Giving Your Children the Gift of Real Food
I wanted to share two big reasons that you should make feeding your kids real food a priority. I am so passionate about the importance of nutrient dense food fueling our bodies and brains. As good parents, we want the best for our children. Giving kids healthy food and teaching them how to cook are more than just nice ideas. They are truly GIFTS to help your child have a better life. Let me explain.
1. Real Food Builds Quality Kids
As a mom, I know we all want the best for our children. However, let’s talk about the story of the 3 Little Pigs quickly. In the story, each pig built something called a house, but we all know the houses were built of very different materials. Without question, we know that though the stick and straw houses are houses, they easily broke down.
So, what about our kids?
WHAT WE FEED OUR FAMILY MATTERS. We get to help determine the quality of life our children lead through their health and brain function.
In today’s culture, there are more instances of the following:
- birth defects
- mental issues (ADHD, autism)
We have to take an honest look at why this is happening. In a world, where we are eating boxed mac and cheese, graham crackers, fast food, and cereal instead of nutrient dense foods, we are not providing the proper building blocks for our children to thrive. We are getting calories without nutrition.
But kids just burn it off, right?
It drives me insane when I hear someone say something about a child getting to “eat whatever because they just burn it off’ because they have a better metabolism. No. Just no. Kids don’t get to eat whatever without consequences. Kids are growing rapidly MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY. They need to be supercharged with nutrition, or they will be built on a poor foundation even if they somehow stay thin.
We all want our kids to have the tools to achieve their dreams – whether it is a far off dream like going to the Olympics or doing well in math class. As good parents, we want to give our kids the best. We buy them swim lessons, books, and toys to teach them skills. Why not also feed their bodies the right things to let them perform their best?
For me, I look at the kids in my house and want everything for them. My son, Noah, loves drums. I want to give his brain and body the healthy fats, slow releasing carbohydrates, and nutrients to rock out in whatever band he wants to someday. My step-daughter, Brynn loves to run. If she wants to run whether its in local races or in national competitions, I want her bones to be strong and muscles to recover well.
I want to give them every chance to succeed in life and that starts with giving them the right tools, including food. There are many times I have dealt with complaints about new foods or why we can’t have junk food, and yes, I get annoyed, frustrated, and hurt feelings. Ultimately, I care more about their health than my feelings. I am the parent. I can make the choices, and someday, they will look back and be glad I made the harder choices for their well being.
2. Eating and Cooking Real Food Teaches Healthy Habits
When we model and teach healthy choices, we give children a gift by teaching them how to cook and make good eating choices.
If you went through life struggling with weight issues, body image issues, knowing how to make healthy choices, learning how to cook – don’t you want to prevent your children from suffering in the same way? I want to lower my children’s risk of disease and teach them that putting good food in your body makes you strong and feel good.
This gift is personal for me.
Growing up, my snacks after school were junk – chips, cookies, etc. Treats were always in the house. I remember having bagels, cereal, and Eggos for breakfast. Sure, at the time, it was great, but I didn’t understand what eating healthy was. I thought having 10 extra lbs meant their was something wrong with me. I thought I was eating healthy because dinner included a protein, vegetable, and starch, but my lunches always included a juice, treat, and probably chips.
How was I supposed to learn how to eat well, when I was taught this was normal? I struggled through various eating disorders because I thought it was about controlling my body and not the food. I even thought I had to run a ton of miles to be thin since I didn’t know how to change my eating at home or when eating out. I had to teach myself what real eating was, and any child I raise, I plan to teach them this so they never have to struggle.
Here are my final thoughts on why making the extra effort is important. As a parent, these are things to think about to set an example for your family.
Change your why – Why do you want to eat healthy?
These are my WHYS (feel free to steal any that resonate with you):
- I DO NOT eat healthy just to be thin. However, now that I eat real food, I am the best combination of thin and healthy I have ever been.
- I eat healthy to fulfill my passions and my mission on this world.
- I eat healthy to have energy for the kids and husband.
- I eat healthy to be able to keep up with grand kids someday.
- I eat healthy because I want my kids to see that I respect myself enough to do so and to teach them to do the same.
For more ideas for healthy, easy family meals, subscribe for my FREE two week meal plan!
For ideas of how to feed your child nutrient dense food, check out my E-Book, A Recipe for a Healthy Baby.