Healthy Choices for your Children

Healthy Choices for your Children

Feeding your children can be a daunting feat. I have young family members that are very limited in what they eat, and it becomes difficult when we are out or away from the house for too long.  It’s so much easier to give them the same thing over and over vs. teaching them some basic eating skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.  Every child, just like every “body” is very different. I had three little ones at one time that all wanted something different for each meal, and it was a major task to get them to eat a well-balanced meal - consistently. 

If your children are young, this is when you should start teaching them the love of fresh foods.  I remember when my three girls were young and we went to the grocery store…this was a lot because they ate a lot! I involved them in every single choice we made for meals.  They could decipher an herb with their eyes closed by the time they were 6.  The grocery store took us a very long time to get through because we would have to find alternatives to the foods they saw on tv that were laden with horrible chemicals.  I call these food-like substances and in no way actual food.  Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a goldfish box? When a baby is born they don’t crave the sugar and coloring and that “bliss” that companies create chemically for us to be addicted to them.  They are blank slates, tabula rasa. They say that breast milk is sweet to babies and anything more sweet starts that addiction to food that we spend the rest of our lives trying to break.  Did you know that sugar is more addictive in food labs than cocaine?  It’s not our fault we crave it, it’s what we have been given to eat our entire lives without even knowing it. My sweet 87 year old aunt still puts Sweet’N Low in her salad dressing. Food companies made these alternatives to home cooking with quick meals (hungry man) during the industrial revolution because of cost and time and longevity (preservatives & shelf life) after the war when women started to be a part of the workforce and didn’t have as much time to cook. These new mass production capabilities also increased yields for the agriculture industry, and what capitalist government would avoid high yields for lower costs? We didn’t have the knowledge then of what the chemicals were going to do to our long term health and the health of future generations (epigenetics). If we did, I’m sure we would never have fed them to our loved ones. 

Anyhoo- now we know!  So many different ingredients have been outed as the toxin they are and sometimes you have to put on your investigator gloves  to find out which are the more hidden ones. Trust me, there are plenty more out there that we don’t know about!  It's criminal.  My favorite, really easy example is aspartame.  It has been researched and published that aspartame use is equated to a higher percentage of brain cancer, yet the food industry still allows for the ingredient to be included in basic foods and beverages; such as your basics like diet sodas, sweeteners, sugar-free gum, syrup, etc. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Good habits start early.  Children are naturally inquisitive.  Use this to your advantage!  Discuss alternatives to eating just kraft mac and cheese and chicken fingers.  And if they won’t try something new then clean up those options.  Start with homemade mac and cheese and chicken fingers….and then once they are good with that, move to gluten free homemade mac and cheese and baked chicken fingers…and then if you want to go nuts make it vegan, gluten free mac and cheese (made with a cauliflower and nutritional yeast sauce), and gluten free baked chicken fingers.  It is amazing what just a little change can do to your overall health.  This is always the easiest transformation I make for people who aren’t ready to make their kids eat swiss chard, but I assure you if you progress from a vegetable they like and have them help you prepare it they will get on that bus more quickly than you would expect.  And, if you don’t love to cook or don’t think you can do it, Aneu has all of these things available for you any time.  But you try first. Do it with them- it doesn’t take long.  They are easy recipes.  Just a few new ingredients, which you probably have in your pantry, and you are good to go.  Let me know how it turns out!!  Let’s start with just the homemade version of each and we will all progress to the most clean version of the recipe and ourselves in a few months once this is your easy go-to meal.

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