Creating Healthy Habits & Nurturing Mature Interactions: Back-to-School with BIORAY and Dr. Olejak

Question: Summertime is great because I control my child's diet. Do you have tips on creating healthy habits for kids?

Dr. Olejak: Dear Healthy Habits,

Children are highly susceptible to influence.  Up to a certain age parents exert the greatest influence until inevitably (usually in the tween years) we fall off the horse, they know it all and then sometime after age 25 we get rehabilitated.

So those early years carry a lot of weight before other influences creep in.  Here are a few tips when it comes to food:

  • Shut the TV off: Studies show that children (of any age) who watch TV are exposed to thousands of junk food commercials before they even reach the verbal stage of development.   In one study pre-verbal kids overwhelmingly picked the fast food packing over a brown paper bag demonstrating the ads work; which makes sense or why would they spend billions on advertising. [1],[2] You’re the parent and you control the remote.  A few ideas:
    • Limit the number of hours of TV time
    • Only allow videos and eliminate the ads altogether
    • Get rid of the TV altogether
  • Lead by exmple: Eat an organic, fresh whole food diet. Nothing speaks to hypocrisy quite like “do as I say not as I do”. I have a friend who smokes, but thinks because he smokes out in the shed when his kids are asleep he’s setting a good example. However, the power of example is visual, emotional, olfactory, physical and spiritual. As a parent, if you eat junk food and cut corners in your own diet you can’t expect your kids to eat well. We parents set the example. A few ideas:
    • Eat with your kids as often as possible, even when you fix different foods for the same meal due to food sensitivities. This a great time to talk and relax and show them how to eat without stress.
    • Get kids involved in food prep. Cooking from scratch is a really practical way to teach about real food and get away from processed food.
    • Visit a farm so the kids are connected in a visceral way with their food. It comes from a farm not a box!
  • Read FOOD RULES by Michael Pollan [3] and share them with your kids. 
  • Promote healthy snacking:
    • Rice cakes and whole-grain crackers
    • Organic fresh fruits
    • Organic yogurt
    • Organic unsweetened apple sauce
    • Organic sticks of carrot, celery, or other raw vegetables, and cherry tomatoes with nutritious dips
    • Plain, non-GMO popcorn
    • Wholesome breakfast cereals (steel cut oats or homemade cereal)
    • Water is good.  You can also dilute organic juice with water to cut calories in half

Big Farma and Big Pharma will do almost anything to get inside the heads of your children. If they can – they have a consumer for life.  Your secret weapon is the influence you yield.  You’ve got about 12 years.  Don’t waste them.

BioRay™ has the Back-to-School solution to help your child get ready for the school year and be at their best - The Happy Immunity Kit™ - featuring our best gut supporting and immunity boosting products: Artemisia & Clove, Loving Energy and Cytoflora. The special combination of products are sure to aid in the support of healthy gut flora, happier moods and focus in the classroom.  

[3] Pollan M. Food Rules. Penguin Books. ISBN-10: 1594203083

Question: My son struggles to use his words appropriately; do you have any tips on how to boost his functional speech?

Dr. Olejak: Dear Functional Speech,

Do you recall the moment in the film The King’s Speech where Colin Firth is overcome by fear when faced with public speaking? And how his therapist helped him overcome that fear by helping him find the confidence in himself? I think the words Geoffrey Rush used were: “you needn’t be governed by fear.” Truer words have not been spoken. 

Functional speech is a matter of technique and for that a qualified speech therapist is required, but the confidence part falls squarely in our laps as parents. 

If your child is under two years old and is having delayed speech an early intervention program may be needed. If in pre-school or elementary then the school will have a dedicated person to do a speech evaluation. 

Oral and diaphragm exercises may be needed. Yoga breathing is very helpful. 

What I’m about to suggest might sound crazy, but I encourage you to give it a try … take your son outdoors and have him do a ropes course. Here in the Northeast many ski resorts have turned their slopes into great ropes courses in the summer. If you can’t find one check out Outward Bound or some other outdoors program that offers climbing, rappelling and zip lines.

Having a child rappel off a 60 foot cliff and climb back up can be a great confidence builder. When I was 16 (and very clumsy) I took a ropes course with a teacher who 32 years later is still a close friend. There was a point about 40 feet up in air where I had to make a move and jump from one rock ledge to another. Even though I was belayed and terrified. I took the risk and jumped. Taking action in the face of uncertainty instilled confidence in me -- an experience that has never left me. 

If heights are not a good idea then give horseback riding a try. A patient of mine runs a stable that teaches horseback riding to handicapped children and at risk youth. I’ve seen amazing results with kids and horses in terms of confidence and mastering physical space.

With speech on some level it is pure neurological integration and anything that teaches fine motor coordination will help so that could be sports too. 

Chiropractic can play a role here too. The muscles of the larynx are under the control of the vagus nerve (cranial n. 10). The upper cervical spine (C1 and C2) has effects on the vagus n. when misaligned. Chiropractic is not just for adults with back pain. It is really all about integrating the nervous system and there is no faster way to reset and reboot than correcting the vertebral subluxation at occiput-C1 and C1-C2.

Cytoflora has been shown to improve speech and non-verbal communication, improve mature interactions and increase the gut to brain connection.