Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Is it advisable to give your child soya? Drive Hot News

Brenda tells me that she had started giving Njeri soya milk, but she did not like the taste.
 Brenda tells me that she had started giving Njeri soya milk, but she did not like the taste.


After what my husband has called the longest maternity leave ever, (I was away for 14 months) I am now back at the clinic.
Even though I do miss the little Mukherjees, it feels good to be back. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy what I do.
There is a case I saw last week that I would like to share with you. Njeri, 18 months old, did not react well to dairy produce.
Her mother, Brenda, realised that there was a problem when she stopped breastfeeding her at 10 months and introduced formula.
Njeri developed bad eczema soon after, and her doctor advised Brenda to leave out dairy from her diet. While the eczema cleared up, Njeri started to fall sick regularly, and someone recommended me to Brenda.
Brenda tells me that she had started giving Njeri soya milk, but she did not like the taste.
As I have mentioned before, most of the soya on sale nowadays is not the best. This is because the baddies it contains aren’t ‘deactivated’ as they are in countries like Japan (this is done be fermenting or precipitating it to produce foods like miso, natto and tofu).
Growth problems
The first shortcoming is the presence of a group of substances called phytates, which can block the absorption of vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.
It is this poor assimilation that helps to explain why diets high in phytates have caused growth problems in children.
Next are enzyme inhibitors, which block the digestion of protein, potentially causing digestive problems.
While these are also present in other legumes, soya beans also contain haemagglutinin, a substance that encourages red blood cells to clump together, thus reducing oxygen uptake.
The good news is that both the enzyme inhibitors and haemagglutinin are deactivated when soya is fermented and precipitated.
Then, there are the hormonal issues. Evidence has shown that infants who are unable to breastfeed and given a soya formula instead, have a big chance of developing an underactive thyroid (soya can also adversely affect thyroid function in adults).
There have also been reports of girls who have been fed soya for nine months or more, going through early sexual development – as early as five or six years old, sometimes even earlier.
In boys, the problem has generally been linked to the appearance of breasts at puberty, and testicles that don’t develop.
So what should Brenda be giving Njeri to boost her calcium intake? Plenty of green leafy vegetables such as sukuma, pulses, seeds such as sesame, nuts such as almonds, and small-boned fish such as dagaa.
However, each new food should be introduced every three to four days, just to ensure that there is no adverse reaction, for instance constipation, diarrhoea, tummy ache, and rashes.
What about boosting Njeri’s immunity? Bone soup (broth) is excellent – it is packed with nutrients, is inexpensive to make and very easy to digest.
How do you make it? Cover bones with water (just enough to cover), add a splash of vinegar and vegetable scraps in a pot and simmer.
Skim off any scum that comes to the surface and cook for six to 48 hours for chicken, or 12 to 72 hours for beef. Strain or sieve before drinking.