Vana Vedu: Protecting Our Children from Cancer

*Image: bbc.co.uk

*Image: bbc.co.uk

by Eden Chiuslekuda

Cancer in kids??

While cancer in children is still not anywhere close to the adult rates, it does still exist.  However, scientists are delving into new areas of research, that focus on changes in DNA, that suggest that certain transformations in genetic material can start as early as before conception, in the womb and in the child’s first few years of life, that can pre-dispose that child to both childhood cancers and developing cancer as an adult.

Prevention

So basically, prevention needs to start before you even think of having a child by minimizing lifestyle factors such as obesity (especially related to poor diet and lack of exercise), smoking (including consistent exposure to second hand smoke), drinking, recreational drug use and excessive stress.

Obviously prenatal and postnatal health is key for those of you in your childbearing years.  We have covered that in previous blogs on pregnancy and breastfeeding.  However, gentlemen, do not think that you are off the hook in this arena.  The way you live can affect the quality of genetic material that you contribute to your offspring, which ultimately will influence their entire life.  You too have to really watch your diet and other lifestyle factors in the years prior to conception, and then model those good habits to your children.  Remember “Monkey See, Monkey Do.”

*Image: zimbio

*Image: zimbio

Once your infants are weaned, and throughout their childhood years, make sure that your children are eating well and getting plenty of exercise in fresh air and sunlight.  (Remember our blog on Vitamin D minimizing risk of some cancers?  The best source of Vitamin D is actually from sunlight.)  Buy toys that encourage your children to play actively outside with each other or with neighborhood kids, like balls and bicycles, rather than just video games.

Minimize junk foods by choosing experiences as rewards (going to the park, a new place, a family holiday, visiting your child’s favorite relatives or family friends) as rewards, rather than promises of sweets, ice cream and crisps.

*Image:janiebehr.com

*Image:janiebehr.com

Always, always, serve a green or other brightly colored vegetable with every meal and routinely have fruit instead of dessert with your meals.

This will ensure that your children naturally seek these things in their adult years.  Healthy eating habits can take root now and influence your family for generations to come.

*Please help us congratulate and support our wonderful blog contributor, Eden, on her recently launched business – Oggboo – which provides organic haircare products for curly haired babies. Click here to view the website and here to join the Facebook page.

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