What can you do if your child is a fussy eater?

The importance of 5 a-day and drinking plenty of water is loud and clear but what do you do if your child point-blank refuses to eat certain foods?

Our Sunflower practitioners tell us that a classic symptom of a compromised digestive tract, or an imbalance in gut flora, is ‘food fads,’ where a child instinctively craves nutrients of a specific type. Not only can this make mealtimes a nightmare for parents but over the long-term it impacts upon the biochemical environment of the body.

There’s a reason we use the terms ‘gut feeling’ or ‘gut instinct’ and this is because the mind-gut connection is not just metaphorical, our brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones that provide feedback about how hungry, stressed or ‘well’ we are. This highway is called the brain-gut axis and recent evidence indicates that not only is our brain aware of the health of our gut, via our gut microbes, but these bacteria can influence our perception of the world and alter our behaviour.

For example, gut microbiota influences the body’s level of serotonin, the hormone that regulates feelings of happiness, something that every parent wants their child to feel. So, what can you practically do to counteract food fussiness?

At Sunflower, our practitioners begin by re-balancing the body’s biochemicals to ensure the body is nutritionally complete. Next, they undertake direct work on the gut via visceral osteopathy to put the digestive tract as healthy state as possible.

Milo was one such Sunflower story. Milo had a tic disorder and ADHD, he was also struggling at school with concentration and being disruptive. During Milo’s initial assessment, not only was it evident that he was structurally out of alignment but neurologically there was no integration of the right and left side of his body and, biochemically, he had vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Using osteopathic techniques, Milo’s structure was aligned and cross-crawl muscular exercises were recommended to correct his right:left brain integration. In addition, his nutritional imbalance was corrected with food supplements and the practitioner undertook visceral osteopathy to improve the health of his digestive tract.

Of the changes in Milo, his mother said, “The changes were gradual but his concentration was the first to improve, followed by his appetite and food fussiness, his mood and then his confidence. Only towards the end of the programme, when he was embedding the life management skills, did I notice a huge improvement in his attitude. His tic disorder has more-or-less disappeared and his teachers have said how calm he is now and able to concentrate more. He still has the occasional outburst but the praise and positive comments from people around him are amazing.

Everyday life has changed; we have fun and enjoy each other now when I never thought this was ever going to be possible. This has not just affected Milo but the whole family. I would not like to imagine where we would be without the Sunflower Programme –it was truly a life saver”.

#NHW2017 #SunflowerStory #ChildHealth

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