Feeding your little monsters can be extremely frustrating especially when you have picky eaters who only want to eat unhealthy carb-filled snacks and meals. You may often times find yourself wanting to implement a healthier diet but fighting that battle seems tougher than winning it. As a whole our society has been brainwashed by the food industry into thinking that foods are healthy that are not.
Of course we would assume that products that display packaging saying “low-fat”, “no-sugar”, “all-natural”, are good for not only ourselves to be ingesting but great for kids. Well truth is that hidden behind many of these labels are the most unhealthy ingredients of all.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a microwave queen, canned veggies, fast food type of girl. Until I personally experienced the repercussions of eating this way. This nutritionally deficient, no doubt GMO filled diet left me feeling totally depleted of energy, dizzy, having constant, sleep/life disrupting indigestion for over two years. During this time I spent a lot of time at my doctor’s office, in fact we became good friends. He suggested that maybe I have an ulcer, then it was possibly a parasite or maybe even Crohns Disease. The list of possible diagnoses went on and on and so did the tests, all to turn up negative. I was given drugs that only masked my symptoms which I gained a tolerance to only to have to up my dosage.
After seeing specialists and depleting all possible causes of the symptoms (according to Western medicine that is), I was experiencing, I began to feel hopeless. It was as if people thought my health problems were all in my head and that was something I just could not accept. So, I decided to take things into my own hands and start my own research. I began talking with Naturopathic and Ayurvedic doctors and this is when I started to learn about the negative effects of gluten.
Totally removing something from your diet is not easy, especially when it is a staple as bread products are in most American diets. There is also an emotional and social attachment to it is as well. I knew what I needed to do but it is even harder to let go of all the attachments to gluten without something stating that you cannot eat it. So after a little more research I discovered that there was a blood test to determine gluten intolerance. I quickly made an appointment with my doctor friend and after a week I finally got a positive test result.
Funny, I doubt there will be any other time in my life where I actually hope to get a positive test result stating there is something wrong with me. Needless to say after about 6 months of being gluten-free and re-balancing my system (by taking Betaine HCL because the drugs they had me on depleted my stomach acid) I was back to feeling like myself.
Now this is not to say that everyone who eats a gluten filled diet will end up with a gluten allergy. In fact the research on what causes a gluten intolerance or allergy is limited but like Hippocrates said, “let thy food by thy medicine”. There is great wisdom behind this… If we are filling ourselves and our children with nutritionally deficient food then we are not treating our bodies as we should be.
Nourishing your body from the inside out and modeling that for your children is a sure-fire way to improve health and overall well-being. Making an effort to move towards a less processed more veggie filled diet is a mindful decision that will instill healthy eating habits, ensure your children are getting proper nutrition and motivate your children to make healthy decisions as they grow up.
Here are my top 6 tips on getting your children to cut the carbs and up the greens:
1. Don’t force veggies and fruit on your kids. We all remember something our parents forced us to eat and most likely we still don’t like that food. Let your children think it’s their idea by getting them involved with grocery shopping and cooking.
2. Try to stick to a 5 ingredient limit for packaged foods. Just think, “the more ingredients, the more processed the food”.
3. Try to replace pretzels, bars and all those fun shaped kids crackers with a fruit or veggie of your kids’ choice at least once a day.
4. Don’t assume you can trust what the label says. Remember, “all-natural”, “low-fat” and “sugar-free” don’t necessarily mean Healthy. Arm yourself with the knowledge to make informed decision on what you buy. Here’s a great article on 11 Food Label Lies.
5. We all know eating totally organic can be expensive. Try sticking to the Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 rule to save some money. This is a list of fruits and veggies that should be organic and ones that don’t have to be…check out the link above for more information.
HH Family Activity: Make it a movie night! Choose a documentary to watch with you kids and have a discussion afterwards. Come up with ideas about how to improve your families nutrition and get everyone on board with the health food train!
HH Family Activity: Make grocery shopping a hands on learning experience for your little’s. Talk with them about them different fruits and veggies, let them hold them and pick out what they want to try. Ask them if they want to help make a salad and I bet you will get a resounding “yes!”.