Teaching children in Longford to look after their health

Laura Thompson launches the first two in her series of children's books at Longford Library

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson



Longford Nutritionist and Acupuncturist, Laura Thompson, launched the first two in her series of children's books earlier this month, to great success.

Beautifully illustrated by Laura's husband, Pat, 'Why Can't I Run?' and 'Why Does My Tummy Hurt?' are educational books that teach children about the importance of eating good food and exercising every day.

The books were launched in the Longford Library on Saturday, December 16, by Leas Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Seamus Butler.

Mrs Claus was also in attendance to provide entertainment, and a positive review was given by eight-year-old bookworm, Kate O'Flaherty, who said she liked the books and will encourage her friends to read them.

Thrilled with the good review, Laura commented: “One thing I know is that children can be your toughest critics because they always say what they think.”

The books themselves introduce children to a number of health problems.

'Why Can't I Run?' sees Scruff the dog and his owner James go through a life-changing transformation as James tries to help Scruff lose weight.

'Why Does My Tummy Hurt?', through the characters of Rosie and Petal, teaches children about the constant battle of good and bad bacteria that takes place in the gut.

“We live in a fast food world, and one that has overused antibiotics and chemical additives,” Laura explained to the Leader.

“This has had a negative impact on the very important flora or good bacteria that are so important for our health.

“By improving the integrity of the gut we are improving our mental health also.

“I see so many people suffering from anxiety, poor memory and ADHD; these conditions are directly affected by our guts. We call the gut our second brain!”

Laura runs a clinic for both adults and children in Longford town, and was inspired by her younger patients to write these books.

“The majority of children that come to see me will present with poor immune systems, ongoing colds, coughs, etc.,” said Laura.

“These children will usually have been on numerous antibiotics, steroids and decongestants.

“This will have a detrimental affect on their digestive system, destroying the friendly bacteria which weakens the immune system further, causing a vicious cycle.

“Multiple antibiotics will sometimes lead to bowel conditions such as diarrhea or constipation.

“In some cases, children will develop food intolerances, which can cause skin conditions, headaches, weight gain and anxiety.
“I also have seen a huge increase in the number of children who are overweight, which is what encouraged me to write 'Why Can't I Run?'”

Refreshments, including healthy gingerbread people, baked by Laura herself, were provided after the launch, while the children enjoyed story time with Mrs Claus and met Scruff the dog, who stars in one book and makes an appearance in the other.

The books are on sale for €10 each and are available via Amazon, Newsround in Longford, or from Laura herself.

To purchase copies from Laura, or to book a consultation in her clinic, call 043 33 47776, or contact her via messenger on her Facebook page @LauraThompsonHealthyOptions.