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Would you give your kid a shot of vodka for breakfast?
No? What about for lunch? Maybe for dinner? How about tequila?
The day I learned that fructose (aka: fruit sugar) is more damaging to the liver than alcohol,¹ I knew I had to get my family off juice and high sugar fruit.
This was not an easy task. But we did it.
Do your kids have you ‘hog-tied’ around food?
Here’s the thing, our kids get mad at us for lots of reasons. If they didn’t, they’d never leave home. But, I decided I’m ok with our tween being annoyed that I don’t buy orange juice anymore.
Our fridge is full; our cupboards are bare.
That’s just the way it is. Because, wait for it:
I buy the food—not our kid.
Next to love, there is nothing more important we can do for our kids than nourish them properly.
I trust that setting our daughter up for success now is something she will probably thank me for later. And, I am willing to wait or to go without the gratitude.
At times, holding firm to this principle may not make me popular—but it allows me to sleep at night. And, our daughter too.
The food we create access to for our children, rules all for our children.
Here are just a few things to consider:
Digestion: Does your child suffer from stomach pains, constipation, gas, or even ulcers?
Sleep: Do you have a little insomniac–already? Do you justify this by saying, “Well, they didn’t sleep as a new-born either.” Did you consider what you were eating that was creating your breast milk? Did you read the ingredients of the formula you fed?
Mood: Are you providing hormone-balancing nutrients to your hormone-overrun teenager?
Energy: Does your child have access to energy rich foods that replenish their energy? Is the amount of energy they have manageable and healthy?
Focus: Is your child eating plenty of brain food?
Physical Performance: Are you feeding your young athlete’s muscles?
Hair, Skin, Nails & Eyes: Really look at your kid—does he or she “look” healthy? Do they think they look healthy?
Anxiety: No one alive is immune to the stresses of every day life—let alone something life changing (divorce, death in the family, moving). Children are not immune to feeling anxious. Do they have the right foods for managing their stress proactively?
Anger: Eating real, nutrient rich food helps your children control their emotions and their tempers.
Drive: The right food daily helps your children to stay inspired—it helps them to dream big.
Self-Esteem: This one is easy: healthy food = healthy body composition; a healthy body composition (lean muscle to fat ratio) = a healthier self-esteem.
Here are five tips to consider for keeping your children healthy:
1. Start to water juice down until the juice is “just plain water.”
Then, stop buying juice.
2. Swap high sugar fruit for lower sugar fruit and vegetables.
Think cauliflower, cucumbers, broccoli vs. carrots and red peppers; berries vs. bananas. The lunch box rule in our house is two veggies to one fruit (berries).
3. Make creamy dips out of full fat, 2 percent or higher sour cream.
The brain’s number once source for fuel is f-a-t.² Don’t give your children non-fat anything. Or, yourself for that matter.
4. Find nuts your children like and use them as snacks.
Nuts offer fibre, fat and protein—making them a perfect snack. Try walnuts, macadamia nuts and cashews. Do not fear higher fat nuts. Again, the brain needs fat.
5. Add protein to every feeding.
Think nuts, cheese, meats, and unflavored Greek yogurt. Protein will stay with your children longer and will help to build lean muscle mass.
If your children are always starving it could be because, in fact, they are.
Feed your children real, nutrient rich foods that serve them.
And, teach them. Kids love to learn new things—especially about themselves!
My most favorite, most ass-kicking, parenting quote that I say to keep me focused (and honest) is:
“What is right is forsaken for what is convenient.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Question: What tips do you have for nourishing your children? I’d love to hear from you!
²Perlmutter, David M.D.: Grain Brain
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Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own.