5 Steps to Mainstreaming Your Children’s Health:
1. Educate yourself as a parent. Do your due diligence. Research. Ask questions.
We have become a nation of slackers and frankly it’s getting quite old. We need to start taking a pro-active approach when it comes to health. How can you be pro-active? You can start by educating yourself. We have oodles of information at our fingertips and yet we are still a country of obese, diseased, prescription drug addicted individuals. How is this possible? Start reading. No excuses.
2. Make conscious and informed decisions regarding food, exercise, spiritual well-being, and the environment.
This goes hand in hand with #1. There has been such a disconnect in regards to our present day food choices. The American way has led us down the path of “who cares.” Who cares where your food comes from when it’s readily available and waiting for you just around every corner. Gone are the days where you actually had to grow your own food or milk your own cow. Let’s start caring about the impact we can and undoubtedly will create when we make informed choices in all areas of life starting with what we put in our mouths.
3. Step outside the box. Change the health landscape.
Have you ever asked yourself why pizza and cake are staple birthday party food items? Think about it. We are celebrating a beautiful event by stuffing our faces with processed sugars, artificial additives, etc. All the things that can cut a life short. Kinda ironic if you ask me. I guess it would be okay if it was just one day a year, but it’s happening much more often than that in the average American household. Will there ever come a time when broccoli and carrots are considered celebratory foods? If we want to change the landscape, we need to start at HOME. This is a grassroots movement. One family at a time.
4. Implement. Teach by example.
In my opinion we are only as good a teacher as we are a doer. Does that make sense? All I am saying is to live the healthy lifestyle yourself. This will undoubtedly have the greatest impact on your children’s health. Children learn by observation. Think of all the wonderful things you can teach them about life and health through your own positive actions.
5. Make health a priority.
After all, it’s life’s greatest asset. By making health a priority you are laying a strong foundation for your children’s continued wellness. And that, my fellow mommies, is something we can all agree on.
Have a happy, healthy weekend!
All this TIME magazine hoopla got me thinking about the philosophies and politics of mothering. Simply put, how do we discuss or share our parenting philosophies with others without looking opinionated and judgemental? Is it possible? Did Jamie Lynne even stand a chance given the chosen cover photo or that controversial headline? Is holding a view that is different from some of your mommy friends automatic grounds for tension? Can we agree to disagree on subjects that we hold so dear?
We all have different ways of nurturing, nourishing, and raising our children. We all make choices about how to live our lives – What we eat, how we exercise, if we exercise, how we love, who we love, what we learn, how much me learn, where we go, where we work. We have different sets of priorities. Most of which we are extremely passionate about and for good reason.
This is me…
My priority is health. Health for my children, health for my family, health for myself, health for others, health for the planet. Every single day I ask myself how I can contribute to keeping my children healthy and happy. Every single day I try to educate myself on a topic whether it be agriculture, politics, chiropractic, health care, pharmaceuticals, supplements, yoga, etc.
From the food we eat to the products we buy to the relationships we build to the love we give – all of the choices we make affect our lives and the lives of others, especially children.
In America today, the rate of chronic disease among children has more than doubled in the past two decades from 11% in the 1990’s to over 25% in the year 2006 according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. And it’s only getting worse.
According to the 2010 Drug Trend Report, prescription drug use among American children rose by 5% in 2009. The highest of any other single demographic for the second year in a row. The report found that more than 1 in 4 insured children are now taking at least one prescription medication to treat a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, autism, ADHD, cancer, and arthritis. The most significant increases over the past 9 years have been seen in the use of antipsychotic, asthma, and diabetes drugs. There was a HUGE increase (over 150%) in diabetes over the decade seen especially in girls (a 200% increase). Higher rates in obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), autism, and ADHD have all contributed to significant increases in drugs approved for younger patients.
Bottom line: Our kids are sick.
We need a grassroots movement to change the health landscape in this country. It needs to start with the foundation and core of our society – OUR FAMILIES. We NEED to educate ourselves and do all we can to stop this insanity. We have the POWER to take back our children’s health.
How do we as moms encourage such debates with our mommy friends? Or do we avoid them simply to not look like know-it-all’s? Should our passion for health and wellness be put aside to keep the peace? Isn’t it about time we engage adults and children in topics relevant to living healthy, happy lives?
If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all. ~Pearl S.Buck.
What do you think?
As a mom who writes children’s books on veganism, Ruby Roth is on a mission to help change the way we see food and the world. While Roth has recently drawn criticism for her new book ‘Vegan is Love,’ I really believe the overall message she is sending to moms and dads and families across the globe is invaluable.
The harshest criticism this book is receiving according to registered dietician Nicole German:
“...it could easily scare a young child into eating vegan, and without proper guidance that child could become malnourished” and “…children are impressionable and this is too sensitive of a topic to have a child read this book.”
I agree that children are impressionable, but I also believe that it is our responsibility to convey truthful messages to our children without guilting them or instilling fear. Furthermore, any diet that is not properly overseen by a responsible parent has the possibility or tendency to become unhealthy – not just veganism. It’s the lack of supervision, not the diet in this case. Why does the media tend to forget that WE are RESPONSIBLE for raising healthy, well-adjusted kids?
In a video book trailer (below) for ‘Vegan is Love,’
“If we want to move towards an era of solutions where the planet is healing, people are fed and healthy, there is good in the way we do business and a reverence in the world for all living things, then all we have to do is live that life ourselves.”
Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or omnivore – we ALL need to become more connected to our food and to Mother Earth. As parents we need to teach our children about proper nutrition, why healthy eating is a must, and how every decision we make influences our world. The best way to do this is to live that life ourselves!
Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.~David Bly
Remember to get your Earth Day on this weekend!
Two of the most common questions I get from all the mamas out there:
- What types of foods do you feed your kids?
- What kinds of supplements do you give them?
First of all, I know very well that it takes time and knowledge to prepare a kid-healthy diet.
Is it easy? No.
Is it practical? Not all the time.
Can it be done? Yes.
If kids eat healthy, organic foods most of the time, then I don’t think there is a desperate need to supplement. But the case for supplementation does remain because farming methods (even some organic farms) in the US deplete our food of nutrients, and many families either because of expense or a fast-paced lifestyle- do not eat balanced, nutritious, healthy meals or snacks.
It’s also very important to understand that not all vitamin supplements are made equally. Some are much better quality than others. In my home we use Standard Process. Established in 1929, Standard Process is the oldest physician supplement company in the country. These products are only sold through health care professionals and are made from dried, organically grown whole foods.
Why is this important?
Dr Royal Lee, founder of Standard Process challenged common scientific beliefs by choosing a holistic approach of providing nutrients through whole foods. His goal was to provide nutrients as they are found in nature – in a whole food state where he believed their natural potency and efficacy would be realized. Dr. Lee believed that when nutrients remain intact and are not split from their natural associated synergists – known and unknown – bioactivity is markedly enhanced over synthetic nutrients. Following this philosophy, even a small amount of a whole food concentrate will offer enhanced nutritional support, compared to a synthetic or fractionated/isolated vitamin. Therefore, one should examine the source of nutrients rather than looking at the quantities of individual nutrients on product labels.
Makes so much sense! And the best part- Standard Process has a line of children’s products! My kids take Catalyn Chewable a daily multivitamin for a child’s overall health, Omega-3 Chewable provides beneficial omega-3s, and Congaplex Chewable for immune support. We also use Standard Process Complete in our smoothies!
Two amazing quotes from Dr Lee:
“We have drifted into this deplorable position of national malnutrition quite inadvertently. It is the result of scientific research with the objective of finding the best ways to create foods that are non-perishable that can be made by mass production methods in central factories, and distributed so cheaply that they can sweep all local competition from the market. Then, after there develops a suspicion that these “foods” are inadequate to support life, modern advertising steps in to propagandize the people into believing that there is nothing wrong with them, that they are products of scientific research intended to afford a food that is the last word in nutritive value, …and the confused public is totally unable to arrive at any conclusion of fact, and continues to blindly buy the rubbish that is killing them off years ahead of their time.” Dr. Royal Lee June 1943
“The American people have been humbugged into digging their graves with their own teeth!” -Dr. Royal Lee
If a consistent, vitamin-healthy diet is not practical, then expecting our kids to grow up healthy is not a practical outcome.
After all, you are what you eat, right?