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at the market and what’s in my fridge. The great thing about small plates is that children are free to take as much or as little as they want and can sample several things at once.” The variety might include hummus, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, pita bread, Kalamata olives and steamed spinach, flavored with garlic and olive oil.

From the Garden ~ When children pick their own foods from a garden, they are more likely to eat the resulting dish, especially fresh vegetables. Tatjana Alvegard, a photographer and blogger, has discovered that her daughters, Nikita, 8, and Kaya, 3, know that a snack is as close as their own backyard. They love helping Mom make an easy basil pesto to herb just-picked toma- toes, sandwiches, pasta and garden- fresh veggie dips.

Nuts and Dry Cereals ~ “One thing to recognize about children is that if they try enough types of natural and healthy snacks, they will find one that they enjoy,” remarks Steendahl. “The prob- lem is that many times, parents give up trying to find the snacks that their kids like and settle for popular junk foods instead.” She stresses the importance of teaching kids which snacks to eat and which to avoid early in life, so that they can sidestep obesity problems as they grow. Nuts and dry cereals, for exam- ple, are choice alternatives to chips and other junk foods. According to California-based

pediatrician and authorWilliam Sears, who markets his own line of healthy kids snacks called Lunchbox Essentials (, parents should read labels to tell which manu- factured products contain hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup—all of which are best avoided. Rather, give family members snacks that provide both fiber and protein, which create a feeling of fullness and taste good, as well.

Judith Fertig is a freelance food writer in Overland Park, KS; for more information visit

A Dream Come True:

Chiropractic for Children by Susan Aimes


rom the tender age of three, each time Dr. Tara

Buchakjian entered her pe- diatrician’s office, she knew that she wanted to help other children. Buchakjian’s pediatri- cian welcomed patients in a nostalgic home office setting reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell scene, complete with a cozy couch; a warm, inviting fireplace; and two friendly Golden Retrievers. “The dogs always came to greet me,” recalls Buchakjian, whose childhood dream came true in adulthood when she found her own single-family home and lo- cated her office within it. “I always had a picture in my mind of how I would find the right situation and a home with the same type of feel,” she muses. A graduate of NewYork Chi-

ropractic College, wife and mother of a two-year-old, Buchakjian is growing her practice even as her own family expands. “I’m pregnant with my second child,” she says with a big smile. An advocate of chiropractic for pregnant women and children, Buchakjian suggests for others what she does for her- self. “I was under chiropractic care before and during my pregnancy, which I believe had a huge impact on my quick homebirth, which was as comfortable as possible,” she explains. This Certified Pediatric Chi-

ropractor also firmly believes that chiropractic adjustments and cra- niosacral treatments, good nutrition with fresh, organic produce, and

huge helpings of love are the things most responsible for keeping her daughter bright- eyed, healthy and energetic. “I want this for all children, because I know they have it inside and that we can bring it out with better nutrition and chiropractic care, which turns on the brain and allows the body to work better,” declares Buchakjian. Always ready to share her knowl- edge and experience, she offers Natural Awakenings readers insight into why chiropractic care is es- sential for young, exploring minds eager to learn about the world. During the first few years of

life, children develop from helpless infants into fearless adventurers. “Bumps and falls naturally come with your child’s desire to learn everything about the world around them in the quickest amount of time possible, but these bumps and falls can cause trauma to the spine,” advises Buchakjian. When spinal bones lose their normal position or ability to move during this stage of tremendous physical growth, pos-

natural awakenings August l 2010 15

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