Treating Tiny Tummies

By Nonna Joann • Apr 29th, 2009 • Category: Food as Medicine

Tiny Tummies Can Have Big Aches
jada-jamie.jpgKids are experiencing stomach issues more often. In fact, the occurrence of children developing adult-type illnesses and diseases is growing at an alarming rate.

A mom from San Francisco asks for advice on for her 5-year-old daughter, who often complains of a tummy ache. The doctor doesn’t find anything wrong and suggests she keep a food diary.

Even when we attempt to eat a healthy diet, illness, and chemicals in our food and water can easily tip our systems out of a healthy balance. Often stomach aches are the first sign that things aren’t right in the digestive track.

Jada and Jamie know happy tummies make for happy children.

The child’s pediatrician has done his due diligence. Food allergies, celiac disease, constipation, stress, and even worms have all been ruled out. So what now?

Children can have a difficult time describing their pains. This little girl often says she says she has a tummy ache. Other times she tells her mom she’s hungry, even shortly after a meal. Perhaps she’s experiencing a light pressure or burning in her stomach after eating. That might feel like hunger pains to a child. These symptoms may indicate an acid/alkali imbalance or acid stomach. Antacids are usually prescribed, but they don’t always work and you certainly wouldn’t want a child to take antacids for the rest of her life.

Acidosis is when the body chemistry becomes imbalanced and acidic. The easiest way to test this is to purchase pH strips at a whole foods store. First thing in the morning snip a piece from the roll and hold it in the urine stream. You can also test pH levels with saliva, before eating breakfast. The ideal pH range is 6.4 to 6.8. For the body, values below pH 6.3 are considered acidic and above pH 6.8 alkaline. You’ll find a code on the strip container.

The Good News
The good news is that your body’s pH level is directly related to what you eat. And there are foods which will reverse an acid stomach. A healthy diet is vital and to maintain pH balance.

If your child’s pH is off and has frequent tummy aches, forget about the food pyramid, at least until her pH is normalized. She should eat 50 percent raw foods, although, ALL vegetables and particularly citrus fruits are beneficial. You’ll want her to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. Grains, meat, and dairy all produce acid, so for the time being, these should be limited. Obviously, she must avoid ALL processed foods, especially sugar.

Goodbye Tummy Aches—Hello Veggies
Fresh vegetables and fruit are essential for proper pH balance. In addition, you’ll want to include as many Alkaline-forming foods in her diet each day as you can: apples, avocados, broccoli, corn, coconut, lemons, oranges, raisins, peppermint, and sprouts. Citrus fruits and vegetables reduce acidosis. Small amounts of organic apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water can help with heartburn and indigestion. If you have a high performance juicer or a food processor, juice an organic apple, a squeeze of lemon juice and a little fresh ginger. This drink will also soothe an acidic stomach.

The Picky Eater & Veggies
While getting kids to eat a healthy diet may be challenging, a mom with a picky eater has a greater challenge. Picky eaters love the very foods which are making them ill. Fast food, junk food, and processed food all contribute to the problem.

If you have a picky eater experiencing stomach pains, the first thing you must do is rid the house of junk foods and as many processed foods as you can. Now, how do you get her to eat those dreaded veggies? It may seem counter-intuitive, before you child will accept veggies, she must become familiar and comfortable with them using all her senses. Multi-sensory learning is vital for transforming a picky eater into a healthy eater.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. It’s not intended for medical advice or other professional services and shouldn’t be considered a substitute for the advice of your personal physician or other medical professional. If your child has a medical or behavioral problem, or you suspect that such a possibility exists, consult your health care provider.

For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

For info about the free Baby Bites Ezine, Click Here.

Listen to today’s podcast, Click Here.

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2 comments on »

  1. Thank you for the information. I have a child with Sickle Cell Anemia who complains of stomach ache all the time. About 2 years ago she developed an umbilical hernia ( what we thought at the time) was the reason for her stomach pains. So she had the surgery to close it up. 6mths later and beyond she started complaining about her stomach. We try to rule out constipation, gas formation, and hunger pains before deciding it must be a pain crisis due to her Sickle Cell. But now this information gives us more tools to use to see what else must be going on in her stomach, and for my other kids.

  2. I like your suggestions for sickle-cell – Yellow Dock and Dandelion should both be helpful. You may also wish to try a product we have called I-X. This particular formula is designed to readily provide the body with bio available iron from many excellent iron containing plants and also Liquid Chorophyll can be useful.

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