Children need a whole foods diet to grow, develop optimally and have a healthy immune system. Creating healthy eating habits is the best preventive medicine. The earlier you practice healthy eating the easier it will be later on. But whatever age your child is, start now. Healing is not an act, but a way of life. Children are most influenced by how the family or their parents eats. Fathers are very important role models. A lifetime of healthy eating creates a lifetime of healthy living.
Eight Criteria for Food Selection to Improve Health
- Eat whole foods. Stay as close to nature as possible. Eat raw and cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, nuts (if tolerated), and seeds. Many vitamins, healthy fats, and proteins are lost in food processing. Fortifying food does not begin to make up for the losses.
- Eat organically grown food whenever possible. Top 12 foods to eat organic. Fresh is better than frozen, limit canned and avoid irradiated or genetically engineered food. Organically grown food has been shown to be higher in nutrients and is far tastier.
- Seasonal foods: Fruits and vegetables that are in season are cheaper and do not lose nutrients like food transported long distances. Seasonal produce is the proper food for that climate at that time. Local produce tastes better, costs less, and is more nutritious because it is picked riper. Support community-supported agriculture (Sea Breeze Organic Farm, Be Wise Ranch. Visit local farmer’s markets and local farms.
- Eliminate all chemically processed oils/fats. Avoid all trans-fats (partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils). These can be found in commercial peanut butter, chips, cakes, cookies, crackers, and fried fast food. Trans-fats are toxic to the liver and brain, and contribute to hyperactivity, learning disabilities, mood disorders, immune issues, neurodegenerative disorders, and heart disease. Avoid margarine, shortening, canola oil, processed vegetable oils, commercial mayonnaise and salad dressing.
- Avoid chemical, dyes and preservatives – READ LABELS. Food dyes can cause behavior issues and allergies. Avoid anything with a number in it or a name you don’t recognize. Avoid all artificial sweeteners and products containing the many forms of sugar – sucrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, malto-dextrin, etc. Corn syrup sweetener is a severe disrupter of blood sugar. It contributes to corn allergies because it is in so many processed foods and should be avoided.
- Eat pasture-raised organic meats, free-range poultry/eggs and wild ocean fish. (See Fast Food Nation by Fred Scholosser.)
- Use a pure source of water for drinking, cooking and bathing. Consider purchasing a water filter for your home.
- Eat a balanced, delicious diet. Make sure your diet contains protein, unrefined carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables containing micronutrients in your diet. Include foods with different flavors, colors, and textures. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Serve vegetables with at least two meals a day.
- Use safe cookware and food storage containers. Use stainless steel, glass or enamel-coated cookware; avoid non-stick coated and aluminum pans. Store food in glass containers especially foods containing oil and fats.
1. Food and Healing by Anne Maire Colbin Ballantine Books/New York
2. The Book of Whole Meals by Anne Maire Colbin
3. The Natural Gourmet by Anne Maire Colbin
4. Feeding the Family by Kathy Lair
Our food supply is in crisis. This is the first generation in many years that is not expected to live as long as their parents. Children are developing degenerative changes and diseases that were once thought of as adult problems. There are many changes in our food supply:
- Devitalized processed high fat, high sugar foods
- Environmental contaminants, toxic chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, dyes, artificial sweetener and flavor enhancers
- Endocrine disrupters in pesticides, plastics, etc.
- Genetically engineered foods – Can be sources of allergies and toxins. Long term effects are unknown
- Hormones, pesticides and antibiotic residues in milk and meat
- Nitrates found in luncheon meats, bacon, sausage, ham and hot dogs form carcinogenic chemicals when eaten.
- Heavy metal contamination from mercury, aluminum and cadmium. A good mineral base is our diet in the best defense. If the body has the minerals it needs, there is less chance of a heavy metal attaching.
Our best defense is an offense. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and nutritionally dense foods.