When you’re a parent, having a happy, healthy child is the most important thing in the world. If your child’s been suffering from hard-to-diagnose health issues, low levels of the calcium enzyme Ca2+ATPase could be the reason.
Ca2+ATPase is an essential biomarker found throughout the body. Many essential areas of your child’s health depend on this precious enzyme.
If your child’s behavioral health doesn’t seem as it should, or they have other symptoms such as allergies and neuromuscular issues, perhaps they have a problem with calcium regulation.
So what can you do to improve your child’s wellness? Thankfully, lifestyle changes and cooking simple but healthy meals for children can help. There are two different approaches you can take.
Decide if you want to start by making small changes, seeing what progress you make, or going all-in from the outset with a more intensive program of changes.
Let’s look at how.
The small steps child health program
In essence, the steps to follow are simple.
1. Avoid all food with chemicals or any ingredient you don’t know
Food labels can be tricky things. They can call common ingredients by complicated names, like sucrose for sugar, or sodium chloride for salt.
You should familiarize yourself with as many of these label names as possible. Generally, a good rule is not to buy foods if you don’t recognize the name of the ingredient printed on the food.
2. Avoid all food dyes
Scientists have questioned the link between artificial food coloring (AFCs) and behavioral changes in some children for decades. As yet, there is no solid conclusion. However, we know that these AFCs affect Ca2+ATPase levels.
Look out for FD&C Blue No. 2, FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Red No. 40, and FD&C Yellow No. 5.
3. Eat organic whenever possible
I know it isn’t easy to find all the foods you like in organic versions. They may also cost more. However, it’s worth the effort to go organic whenever you can.
You may even find a local organic veggie box delivery from a small farmer that could work out cheaper than your supermarket’s standard choices.
Related: avoid seafood with high mercury levels such as swordfish, bass, and bluefin tuna (commonly used in sushi).
4. Don’t use pesticides in the house
Pesticides are toxic chemicals that kill or control pests like mice, rats, cockroaches, and other insects. They may also work against bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 75% of households used at least one indoor pesticide during the past year. Most people’s exposure to pesticides happens indoors, not outside where you might expect.
Think carefully before you reach for the mosquito or fly spray!
5. Minimize dust
Dust can contain a host of environmental toxins, including lead, pesticides, and fire retardants. Young children are especially vulnerable to dust inhalation and ingestion.
6. Avoid chemical sunscreens, body lotions, etc.
Sunscreen frequently contains oxybenzone, zinc-oxide nanoparticles, and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which are ingredients that may harm Ca2+ ATPase. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that are not nanoparticle formulated are safe.
With luck, making these minor lifestyle changes will improve your child’s health. If you don’t see positive changes, consider making further modifications.
The intensive program
When you follow this program, you must further restrict food choices and continue following the other steps from the easy program.
In addition to the above changes, for two weeks, you’ll cut out foods that contain high levels of compounds called polyamines. The body needs some polyamines, but too many can be problematic for some kids.
Polyamines affect calcium regulation as well as can trigger inflammation. Super sensitive kids (like my son Knute!) may need to reduce exposure. It can be difficult, but worth the effort. It was the missing key between eating a “healthy diet” and solving his problems.
Here’s how to reduce dietary polyamines.
1. Completely avoid:
- all fruits except strawberry and blueberry (lemon/lime juice in moderation)
- soy sauce, miso soup, brown sauce
- all cheese except mozzarella
- Corn including popcorn and corn chips
- nuts except for raw cashews or raw almonds
- lunch meats, bacon, sausage even if organic.
- tomato-based sauces
- Processed fish sticks and chicken nuggets
2. Pay attention to the type of fat you use for cooking. Avoid palm shortening (even organic and in organic cookies and snacks) and vegetable oils such as canola and safflower (even in organic chips).
3. Try to include high omega fish, like salmon or mackerel, once a week.
4. Buy grass-fed meat whenever you can.
When you’re new to the intensive program and learning all the foods to avoid, it can be daunting trying to think of meals to cook. To help you with some ideas, here’s a day’s example meal plan, using simple and easy to find ingredients.
- Bagel or organic English muffin with raw almond butter
- Scrambled eggs
- Blueberries or strawberries
- Glass of milk or nut milk
- Organic cereal (not corn based) with milk (My son likes Annie’s Frosted Oat flakes)
You could substitute the bagel for homemade pancakes or French toast with strawberries and almond milk if your child prefers.
- Organic pita bread or naan with rotisserie chicken or hamburger
- Spring mix salad
- Touch of Caesar dressing
- Add-ons: organic mozzarella string cheese; carrots or celery with almond butter, hummus or guacamole;
- Homemade or organic chocolate chip cookies
- Organic lemonade (made only with lemon juice, water, and cane sugar)
Serve one meat option with the vegetables your child prefers:
- Roast salmon
- Air-Fried or roast chicken
- Grilled lamb chops
- Broccoli seared with coconut oil
- Oven-cooked asparagus with olive oil and salt
- Green beans with brown butter
- Roasted brussel sprouts with olive oil and salt
- Organic kale caesar salad
- Add-ons: organic pasta with butter or olive oil; white or brown rice; quinoa; organic flour tortillas or baguette.
- Special treat: organic store bought pound cake, strawberries and organic whipped cream.
- Frozen blueberry smoothie with sweetened almond milk or dairy with a touch of sugar. Make ahead of time and put in the freezer for a slushy treat.
Even small steps could bring positive health changes
I understand that starting on this journey may feel overwhelming. I’ve been there myself, alone, and struggling to find the answers for my child’s sake.
Taking these practical steps can make a big difference. These healthy tips for kids are sound advice for all children, meaning you have nothing to lose and possibly lots to gain.
Every step you take could bring about positive health changes for your child. The adverse effects of toxins are cumulative. Thankfully, so are the positive effects when you make good choices to regain healthy Ca2+ ATPase.
Take it one step at a time and don’t stop. You’ve got this!