Article written by Barbro Brost, DC, the Brost Clinic, Wayzata

A healthy child is a happy child. As parents we are entrusted to protect and care for our children as they navigate through their childhood towards a happy, productive life as adults. They need shelter and warmth, food and water, advice and guidance, but most of all lots of love!

Raising a child in today’s world takes a lot of attention as a parent. There are many new dangers that the previous generations never had to worry about. A lot of them come seductively packaged with bright colors and sparkling lights. Tobacco, street drugs, bad TV shows, computer sites unsuited for kids are pretty obvious things you want to avoid in your kid’s lives, but what about the less obvious hidden dangers lurking everywhere? Fast food, food processed with unhealthy chemicals, genetically modified foods, foods sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, foods that make your kids sick instead of nurturing them. Foods and drinks that are marketed by giant corporations to be fun and “normal”. It takes some strong parenting to stand up against that, it is much easier to go with the “flow” and give in to your child’s cravings for sugar and junk foods. We need to teach them about healthy food and healthy habits. A healthy breakfast with good protein, like eggs, before school instead of a sugary cereal. Extra vitamins for strong immune function. A healthy snack after school and a healthy dinner together as a family whenever possible (sports and other after school activities can be a challenge here).

Encourage play time outside instead of plopping down in front of a TV or computer. Plenty of time set aside for homework to avoid late nights and a set bed time to allow adequate sleep. Preschool and elementary kids need 10-12 hours per night. If they don’t wake up by themselves, they didn’t get enough sleep! There is strong research showing that all the above sets the stage for better health and better performance in school and sports.

Unless a medical emergency, like a fractured leg or severe bacterial infections (remember antibiotics have no effect on viruses), children are best treated naturally. If they get a cold or flu, rest and fluids with a lot of immune boosting vitamins is the best cure. If they have falls or injuries take them to the chiropractor!

If you stop and think about it we all take our kids to the dentist regularly to avoid cavities. If their teeth aren’t perfectly lined up we pay for years of orthodontics. Doesn’t it make sense to take as good care of their spine, which is crucial for optimum function of the body? You can replace teeth, but you can never replace your spine!