by Leanne Satara
By understanding the nature of a child’s bodily functions
and development, we begin to see how diet, vitamin and mineral insufficiencies
and other lifestyle factors can create imbalances in the developing
pattern of the mind, body and spirit of the infant.
Many biological systems are affected by early nutrition. If nutritional
insult occurs during this critical period, it is thought that there
will be long-term, permanent changes in the numbers and types of cells
and the functions of their associated tissues and systems. It is suggested
that long-term development in terms of health and disease may also be
affected by under-nutrition.
At birth, the development of a child’s vital organs and systems is incomplete.
The liver, immune system and brain are continually progressing towards
maturity. Understanding this as parents is crucial to what we believe
is ‘best for our children’. How we look after our children and understand
their specific health needs will determine how their organs and systems
develop, and therefore the ability of the child to thrive.
Vaccinations are one example of nutritional insult. They take vital
nutrients away from the developing body in order to combat unnaturally-established
viruses. Vaccinations were intended to prepare the immune system for
the natural arrival of viruses, but unfortunately life-long immunity
Vaccinations by-pass the necessary outer levels of defence so that,
instead of the immune system being prepared for protecting the vital
organs - heart, liver, brain, lungs, etc. - the injected organisms enter
the bloodstream and give the virus deeper access to areas than they
would otherwise have. This confuses and derails the immune system, impairing
the infant’s successful maturation and life-long immune strength, thus
leaving the body more susceptible to infections.
An analogy of this is to imagine a well-protected medieval castle which
we are trying to force our way into (‘we’ being the virus). There are
several ways we can do this. We can jump into the moat and fight our
way through the alligators or we can wait for the drawbridge to come
down and run across it, dodging the arrows from the soldiers above.
All the castle’s defences will be working to stop our entry. Vaccinations
are like flying an aeroplane over the top of the castle’s defences and
dropping a bomb in the middle of the castle. The defenders have had
no time to prepare for this attack, and the viruses contained in the
bomb can now move into areas of the castle that would otherwise have
As we observe from the chart below, a child’s natural tooth eruption
begins at about six to eight months. When this phase commences, the
infant is developing the ability to digest simple foods, namely, fresh
fruits. Teeth are imperative for proper digestion because this process
begins in the mouth with the mastication of food.
The more teeth the child has, the greater the ability to masticate and
digest food. Chewing stimulates the brain to release essential salivary
enzymes that mix with the food, preparing the stomach to receive the
If an infant with no teeth is fed complex foods such as rice, pasta,
meat, cheese or soya products, development of the infant’s body will
be compromised. This is because energy is required to attempt to digest
this material. Instead of vital energy being invested in the developing
organs and systems, it is being wasted in trying to cope with unsuitable
foods. This is another example of nutritional insult to the infant’s
body. If such feeding continues for some time before there are any teeth,
this can stimulate tooth eruption to occur earlier than its natural
time so that there will be adequate digestive enzymes available to digest
this early food intake.
It is important to avoid giving infants hard meat, bones or rusks to
chew on because these can bruise the gums and cause pain. A suitable
and more natural alternative is to wrap a piece of fruit in muslin (fine
cloth available from material shops), tie it off and offer it to the
infant to suck the juice and obtain some good nutrition. Suitable fruits
to use are apple, pear or watermelon. When the child develops some teeth,
he/she can bite the fruit and small pieces will come through the muslin
and enter the digestive system.
When there are no teeth and no mastication, there is no signal to the
brain to release the necessary enzymes. The consequence is that food
will enter the stomach without partial digestion by salivary enzymes,
and this impaired digestion will continue down the digestive tract.
Eventually, undigested food constituents can cross the intestinal wall
into the bloodstream and deposit in fatty tissue. A build-up of these
wastes will overload the system and sooner or later stimulate what we
refer to in Natural Health as a cleansing process. The form in which
this occurs is dependent on the genetic makeup and condition of the
individual infant. We all inherit strengths and weaknesses, and this
situation provides an opportunity for them to manifest.
With the skin being the second major organ for elimination after the
liver, conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, nappy rash, cradle cap,
dandruff, etc, are all signs of a cleansing process. The body is ridding
itself of waste material and restoring balance. This has been necessitated
mostly by deficiency in nutrients that are vital for infantile development,
such as essential fatty acids including omega-3s and omega- 6s, vitamin
A, iron and zinc to mention a few.
Allergy, rather than being a reaction to a specific food, is a response
to the body’s inability to break down the protein in foods such as cows’
milk, soya milk and their derivatives.
The cause of illness in children is explained in this way by Sr. Joyce
Lubke in her book, I Had No Say :
“Disease in infancy is usually caused by wrong foods and over-eating
by the mother before conception and during pregnancy, the use of drugs
at this time and wrong feeding from birth... Unhealthy children are
affected physically, emotionally and mentally. They are irritable, cranky
and often uncontrollable.
“Unhealthy children can have the following symptoms - cold, cough, bronchitis,
coated tongue, fever, sore throat, tonsilitis, adenoids, swollen glands,
diarrhoea , constipation, skin rashes, vomiting, runny eyes and nose,
convulsions, sleeplessness, lack of energy and vitality, obesity or
1. Tonsilitis is one of nature’s warning signals. When the tonsils are
surgically removed, the warning signal has gone. Tonsilitis is an indication
that the child should be on fluids exclusively, so as to allow the body
time to rest and cleanse.
2. Colds and runny nose. When an infant is feeling unwell and doesn’t
need food, he/she rejects it. When he needs food he has a strong desire
3. Being irritable and cross with a coated tongue indicates that the
digestive system is overloaded.
4. Cough and congested lungs. If feeding continues instead of allowing
the child to cleanse, this condition can develop into bronchitis.
5. Vomiting and diarrhoea. The body is rejecting all foods. All it wants
is rest and an optimal fluid intake (only water or dilute juice).
6. Fevers are nature’s wonderful way of re-balancing the body by accelerating
the breakdown of waste products and killing off undesirable pathogens.
If the infant’s temperature is above 37 degrees Celsius, this is an
indication to give only pure water for one to two days, that is, until
the temperature has come down to normal and remained there for 24 hours.
Complete rest is advised. If drugs such as painkillers are used, the
fever is suppressed and cannot serve its natural function.
To break the fast after the fever has returned to normal for 24 hours,
give diluted, fresh fruit juice every 3 hours when the child is awake,
for one day, and also offer water between the juices. The dilution is
one-third juice to two-thirds water The next day give fresh fruit juice
diluted 50/50 with water and also three meals each of fresh fruit exclusively.
(a) No bananas or avocados are included in the cleansing diet as they
are a little too rich and tend to inhibit the process.
(b) Juice needs to be freshly made rather than purchased from a supermarket,
because the latter has high sugar content and all commercial juices
have been pasteurised and stored.
If these guidelines are not closely adhered to, the elimination will
be incomplete and the body will attempt to cleanse again later on, making
the process longer and more difficult.
Also be aware that vaccines are believed to interfere with the control
mechanisms of a fever, so during fever vaccinated children need to have
their temperatures monitored regularly.
The diet following the cleansing is as important as the cleansing process
itself. Seek the advice of a Natural Health practitioner or refer to
Sr. Lubke’s book, I Had No Say, for diets that are suitable for different
ages and for other guidelines for improving and maintaining the infant’s
During the first few months of life, an infant is particularly susceptible
to exposure to foreign proteins. This is because, as explained above,
it takes months before the digestive system is operating optimally.
The foreign proteins that an infant is normally likely to encounter
are those in cows’ milk or soya products. They are usually not digested
sufficiently by digestive enzymes, nor by the enzymes produced by intestinal
mucosal cells. When these incompletely-digested protein fragments are
absorbed into the bloodstream, they can cause adverse reactions - allergies
- which affect the whole system.
Breast-fed infants are less likely to develop subsequent allergies if
foreign proteins are withheld for at least the first 12 months - or
even until they obtain most of their teeth.
Colostrum (milk produced during the first few days after birth) and
normal breast milk contain IgA’s which are specifically directed against
gut-derived antigens. Provided the infant is breast fed, the IgA will
protect the surface of the gut from attack by bacteria, viruses and
food antigens. Breast-fed infants also have a much higher proportion
of good gut bacteria than those fed on cows’ milk formulas.
Further, the benefits of breast-feeding are amplified if the lactating
mother avoids common allergenic foods such as dairy products, eggs and
The major advantages of breast-feeding are summarised as follows:
1. Lower incidence of allergy.
2. Maternal antibodies protect the infant against bacteria, viruses
3. IgA protects the gut lining.
4. There is heightened capacity for cellular immunity.
5. Antibacterial action in the gut limits the growth of potentially
harmful bacteria in that area.
If breast-feeding is out of the question for whatever reason, the best
alternative would be unpasteurised goats’ milk from a registered farm.
The protein curd that forms with this milk is significantly smaller
than that of cows’ milk or soy formula and is therefore more digestible.
If goats’ milk is unattainable, it would seem reasonable to provide
the infant with a ‘rotation’ diet. This involves the rotation of different
milks, for example, nut milk, soya milk, etc, and has the effect that
the infant is not exposed to the same foreign protein at every meal.
A rotation diet will reduce the tendency towards protein intolerance
and can also increase the nutritional benefits.
In infant formulas, the high content of iron can increase the proliferation
of pathogenic bacteria, notably E. coli and staphylococci. In the normal
case, lacto- ferrins (iron-carrying proteins in human milk) compete
with bacteria for this mineral and thus retard the bacterial growth.
High manganese levels in some infant formulas have recently been linked
to learning difficulties later in life.
Aluminium has also be found in some infant formulas. Highly susceptible
to aluminium toxicity are infants with impaired renal function, in whom
the aluminium can have serious implications. There is also the possibility
that this metal can pose a hazard for infants with normal kidney function.
Infant formulas also contain high amounts of salt and sugar. They are
undesirable and unnecessary to the growth of the infant and are considered
to be contributors to the cause of disease.
A great deal of harm can be done when humans interfere with the natural
development of a child’s body. First and foremost, there may be the
introduction of solid food before the infant is capable of digesting
it. Then there may be the introduction of inappropriate foods that don’t
provide nutrition. Vaccinations can be given with high frequency - typically
at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age.
When the natural wisdom of the organism attempts to organise the body
to cleanse and heal itself, the right environment may not be provided
for the child to achieve this. This can pose enormous strain on the
little body’s limited nutrient stores, and ultimately greatly compromises
the infant’s ability to develop physically, emotionally and spiritually.
However, with understanding of how the infant’s systems develop, the
stage can be set relatively easily for your child to be healthy and
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