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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


A Holistic Framework for Raising Healthy Kids

May 28, 2021 08:30AM ● By Sheila Julson
No longer a new trend or just for hippies, holistic parenting is for anyone that wants to set their children on a lifelong path toward good health through natural lifestyle choices and sustainable living. While attitudes and approaches toward holistic parenting might vary slightly, being educated and cognitive of how our choices affect the health of people and the planet can instill lifelong healthy habits.

Christie Potter, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and a master’s-prepared primary care nurse practitioner (PCNP), founded Natural Choice Pediatrics in 2019. She says that focusing on nutrition, healthy eating and immune-boosting supplements can go a long way in preventing chronic illness in children. “We advise parents to avoid processed foods, focus on whole food nutrition and eat organic foods whenever possible,” says Potter. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides growing kids with needed nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

For parents of fussy eaters, Potter recommends sneaking healthy greens into a fruit smoothie, which can mask the appearance and taste of foods like kale. Supplements such as zinc can help increase the appetite.

Potter emphasizes that it’s important to stay physically active every day. Family walks, bike rides and outdoor games can provide exercise, fresh air and vitamin D from the sun. In addition, these activities allow for family engagement and interaction while providing a break from screens and electronics.

Sometimes daily exercise and games still aren't enough to soothe hyperactive children. For natural, pharmaceutical-free ways to calm them, Potter suggests omega-3 fish oil. “Omega-3 fatty acids work well to help calm children, along with magnesium, minerals and certain vitamins.” Omega-3s can be found in cold-water varieties of fish such as salmon and mackerel, or in flaxseed, chia seed and walnuts.

In addition, parents can play soothing music. Consider genres such as classical, easy listening or even nature sounds. “There is a lot of research that supports how classical music has a soothing effect on kids,” Potter says.

Essential oils such as lavender can provide a sense of calm. In a world full of constant stimulation, learning to sit still and breathe can help kids relieve stress and anxiousness. Meditation, especially for older children, is becoming more common in schools, and can be effective to help children relax and calm racing thoughts.

Potter notes that many local resources for holistic parenting such as Facebook groups of parents are willing to exchange ideas and suggestions about natural lifestyles and allow like-minded moms and dads to bond. She also suggests local indoor play venues such as EQ Kids Playground, an indoor playground in Frisco that designs sensory and inventive play for kids; or KidsStrong, a child development center that incorporates gymnastics into brain, physical and character development for toddlers through pre-teens.

“Also, work with good health care providers that will support your lifestyle and the decisions you make for your children,” Potter encourages. “For the family to engage in a holistic lifestyle, it’s important to have a team approach to feel supported and heard.”

Natural Choice Pediatrics is located at 3535 Victory Group Way, Ste. 305, in Frisco. For more information, call 972-324-3480 or visit

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.