Making products for kids is nothing new to us (you may remember greens+ kids). But with asthma, allergies, ADHD, diabetes, obesity and intestinal disorders all on the rise, we knew that we could do more to provide kids with more nutritional support.
Healthy dietary patterns are associated with good academic performance, mental health and stress resiliency in children and youth. And there’s an abundance of research showing that healthy dietary choices in early-life predict later-life health.
But when we took a fresh look at the research, it was clear that there are some major gaps in kids’ diets today:
- Kids aren’t even coming close to meeting recommendations for phytonutrients and fibre: Around 40% of fruit and vegetable intake among Canadian children and teens comes from just two sources: juice and white potato.
- Kids aren’t getting enough omega fatty acids or vitamin D: Up to 84% of children consume less than one serving of fish/seafood per week, and Canadian children are at risk of not meeting population targets for vitamin D.
- Kids are lacking probiotic and fermented foods: Kids don’t typically go for other healthy foods, including fermented foods!
But it’s not all about the nutrition that’s missing from their diets—there were some other factors that really got us thinking:
- Kids are growing up in an over-sanitized world with common use of harsh cleaners, limited exposure to natural environments and liberal use of antibiotics.
- Plus, children up to the age of 8 spend over 2 hours on average looking at screens every day, which is associated with reduced sleep quality and decreased daytime alertness.
The reality is that in order to truly nourish kids, we didn’t want to create another multivitamin. We had to think outside of the box to develop a line of supplements for kids that addressed their nutritional deficiencies while helping to protect their bodies from some of the the stressors that they’re faced with in the world today. Here’s how we did it:
It All Starts in the Gut
It all starts in their guts, where trillions of friendly bacteria—collectively called the microbiome—are found. But supporting a child’s microbiome isn’t just good for digestion. It is crucial for producing vitamins, absorbing nutrients and defending against pathogens like harmful bacteria and fungi. It’s also important in developing a robust immune system, as low levels of bifido and lactobacillus are linked with allergies, eczema and asthma in children.
We’ve always been passionate about this. And we believe that nurturing children’s gut health—with phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics—can in turn affect their overall health. We call this Foundational Nutrition.
The Genuine Health-y kids line contains the 3 Foundational Nutrition products:
- fermented organic gut superfoods+ kids BOOSTS your child’s nutrition with 22 fully fermented organic superfoods, including cauliflower, kale, raspberry, grape and more in every scoop. Research has shown that the combination of phytonutrients and prebiotic fibre is where the magic happens—this combination has been shown to improve cognitive function, mood, healthy immune function, normal bowel movements and maintain healthy body weight in children. And parents will like that fermented organic gut superfoods+ kids contains 4 grams of prebiotic fibre and just one gram of sugar per serving.
- advanced gut health probiotic kids BUILDS your child’s healthy gut flora with 5 billion CFU specifically chosen to support their immune and digestive health. Reduced diversity of gut bacteria is linked to higher rates of allergies and asthma in children, so we made advanced gut health probiotics kids with 7 balanced third-party verified human strains, including Lactobacillus rhamnosos GG, acidophilus and L. reuteri for children’s health. And because children need friendly bacteria in places other than their gut, we chose to use a tablet with a unique “honeycomb” technology that activates the bacteria upon chewing, delivering them to not just the lower GI tract (the gut), but also the upper GI tract and mouth. Research has shown that this can reduce pathogenic bacteria in the mouth, which translates to better immunity in your kids (which means fewer days off school), and a reduction in oral plaque and gingival scores.
- omega3 kids +D3 BALANCES your child’s EPA and DHA. There’s a general understanding that DHA is more important for children’s health, but research actually shows that a balanced ratio of EPA and DHA is essential for behaviour and mental outlook in children. We sourced the fish for omega3 kids +D3 from sustainable and wild caught fish from Pacific South East and Eastern Central Atlantic. Plus, Canadian children aren’t meeting targets for vitamin D, so we added vitamin D3 to omega3 kids +D3 for healthy brain, teeth and bone development. And because kids spend more than 2 hours looking at screens each day, we added a carotenoid called lutein that has been shown to filter blue light from screens and protect the retina from oxidative damage.
How We Made Genuine Health-y kids
We made Genuine Health-y kids in partnership with our good friend Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health, to bring science-based foundational nutrition to your kids. Joy is a trusted nutrition expert, two-time bestselling author and long time Genuine Expert. Joy also shares our mission of nourishing kids for the formative years, for lifelong health, so they can thrive and get the most out of childhood.
It was important to us that Genuine Health-y kids was formulated to the same high standards as all Genuine Health products:
- Science-based: Kids have unique nutritional needs, so we took a deep dive into the research on kids’ health to determine the best sources and the most effective doses of nutrients that are missing from their diets.
- Made with whole-food ingredients: We searched for the highest quality, natural and wholesome ingredients to make great-tasting products that will make kids strong, healthy, full of energy and feel great!
- Free from nasty stuff: Just like all other Genuine Health products, you won’t find any artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners or GMO ingredients in the line.
- Made in Canada: We sourced the freshest, most effective ingredients from around the world, but all our products are made right here in Canada.
The bottom line: At Genuine Health, we believe that if we can get kids started with healthy habits, we can set the stage for a healthy life. We’re passionate about looking at the latest research in nutritional science to drive innovation in our products. There is an abundance of research showing that healthy dietary choices in early-life predict later-life health, and we’re thrilled to be able to partner with Joyous Health to help parents make the best choices for their children’s health—with Genuine Health-y kids.
Gentile, D.A.; Reimer, R.A.; Nathanson, A.I.; Walsh, D.A.; Eisenmann, J.C. Protective effects of parental monitoring of children’s media use: A prospective study. JAMA Pediatr. 2014, 168, 479–484.
Tosini, G.; Ferguson, I.; Tsubota, K. Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Mol Vis. 2016, 22, 61–72
Caglar, E., Kavaloglu, S. C., Kuscu, O. O., Sandalli, N., Holgerson, P. L., & Twetman, S. (2007). Effect of chewing gums containing xylitol or probiotic bacteria on salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli.Clinical Oral Investigations, 11(4), 425-429.
Decreased gum bleeding and reduced gingivitis by the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri. Per Krasse, Birgitta Carlsson, Carina Dahl, Annette Paulsson, Asa Nilsson, Gabriela Sinkiewicz. Swed Dent J. 2006; 30(2): 55–60.