Parents: Let's Slow Down A Bit

I am STILL thinking about this one. While I believe there are genuine cases where children and adults need medical intervention, as a society we are so quick to medicate the problem instead of finding out what is causing the issue in the first place. Is there an action in our daily lives that we could eliminate in order to live a healthier life? Or are we simply too lazy to make a change because of convenience? Earlier today on my Facebook page, I posted the following commentary: Kids are "crazy" because we don't take them outside to play. We feed them foods filled with artificial flavors, colors, sugars, and preservatives instead of real, whole foods. Kids sit and watch TV for hours and if not the TV they are pacified with an iPad or other devices. I'm not a perfect parent. My kid watches TV and doesn't eat perfectly. BUT I can tell a difference in his personality when he's had too much processed foods (like Goldfish crackers) and has watched too much TV. Once I get some fruit and fresh air in him, he is a different kid again. Parents--we need to SLOW DOWN and pay attention to our children. Not just be quick to diagnose them.

I will start by reiterating that I am not a perfect parent. My child watches TV, we don't have perfect diets, and personally, I am on my iPhone WAY too much. "Everything in moderation" is a daily challenge for me so parenting that way is even harder sometimes.

Let me ask you this. When a child starts solid foods, what are the first foods they are given? Pureed fruits and vegetables. That's it. Somewhere along the line we start introducing dissolvable puffs, cereals, and other processed and packaged foods. Once we start buying foods out of convenience, it's hard to stop. It's also around the age where your child starts developing their own opinions and is throwing tantrums so we keep giving them these "treats" to help preserve our sanity.

My son LOVES fruit. Loves it. Any kind of fruit. To the point where I caught myself saying, "You can have those oranges after you eat more Mac & Cheese." WHAT?! I know better than that! We also went on a HUGE Goldfish cracker streak. That kid would eat cups of them daily. He loved them. Sure, I bought the "whole wheat" ones, but the amount of Goldfish crackers that kid consumed was ridiculous.

Overall, my son is a very happy-go-lucky little boy but one day about a month or so ago, I noticed he was sluggish and he had dark circles under his eyes. I mentally evaluated what he had been eating. It consisted of frozen waffles, Goldfish crackers, Mac & Cheese, and limited fruit/veggies. We were also out of his Shaklee vitamins at that time. He was getting ZERO nutrition. Yes, we were filling his belly but he wasn't benefitting from anything he was eating. The day I noticed this was the day I decided fruits was going to be the forefront of his diet and that other stuff could be secondary. For example, today he's eaten a mango, a kiwi, many strawberries, and two bananas. I offer those up first and let him have his fill before moving on to other parts of the meal. He's also had part of waffle for breakfast, part of a turkey brat for lunch, and some shrimp pasta for dinner.

Parents, step back and think about your children. When did you start introducing foods out of convenience rather than their nutritional value? Are there simple steps you can make each day to get your family on a healthier track? If you need help, there are great resources out there that even provide a grocery list! Try The Happy Healthy Truth or ask me what I do to incorporate more nutrition in our lives! We only get one body and one life to live, why not be as healthy as we can be.