One of the most frequently asked questions we encounter is whether it is recommended or even safe to give Spirulina to children and babies. Our answer in one word- absolutely!
To ensure the best results, it’s important to use spirulina from a reliable, quality source, and give a correct daily dosage according to the child’s age and weight. Generally speaking, the older the child the larger the amount. Consider consulting your primary caregiver prior to giving your children any supplement. That being said, spirulina is different to most dietary supplements because it’s completely digestible and safe to use, and is very unlikely to cause side effects, PLUS it blends well with many types of food.
First thing’s first, here’s an introductory slideshow I made to show to school kids in class.
Download it for free on SlideShare.
So here are our 5 top reasons for giving spirulina to children:
1-3gr per Day will Keep the Doctor Away!
Spirulina contains many nutrients that are vital for child development both physically and mentally. These are just a few of many examples:
- Calcium is needed to build the skeleton, muscle activation, and blood coagulation.
- Iron prevents anemia, involved in the production of energy, and directly affects the mood and attention span of children.
- Vitamin A has a vital role in strengthening local defense mechanisms against infections.
- Zinc plays an important role in the process of growth, wound healing and immunity.
- Magnesium is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart, nerves and sleep cycle.
- B vitamins are essential for normal bowel activity, metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Spirulina Promotes Healthy Child Development
In many countries, children live malnourished. For them, access to nutritious foods that can fill their vitamin and mineral reservoirs makes the difference between life and death.
Many studies in India and Africa on groups of children who suffered widespread malnutrition and significant nutritional deficiencies, showed that the addition of Spirulina on a daily basis improved the health of the children and helped them to fight hunger.
On one case, nuns in the convent of Saint Joseph in Africa began to grow Spirulina to feed local children and infants in situations of severe malnutrition. The results were quick to come, and the children have shown remarkable improvement in health and weight.
Beat Nutritional Deficiencies once and for all!
Nutritional deficiencies aren’t just the problem of 3rd world countries. Studies show that over the last decade, child obesity has more than doubled in America. What this means is that even when the stomach is full, it’s not uncommon for a child to have nutrient deficiency. At such a state, the body struggles to absorb the unbalanced nutrients, resulting in low immunity that can lead to obesity and diabetes.
In one study, a total of 228 Chinese school children aged 6–11 years were recruited and randomly divided into three groups, supplemented with 4g, 2g or 0g of spirulina each day for 10 weeks. After the 10-week intervention, serum β-carotene concentrations of children with 2 or 4 g spirulina supplement increased significantly, leading to an increase in Total-body vitamin A stores, which plays an important role in vision and bone growth, and helps protect the body from infections. When you eat vitamin A from non-animal sources like spirulina, the body converts only the necessary amount of active vitamin A from the carotenoids, ensuring absorption on the one hand, and preventing an excess on the other.
Relieves Children with ADHD
Children with ADHD often have high levels of mercury, lead, and other toxic heavy metals in their bodies. Numerous studies have demonstrated spirulina’s ability to detoxify the body and reduce the toxic load on the liver and kidneys.
Along with eight essential amino acids and ten non-essential amino acids, Spirulina also contains GLA, a rare essential fatty acid that is usually only found in mother’s milk and evening primrose.
Currently, there are no studies that have examined the efficacy of spirulina in the management of ADHD. However, its nutritional content suggests that it could be a superior source for the important vitamins and minerals that ADHD children don’t get in their modern diet. Studies have shown that zinc supplements help reduce symptoms of ADHD. More specifically, one study performed on children with zinc deficiencies showed that spirulina was more effective in boosting zinc levels than supplements of zinc sulfate.
So if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, or if you’re looking for a multivitamin that could potentially address all the vitamin and mineral deficiencies known to affect children with ADHD, spirulina could be it!
Break the Stressful Cycle Around Food
Our fast pace of life requires many adjustments and concessions, but as parents, we want to be sure that we provide our little ones with the best possible nutrition. I have seen many families where children refuse to eat fruit and veg, making their parents upset and worried, and turning the family mealtime into a stressful daily saga.
Teaching healthy eating habits from an early age can prevent all that. A pinch of Spirulina powder or a fresh healthy snack can be an integral part of their diet, so instead of giving them a ‘multivitamin’ teddy bear that’s actually mostly sugar, giving them spirulina every morning, in a smoothie or sprinkled on food will keep them full and content for the rest of the day, and rest your mind assured they have eaten their greens!