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THE HEALTHY KEY FOR KIDS
If we don’t have our health, we have nothing, all our energy is spent pursuing health again. Health is the priority, everything else is secondary, truly, and this is even truer for our children, ensuring that they are nourished, strong, fit and healthy is the goal. Its innate in us as humans to nourish our offspring and I feel that we are increasingly becoming disconnected with what this actually means. Constant bombardment from all forms of media giving mixed messages on health and nutrition, coupled with a fast paced lifestyle and time poor parents. We have children being fed foods that rob them of their health, by well meaning parents. As such childhood obesity is rising at an alarming rate, suppressed immune systems are showing up as skin conditions, reduced immunity, developmental problems, which can include behavioral problems…. these can all be attributed to the foods we eat.
Likewise the foods we eat can also build the strongest healthiest bodies that equip our children for life. Rearing children on a nourishing diet ensures that they form healthy cells, and healthy bodies, which in turn create healthy immune systems that can stave off bacteria, deal with viruses and develop normally.
In my opinion fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic should make up the bulk of a child’s diet, quality protein, grains and good oils, these foods are the secret, secret to good health for them and for us. It’s so simple, our food either makes us or it breaks us. In addition to the basic food groups that we are all familiar with, there is also an array of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and photochemical that are required for good health, so satisfying just the food groups is not enough. The food source needs to be rich in these nutrients. Its truly amazing to watch when children are nutritionally sound, they can judge whether they are hungry or thirsty and their bodies will instinctively know what they need, it sounds crazy, but when our diet is devoid of pesticides to scramble our cells and sugar to send it on a glucose pike, the body knows what it needs.
I am not an advocate of dramatically changing diets in a week, but I do believe that we can make change effortless by little steps daily, including a new sweet in their lunchbox, (organic bliss balls, made in a flash) and excluding a processed muesli bar would be a good start. Dinner to include a new raw food for them to try, an apron for them to wear or a dessert to make together. We know that children are sponges and although they may initially resist change, they will embrace it and you will foster good healthy eating patterns in your child, as well as a love of food.
So lets look at some ideas that you may want to implement that will start a healthy revolution, one that will change the course of their health forever.
Everyday chop up raw vegetables for them to eat, vary it, make dips. Try beans, snow peas, carrot, cucumber, celery, and corn. These always taste better when someone else chops them and are more appealing to eat, include them in their lunchboxes.
Be the example for them to follow, monkey see, monkey do, I think this one is so important, our children just want to emulate us, mostly unconsciously, so do what you want your kids to do.
Make Sunday smoothie day, create a sensational smoothie using different fruits and vegetable concoctions every Sunday, come up with ideas together, and make a rule that it’s always to include one vegetable. (Baby spinach can taste great in a smoothie with the right blend).
Prepare food together, get out an array of vegetables and create a feast, set the table and enjoy the food, invite over some family of friends and make your child feel proud to eat good real food.
Make everyday sugar free day, this does not need to be advertised to the kids, just gradually remove it from their diet, it destroys collagen, decay’s teeth and provides inert calories. Fruit sugars are ok providing they don’t have a problem digesting fructose, so encourage them to eat a fruit salad, some banana’s, some dates, prunes, these satisfy our innate desire for sweetness with the addition of nutrients=healthy kids
Make good food fun, take a leaf out of the corporate marketing giants that make your child want a sugar coated, blue dyed breakfast cereal. They appeal to your children’s desire for fun, so make faces with their vegetables, sing songs, do what it takes. Another great tip is to limit mainstream television exposure, the strong marketing messages targeted at children mean that children’s food choices are often based on this.
Get physical, exercise is crucial for healthy bodies, adults and children alike, so get outside, try doing yoga together.
Don’t become a fun-da-mentalist, I did this for so long that it took the pleasure from food, as long as the majority of time the kids eat well, allow them a ‘treat’ when they are out at a party or a social gathering. With time they will no longer want processed foods.
Get educated, learn from the right sources, take control of your health and the health of your child, when you have this power the sky is the limit.
Your nutritionist, Angela Gioffre
For further information, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org