By Dr. Ruth Moore
Food and environmental testing in children and teens is paramount! This is meant to be the strong statement that it is, most assuredly because our children are growing quickly and entering puberty much earlier than we did. There are multiple reasons for this phenomena, and the commonality for this is all related to food and the diet that we have.
Fast Foods, GMO Enhanced Foods, Additives and Preservatives, Fake Foods – margarine, synthetic meats… all of these have been attributed to early development; but their impact is much more important when we look at brain and body development.
Our children’s brains need healthy fats.
Literally, the brain works overtime from birth to about 6 years, where it grows from the size of an apple to the size of a grapefruit. As it grows, it produces many neurochemicals and acts as the command center for the body’s operations (learning and cognition, growth, self-preservation and protection, etc.). After a brief rest between 6-8 years old, it then reactivates for the new task of controlling the body’s growth, initiating the final physical and emotional maturity over the next 6 years, and developing a complex operating platform for the pre-adult body.
Our children’s bodies need nutrition.
As the body grows, it utilizes massive amounts of hormones and neurochemicals to control brain development, muscle growth, fat conversion, bone growth and density, healthy organs, and both connective tissue development. If the human body is malnourished during development, a child’s health is jeopardized’; and growth is not only inhibited, but it will also create a potential for epigenetic damage at the DNA level to be passed onto future generations.
Our children’s bodies are subjected to DNA modulation.
From the time children are born, to the time they reach adulthood, most are subjected to over 60 vaccinations. This is a far cry from the typical six that most adults had during the last 5 decades. These immunizations have inert threats to teach the human immune system how to protect the body; but they also hold many additives and preservatives that can affect DNA, brain health and operations. Children’s brains can not handle multiple injections, and the medical community is seeing an increase in autism, behavioral disorders, decreases in cognition, and the development of autoimmune disorders in children.
From generation to generation, we have seen our population grow exponentially, and the whole food availability in our country decreases. This is a natural phenomena as our food must be produced at a faster rate to meet the needs of the population. As a result, our foods are genetically modified to grow faster (crops and animals) and our meats have many hormones added, which can disrupt the human endocrine system. Our foods are being grown in nutritionally depleted soils and their total nutritional value has decreased over time, as the plants are not able to pass on necessary phytonutrients to the animals who consume them.
A majority of children and teens live in suburban and urban areas, and do not have access to the freshly grown food of their rural counterparts; rather they must rely on food that is commercially grown, nutritionally deficient, and preserved with high heats and both synthetic additives and preservatives. This leads to complex nutritional problems, as the synthetic additives and preservatives can’t always be recognized or absorbed by the human body and brain. Additionally, as food is preserved it is subjected to high heats or extreme colds that can diminish the health value of necessary enzymes and amino acids which fuel the brain and body.
So why have we developed testing for children and teens?
Our children and teens are being diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders, live with allergies and chronic pain, are obese, and do not engage in the healthy growth activities (outdoor play) that we had. The growth activities alone are integral for healthy bone and connective tissue growth, as well as emotional maturity as children experience the release of hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and epinephrines.
The number one reason that parents purchase our tests is to determine whether or not their children have allergies. These people are pleasantly surprised to learn that our tests do not measure allergies, rather they measure for complex food intolerances and nutritional imbalances that their children are experiencing. When parents gain this knowledge, they experience relief because they learn HOW they can help their children through simple dietary and environmental changes. Our tests create empowerment as parents are able to support their children’s needs and teach their children healthy eating habits. There are many other reasons that parents contact us for testing, but the most prevalent are that their children are experiencing an increase in complex health challenges, are having difficulties with cognition and memory, or have problems with their behaviors and emotions.
When children are sick, parents are desperate for answers and may not have access to good healthcare providers; or they may have providers who aren’t able to make solid diagnoses and will prescribe vitamins and supplements and ineffective prescriptions. To be fair, we know that many physicians are not trained in functional health and have not made the connection between the complex balance of human development and functional nutrition. Our children are being treated for spinal and connective tissue injuries from calcium deficiencies, rare cancers, autoimmune disorders, and chronic pain that can all be attributed to malnutrition and genetically modified food diets.
In this same line of reasoning, teachers see an increase in the learning, cognitive, and emotional challenges in the classroom and will refer the children for neuropsychiatric testing to diagnose specific conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorders, or Cognition and Learning Disabilities. Most parents work outside of the home and rely upon fast food or quick prepared boxed meals and do not have time to help their children with these developmental challenges; and they will will either willingly agree to have their children tested because they see these carry-over behaviors at home and do not understand how to work with them, or their children will be tested within the school environment and can be labeled for life with a psychological condition. Again, the caveat here is that teachers are not trained in functional health, and have not made the connection between the complex balance of human development and functional nutrition. They only see the classroom disruption and look to the medical community for answers.
Raising healthy children is fraught with perils and challenges; most of which can be attributed to food intolerances and malnutrition.
The 5Strand tests are often praised for the clarity and answers they provide on how parents can adjust the nutritional intake to give children the food health they need. As parents get results, they are amazed to learn that their children may have intolerances to food dyes, additives and preservatives, dairy and lactose, and both glutens and grains. When they explore these challenges, they can see similarities to the popular FODMAP diets that are recommended for ADD, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The true strength of the 5Strands test is that it allows parents to create an elimination diet, then reintegrate foods in a controlled manner, and then create a lifetime eating plan that is unique to their children’s health.
- The 5Strands Health Assessment Includes 4 Functional Health Tests that help you take the first steps on your wellness journey.
You can also buy the tests individually depending on your child's needs: