Manly Daily – 09/08/11
Why our children have ADHD, allergies and anxiety
8 Aug 11 @ 06:00pm by Carleen Frost
PARENTS are being urged to get back to basics and lead a more “primitive” lifestyle to boost their child’s health and happiness.
Narrabeen Dr Robyn Cosford said returning to “real” food, avoiding artificial light and switching off wireless internet were the first steps she recommended to her patients, particularly those with behavioural problems.
Dr Cosford believes wireless internet and other household appliances could be changing the function of the brain.
“The first thing that we try to get our parents to do is getting their kids to eat all real foods – no more processed or packaged foods,” she said.
“We have this very strong tendency for the diet to be predominantly wheat and sugar-based, so it’s not uncommon that the children have an adverse reaction to those foods.
“A true food allergy is not that common. Food intolerance or food insensitivity is very common.”
Dr Cosford, the founder of the Northern Beaches Care Centre, will address the Mindd Foundation’s International Forum on Children in Randwick this weekend.
The forum will focus on the links between nutrition and lifestyle and conditions such as ADHD, allergies, anxiety and digestive problems.
She said her message would be about “restoring” lifestyles.
“The environment is increasingly toxic and more and more people are having a problem,” she said.
“We have to get back to going outside and connecting with the Earth and cutting out all this artificial light.
“If people could do these basics, straight away they will find a significant change in their child’s behaviours.”
DOCTOR’S TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING
Primitive: Eat “real’’ foods and avoid processed foods where possible.
Preservatives: Always check the ingredients on the packet.
Packaged: Even if it’s packaged, choose a healthy option.
Pre-prepared: Always ask what’s in takeaway food.
Fresh is best for our kids
EATING fresh food and keeping active were among the main reasons Michael Harvey wanted to raise his daughter Chloe on the northern beaches.
The father-of-one said spending time outdoors, with plenty of exercise, was a way of life on the peninsula.
“We both lead pretty active lifestyles, her mum and myself,” he said.
“We try to eat reasonably well and play as much sport as we can.
“We have lived in a few places and we have relatives around Sydney and they talk about childhood obesity and we don’t really see that on the northern beaches because the lifestyle is so active.’’
Mr Harvey said he and his partner tried to avoid giving Chloe processed and prepackaged foods and encouraged her to play outside as often as possible.
The one-year-old has even been practising her surfing moves for when she’s old enough to paddle out.
“We don’t really give her too much of that sort of stuff,” he said of sugary, processed foods.
“If she has chocolate we notice the sugar rush pretty quickly. And she’s pretty active – we try to get her outside a couple of times a day because she sleeps better and she’s happier.”
To learn what to do if your child has an allergy come to Simple Instruction’s Apply First Aid or Perform CPR course on the 27th of August 2011 at the Brookvale Hotel.