With Halloween behind us and more foodie holidays ahead, nutrition has been on my mind. Everybody is unique. Just as there is no truly one-size-fits-all clothing item, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and diet. The following is a condensed version of an article I wrote on this topic.
Supplements in a Sippy Cup
At the time that my oldest son Nick, was transitioning from breast milk to table foods at around 14 months of age, he developed a regular pattern of vomiting. Several nights each week, for about 3 hours he would throw up every 12-16 minutes.
Nick has many severe allergies, and we were avoiding all his known triggers, so at first, we assumed he must have caught a stomach bug.
Days turned into weeks, then into months, and our concern grew. At more than one well-child checkup, Nick’s pediatricians brushed off these episodes, reassuring my wife, a first-time mom, that our son would get better when cold and flu season ended. The cold season ended, but the vomiting did not.
When Nick was 16 months old, our second son, Milo, was born. At Milo’s two-week well-child visit, we saw a different provider at the same pediatric office. My wife dissolved into exhausted tears about our older son’s health. This provider was aghast that no action had been taken for this long-standing problem that was so obviously not just a bug.
Nick had gained only ounces since he was 8 months old, and he had a gaunt, sickly look in his sunken eyes. After his sick nights, he would sometimes sleep for nearly twenty hours.
My wife and I took this pediatrician’s new advice and a referral to out-of-state GI specialists, but still, nothing changed. The stress and tension in our home were palpable as we cared for a newborn and sick toddler on endlessly sleepless nights.
We researched and tried to figure out a diet that would benefit Nick’s developing little body and mind, but were seriously limited by his severe allergies that disqualified several basic food groups.
When Nick was 17 months old, we visited a new pediatric allergist. His suggestion was to supplement Nick’s diet in a way that we had not considered. When presented with this new supplement, infant soy formula in a sippy cup, Nick guzzled it like he had stumbled upon water after wandering in the desert. He could not get enough of it that first day—sippy cup after sippy cup. It quickly became a normal part of his diet.
We saw immediate results. Nick never had one of his infamous vomiting episodes again, and he even began to gain weight. He started to have the energy to play, and he finally took his first toddling steps within a couple of weeks at 18 months old.
In time, light and life returned to his eyes. Nick’s physical health drastically improved with this supplementary nutrition. In the process, my wife and I, through research and personal experience, strengthened our own understanding of health and nutrition.
Most significant, perhaps, was our conclusion that nutrition for health is not one-size-fits-all.
The World Health Organization defines health thus: "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Health is very broad. I do not need to supplement my diet in the same way that my son did. I can eat foods that he is allergic to, and therefore experience health when he would react adversely.
Many purport perfect health by completing this protocol or closely following that diet plan, etc. Each of these experts and their explanations may have some truth within their philosophy, and there are clearly some guiding principles that most could agree on, but there is no one nutritional protocol that is absolutely correct for everybody’s most complete experience of health.
The physical health of each individual is as unique as each body.
Personal nutritional truths need to be understood individually, rather than photocopied for all. A person can benefit from examining many “one size fits all” diet plans. Each diet plan has good parts to incorporate into our own lives and other parts that would not benefit us as much as others.
As an extreme and specific example, Nick truly would not survive long on a diet made by and for someone else. We had to make a diet individual for him, and as he grows older, we continually teach him to think for his own body and find the parts best for him.
He is an example at almost seven years old of an individual finding health through personalized nutrition and dietary supplementation.
We know we're accessing Nick's personal health potential because of that healthy glow in his cheeks and the light in his eyes.
Contact Movement Meets Mindfulness Chiropractic for more information!