Last week I had the great pleasure of speaking with Celebrity Nutritionist, Dr. Oz Garcia on the book he coauthored with Pediatrician, Natalie Geary titled The Food Cure For Kids: A Nutritional Approach To Your Child's Wellness. Oz who is also the "best selling author of three books, The Balance, Look and Feel Fabulous Forever, and Redesigning 50: The No-Plastic-Surgery Guide to 21st-Century Age Defiance was twice voted best nutritionist by New York Magazine. He has been featured in prestigious publications like Vogue, Elle, Travel and Leisure, W Magazine, and The New York Times. He has also made numerous network and cable television appearances including NBC’s The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America on ABC, 20/20, 48 Hours, The View, and Fox News. Some of his celebrity clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, Kim Cattrall, Heidi Klum, Winona Ryder, Veronica Webb and Naomi Campbell."
Dr. Oz Garcia – ShopNBC
Candace Rose: How big of a role does nutrition play in the lives of children?
Dr. Oz Garcia: "Everything. You are really what you eat. You can't separate intelligence, mood, metabolism, immunity, life span from what you consume. In the United States right now, Candace, twenty percent of children and adolescence under the age of 19 are obese. Twenty percent. That's a threefold increase in the past three decades. One in four kids right now in the United States is on medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol reducing drugs, diabetes management drugs. Kids are becoming huge. They eat too much, they eat too much of the wrong stuff, too much fat, too much saturated fats, too much sugar, too much salt. A lot of what happens with your kid whether they are going to do well in school, whether they are going to feel well, whether they are going to perform overall as a healthy human being pivots on what they eat. I believe in what's called "functional eating." You need to know how food function. Does it make you, your kid smarter, improve your metabolism, reduce your risk of getting any number of illnesses, manage your mood, improve your mood overall, improve your energy or does it do the reverse? Does it make you fatter, increase cravings, reduce your intelligence, make you less capable of fighting off colds or flus or infections? It's important to know what food is central to the health of a child."
CR: What can parents do to ensure that their kids don't succumb to these epidemics?
OG: "I think that a parent needs to get educated and it begins at the top. Now that it's becoming social policy at the Federal level, look at Michelle Obama; she's created what's called a freedom garden, where actually she's well aware and they're beginning to educate the public at large about how to eat, what to eat, when you look at things kids eat, for instance snacks. One of the most important things to do is look at healthy snacks – "Funky Monkey" which is completely made from fruit, all natural organic. When you look at the option of nuts, look at pistachios which are terrific. They're great fun, you can crush them open, they're high in nutrients that are good for kids. Look at "Sensible Portions", this is what a potato chip wishes it were – all natural, organic, crunchy, with vegetables. Look at "Genesis Today", it's a great thing to have. It's omega orange juice with essential fatty acids, great for brain development instead of drinking soda pop which as about ten to twelve teaspoons of sugar per can or container. 150 pounds of sugar is consumed by kids in the U.S. today per year, that's unbelievable. These are all remarkable options in terms of snacks and foods that kids can have that are good for them."
CR: Why do you feel food allergies are on the rise and can they be prevented in any way?
OG: "Too much processed food in the food pipeline, that's a big problem."
CR: Do you suggest children take multivitamins if they're picky eaters?
OG: "I think you need to speak to an enlightened pediatrician, Natalie Geary who is my coauthor is a pediatrician, there are people like that, that can educate you about the right supplement for children."
CR: Where can we go for more information and to get The Food Cure For Kids?