Usually, we wait until we’re adults to invest in our health. However, imagine how transformative it is for children to begin experiencing the benefits of brain optimization from a young age?
Here’s the thing: from eczema to asthma to autism & ADHD, and everything-in-between, chronic ailments are on the rise in children — and many of these ailments carry on into adulthood. Aside from sparing kids from unnecessary medication and medical procedures, starting your child on a healthy brain lifestyle program from an early age can instill life-changing healthy habits and cultivate self-awareness that they can carry with them into adulthood!
Children often times do not have the self-awareness to understand how they are feeling inside; what is good for their body and helps it run better and what is not, can be difficult to understand — even for adults! Starting your child (& family) on a brain healthy lifestyle program will not only take the guesswork out of what is safe and effective, but it will help improve your child’s health today and for a lifetime.
Here are 5 things that could be reeking havoc on your child’s brain health:
- SCREENTIME: With kids doing online schooling and our world being so disconnected, kids (and parents) are on their screens more than ever. Our screens emit blue light which can interfere with our quality of sleep, a factor that is extremely important when it comes to immunity. Screens that give immediate feedback, like an iPhone, iPad, or video games also increase the strength of the left brain hemisphere. Our left brain hemisphere is typically already dominant in children with autism, add, and learning challenges. Strengthening the left brain hemisphere contributes to addiction, aggression, depression, and impulsivity. Brain Connex Tip: turn off all devices two hours before bed time for a better night’s sleep. Reduce your child’s “free” play on screens to less than 2 hours per day — and if they are online all day for school, consider giving them screens only on the weekends.
- NUTRITION: Our children have grown up with quick lunches, snacks, and microwaved dinners. Processed foods filled with artificial ingredients & colors, lack the nutrition our children’s brains need to develop and grow optimally. Due to our busy lifestyles, many families have traded in homemade meals for dinners on the go or at a restaurant. Our brains need healthy, real foods such as fruits, vegetables, organic meats, and healthy fats. Brain Connex Tip: put out fresh cut fruits & vegetables throughout the day for little hands to snack on. Add a vegetable or salad to every meal.
- TOXIN OVERLOAD: Hidden toxins can be found in many items that your kids use everyday, including plastics, which can overburden their liver. Our children are already born with chemicals in their bodies and every product we use with toxins contributes to the overload. Try to avoid plastics as much as possible; trade it in for stainless steel or glass. If you’re preparing hot food at home, only heat in glass to avoid BPA and phthalates from leeching into the food. Our other suggestions are to use bio bags (instead of plastic sandwich bags) and non-plastic cutlery when preparing lunches for kids. This not only helps the environment, but also lowers exposure to chemicals. Feed your kids organic foods as much as possible to avoid unnecessary pesticides. Brain Connex Tip: Check out EWG for their Dirty/Clean 15 before preparing your grocery list. Also, check out their consumer guide to a chemical-free, healthy household.
- SUNSHINE: As the weather shifts and it starts getting colder outside, kids are more likely to stay indoors. Encourage them to continue their outdoor activities! Exercising outdoors in nature has been shown to help lower inflammation in the body, boost immunity and support overall health. Just make sure they’re dressed appropriately for the weather! Brain Connex Tip: Do it as a family! Adults need outdoor time as much as kids. It helps us de-stress and connect back to a simpler way of life.
- MOVEMENT: Every person needs to move their body every single day. Movement helps to move lymph in your cells, removing toxins with it. Kids naturally play and move, but as the get older you have to be more conscious about how much they are moving every day. Research shows that daily movement helps to decrease stress, reduce inflammation, decrease depression and stay heart & brain healthy. Brain Connex Tip: Same as above….do it as a family. Block off 30 minutes daily to run around the block, ride bikes on a trail, or take a nature hike through trees.