ETA - warning: Part 1 is a necessary but long rant. To skip the rant and get right to it, go here: http://insideout.tougas.net/node/325
"Health" - one of the most relative terms known to man. Here in North America, it's utter nonsense to even use the word. What we usually use the term for is to say we are not eating as bad as the 400 pounder who eats to ease the emotional pain of his past and now, his present.
So what does it mean and more importantly, what have we done to this generation of children that is causing them to be more diseased than any other generation before them in this Continent? Well, I believe it started with my grandparent's generation... but it's just. getting. worse.
Before you read on, I have to warn you. You might not like what I have to say. If you are not ready to make some giant changes in the way you feed your children, you might want to wait and come back when you're ready. I don't want you to hate me or what I have to say and that's exactly what might happen if you have thrown your hands up in the air and have given up on searching for truth. I have tried to fill this article with as much truth and as much information to help you see past the lies of our media, our government, and those responsible for "teaching/protecting" us for the health of our children. I might not even say it as gentle as you would like. I can be quite dogmatic. It's a weakness of mine but hey.... it's my blog and I can't pussy-foot my way about protecting those kids who don't have a voice inside some of your homes. I do not want to see them end up like my kids did (edit). In my thirties, I am appalled that if I ask ANY of my friends, they would all tell me how achy, how tired, how depressed, anxious, etc, etc, etc they are. In our THIRTIES!!! It's getting worse for our next generation and I'm here to say something about it.
Fortunately, these days, more and more people are understanding how important being "healthy" is. Yet, trusting the same regulators who allow PIZZA (of ALL things) and FRENCH FRIES to be part of our Food Guide, have got to have their heads examined... and yeah, maybe their pockets too. Doctors, who used to be thought of as "gods" are now being questioned by my generation and no longer trusted to tell us the honest truth. We realize now that the very schools who educate them might just also have to have their pockets examined. That they spend less hours on nutrition than I just spent in a WEEK on getting my nutrition license, tells you that it's not our doctor's fault when we go to them for our health "prevention". They need to change their names, if you ask me. They are "end-of-the-road" disease disgnosticians. If you go in there, most (not all) will consider you "healthy" if you don't have chronic diarrhea, bleeding, vomiting, or high fever lasting days after pharmaceutical use. They manage our drugs and end-stage diseases and send us on our way. I now use them for free lab reports and diagnostic tests. I would go to them if we needed stitches or if we broke a leg, got into an accident, fire, or the like. But to manage my long term health?? Absolutely not.
So, if we can't trust doctors to teach us how to raise healthy children, who can we turn to? The government? Yes!!! They must know how to protect us!! They govern studies and allow our grocery stores to ONLY stock those foods, which will help us raise children who are strong and disease-free by the time they are at LEAST in their thirties!!
What!? No, we can't??
This is nonsense. They knew the dangers about BPA LONG before they brought them off shelves. They know about arsenic in baby apple sauce and yet still stock them. They know what red dye will do to cause ADHD and they do nothing. They leave it up to us as parents!! Well, thank God we have the internet. This is the information age afterall!! It's hard to know who to trust out there though, isn't it? We have been fooled into believing the best source of protein is from animals and the best source of calcium is from a cow. You trust that you are protected from what they put INTO the cows (namely antibiotics and hormones) by the farmer. Yet, when you decide that they are in it for the buck you decide to trust the government to regulate them - when all the while the very farmers you choose to be protected FROM are on these very same panels and also helping to write the foolish Food Guides!! It's not a hidden conspiracy. It's all right there for you to look up yourself. You will be amazed at what we have been duped to trust.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY CHILD
We also spend SO much effort teaching Henry or Jim-Bob to be a strong independant young chap, yet neglect the fact that one of the reasons he might be depressed, selfish, greedy, lonely, suffering in school, lashing out, and even sick all the time is because of how anxious or scared he is, how much pain his stomach might be in, or how his immune system has given up fighting, or even worse, has turned against his own body (autoimmune). What we put into their tiny little mouths has a HUGE impact on the outcome of their future health and even their future relationships. I'm not saying that we don't use our heads as parents to teach and guide our kids, on every level, how to be kind, gentle, other-centered, etc. Yet, what I AM, in fact, saying is that we can't neglect one part of our children (their health) and focus ALL our attention on the other.
So what are kids getting fed these days? Well, this list is not exhaustive but here's a few: "Bear Paws", pizza, the hamburgers, the fries, pop, chips, cheese (yes, cheese), the cheezwhiz or sugary jams spread on white bread (cause junior won't choke down the whole grains), the canned soups, the chocolate granola bars, ice cream, sugary and full of dye popsicles, white pasta, white rice, boxed ANYTHING, juice boxes with CHEMICAL additives, and any other food that has ANYTHING except.... well, *REAL* FOOD and given on a regular basis! If you knew the food that you were feeding your dog was not real food, would you give it to them? Maybe you would. But, your own flesh and blood? Did you know that those chemicals listed on many of the ingredients lists you're sending with them to eat in school and at home were invented and began from World War II chemical experimentation!? Oh, you didn't know? That's right. Then lets just go feed that to our fast-growing children. One of the most susceptible groups of our day!
Have I burned my bridges with you yet? "OH NO", you say!! Don't tell me I have to give up my crappy food!?!! But, it's so YUMMYYYYY!!! And it's so EASY to stick that packaged food out of a box into their school lunches when I'm so busy!!
But, yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
Remember the story of the three little pigs? No, I'm not referring to our children as pigs (although some of you may have referred to your young as such). Do you remember what happened to the first two pig's homes? Wasn't very stable at all was it. Sure it LOOKED like a house. Yet, it was made using weak fibers and was empty of anything structural with holes you could probably see through. That wolf blew those things down in a huff. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't happen to believe that wolves can blow all that strongly. So if you think about it, those houses must not have been that strong at all. In fact, the weaker the foundation of those building materials, the harder they fell.
But, what happens when thick, strong material is used to build the foundations of our children!?
I've heard it asked about "rebellion" when our kids are older. "Oh, your so strict with them now", some have said. What's gonna happen when they get older?"
Is this really a question? So let me get this straight. Because you fear what they're going to do in TEN YEARS, you are going to take the only years you've GOT to give them the best healthy food you can? Wow.
Listen, we only have our children a short time before they venture out on their own. Make their first, most important foundational years count!! From the time they are born to the time they pass puberty you've got the most important and most amazing opportunity to make the rest of their years built on a solid foundation. I betcha any huff and puffing wolf in the form of autoimmune disease, cancer, heart disease, or arthritis will have a heck of a lot harder time blowing down the foundation of your children if you act now. Even IF at age 18 they decide to go to University and eat nothing but Red Bull and pizza every day and every night, I know I will be FAR less concerned IF it happens at 18 than if it happens in my home under the tender age of 6.
SO, WHERE DO YOU START?
For Part 2 of this important 2-part series, go here and find out some more practical tips on how to get your kids to eat healthier:
Life does not slow down, not even for a book launch day. The last three months have been extra-ordinarily full for our family. Not in an overly stressful way (amazingly), just full-of-life living. Summer is the time for this kind of activity - for travel