleep and better learning.