Well there it is.  Inflammation.  We said it was everywhere and really, it is.  Inflammation is the core, the crux, of all major illnesses and conditions.  Generally speaking most of us can identify with inflammation this way:  pain, swelling, redness and heat, but what about the other kinds of inflammation? The silent kind.  This is where Megan and I address a great deal of focus with our clients. 

so do kids get inflammation?
you bet

Silent as is “shhhhhh,” silent?  Well, sort of.  Silent as in not showing classic signs of the traditional kinds of inflammatory response but more than likely there are sign, symptoms.  So inflammation really can be anything.  From headaches and sinus infections, to tummy aches and constipation, irritable behavior, depression, anxiety, a rash, eczema or acne… and on.  When our body is unhappy there is more than likely a trigger that sets off a cascade.  That trigger is often what we’ve put IN our bodies… aka – food or drink.  Artificial chemicals, dyes and additives are likely suspects.  Think of it this way – ar·ti·fi·cial – nothing about artificial is natural right?  So when anything that our bodies, or kids bodies ingest isn’t natural, the body has to go through a larger scale process to discern what to do with that substance.  Anything that takes more time and energy has the ability to stress out the body.  Guess what the largest source of inflammation is – STRESS – you got it.  Now with children it’s even more important to consider this all because they are little.  The smaller the body, the smaller the system.  Our bodies have their own detoxification systems housed right inside but we can’t count on them for a catch all.  We’d rather not have those systems working overtime.  We’d rather have them doing the jobs they were created to do!

who wants to work overtime if they don’t have to?

Other very common inflammatory foods are dairy, gluten and sugar.  We’re sorry, we know it’s not what you want to hear – but they just are.  Dairy is tough to digest, many times it has hormones and chemicals in its fold and is where we look first when it comes to digestion and skin.  Gluten, derived from the word “glue” is just that – sticky, more difficult to digest and has the ability to aggravate everything from the digestive track, the skin and the brain.  Sugar, oh sugar you… the most addictive substance on the market.  Sugar creates instant inflammation.  If you or your child have any sort of acne or skin irritation (it’s many times the most visible experiment we can run) – cancel sugar (refined is what we are talking about!) for a few days and see what happens!

Beyond that, allergies in general are inflammation.  A child with a nut allergy eats one and instantly the body responds with a reaction – an inflammatory reaction.  Same goes with pollen, like when your eyes start to swell.  In those cases the reaction is strong – it’s dramatic.  What do we do for a kiddo with nut allergies?  We avoid those bad boys like no ones business.  

so, now what?

This leads us to Anna’s question.  Do kids need to detox?  We don’t really like detoxes or I suppose the word “detox” – it conveys a period of time where you have to restrict.  It sounds hungry.  But at the core of the definition, it’s letting the body rest from foods that create unrest.  So if you look at it that way – then a little time away from D, G, and S is a wonderful exploratory path to travel.  Nothing in our book is forever, just a suggestion, but when you start seeing your kids skin clear up and their wild moods simmer down – you just can’t help but want to keep doing things that support them.

At Prescribe Nutrition we take that whole concept and make it tasty.  All of our program recipes are full of so many flavorful foods that you feel like you are on the opposite of a detox.  See our detoxes aren’t about hunger, they are about feeling better, actually, feeling GREAT. 

Think of inflammation as the nasty house guest that you don’t want back.  Yeah, they might stop by here or there but you’re not going to throw out a warm invitation to them.  They just cause you stress and hey, who wants that?