What Do Growing Tomatoes and Developing Children Have In Common?

More than you think.

By Dr. Amy Davis, MD

In my container garden, I noticed some of my tomato plants were smaller with yellow leaves. These plants did not produce fruit. Next to the weak plants were others with deep green leaves, sturdy branches and lots of developing fruit. The vigorous ones had been planted in new garden soil enriched with the nutrients needed for their growth. The “developmentally delayed” ones were planted in soil several years old without any fresh fertilizer. After I added fertilizer (nutrients) to the weak plants, they began to green up and grow, eventually catching up with the others, and produced fruit.

I couldn’t help but think about the children who come to my clinic and how similar they are to my plants. Some children thrive, while others struggle.

Healthy eating and nutritional supplementation often get labeled as an “alternative” practice, and yet avid gardeners everywhere routinely fertilize the soil so their plants grow to their full potential. Why would we ensure our plants are well fed and yet overlook the needs of our children? Food is our fuel and it should provide the nutrients for a healthy body, brain and nervous system. This in turn allows for the miracle of development and growth. The dismissal of our need for solid nutrition when the plants and the children in our care are struggling with profound and obvious delays appears to be a contradiction.

In the journal Advances in Nutrition, a recently published scientific review article – “Nutritional Status of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Do We Know Enough?” noted deficits in this patient population. The authors stressed the importance of a medical assessment of ASD patients to determine if they require nutritional supplements or fortified foods to ensure adequate nutrition.

Why isn’t food enough? Ideally a healthy diet rich in organic, whole, fresh foods would be able to supply the nutrients required. When children refuse healthy foods, diets can be inadequate. If we take the “easy” road with commercially prepared “quick” or fast foods which are nutrient poor, we are set-up to struggle. If the packaging declares “vitamins and minerals added,” we should question why they needed to be added in the first place.

At Crossing Back to Health, I have helped many improve their diets and their lives. Come on in and we can work together to help you too.

Dr. Amy Davis M.D.
Phone: 636 778-9158
16216 Baxter Rd. Suite 110
Chesterfield, MO 63017