Raising a Healthy Child in a Toxic World
It is not easy being an active, nurturing, and loving parent. Spending time with your children, sports, reading, cooking, cleaning, bath time, injuries, the list can go on and on. Being a good parent is a lot of work and feeding your child healthy and nutritious meals are a part of this job description.
What happens then when we are raising our children in a society where food is extremely obesogenic (tending to cause obesity) and addictive? Many times we give our patients this example, the Coca plant is a natural plant that people have processed into a highly addictive substance called Cocaine; Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that can be refined into an even more addictive substance called “Crack”. Corn is a natural-ish plant that people have processed into a highly addictive substance called Corn Syrup; Corn Syrup is a highly addictive substance that can be refined into an even more addictive substance called “High Fructose Corn Syrup”. See the similarity? This list can go on and on and on with healthy plant foods being turned into an unnatural ingredient. What we have done in the last 80 or so years is heavily process and refine these natural and healthy plants into highly addictive substances that we call “food”. What is even more disturbing is that most of these food-like substances are heavily marketed to children and families.
What is a caring parent to do? Luckily the solution is simpler than you think. If you take one thing away from this article take only this- “plants protect”. If you can take a look at the foods you are currently feeding your family or yourself and ask yourself this one question- “How can I add more plant foods to this?”-you are on your way to a healthier and less toxic life. Whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit are all foods you need to be eating more of. Add as much of them as you like to every meal and snack you eat in the day. If you look for whole plant foods like the ones listed above you will help yourself avoid processed, refined, and additive rich products. When you look at the back of a product, read the ingredients. Instead of seeing single components of a food like sugar, soy isoflavonoids, maltodextrine, etc; look for whole food ingredients like almonds, dates, chickpeas, items that you can actually understand.
Making changes can be hard at first, but take your time and move at your own pace. Mother’s Market is our favorite place to shop because we know that we have a good chance of finding foods that keep our family healthy while not spending our life savings for a week’s worth of groceries. Try our mini muffin/pancake recipe this weekend with the family. It is one we use regularly because it is delicious, healthy and it saves time. We make a large batch and after we are done making pancakes, we make muffins, and then leave the batter in the fridge to use during the week. We all have heard friends and family say, “being healthy is so time consuming”, but who has time to be sick?
Love Yourself, Love Health!