“If you finish your chicken nuggets and french fries you can have a chocolate sundae.”
Excuse me, what? Why?
Raising a child is difficult. One of the hardest jobs in the world. However, sometimes I cannot help but notice when observing people with their children the habits they encourage. It leaves me a little confused and disappointed when parents force feed triglycerides and trans fats to their four and five-year olds for the sake of convenience, ease, or whatever other reason. Would you ever encourage yourself to eat a bunch of fried, processed crap and then reward yourself for it? Do people remember how difficult growing up can be? Do people remember how cruel the kids can be to the overweight and the acned? If you promote unhealthy eating at an early age you are paving a road of hardship for your child. It is much easier to start and stay healthy than to try to recover from the illness of obesity, diabetes and the other possible harmful outcomes of a poor diet. You want them to succeed and to be happy, you want the absolute best for them. You do everything in your power to make sure they are well-rounded, well-educated, well spoken, well dressed, and you give them every opportunity possible for growth and achievement. You invest in their futures by sending them to school, saving so they can go to college, taking them to martial arts, ballet, and music class. Do not forget the impact the eating habits you instill in them now are equally as important. These habits will carry over into how they look, how they feel and how they act. These habits will prove a valuable life skill. They will affect them not only now but well into adulthood.
People talk about cost and convenience and again I will bring up priorities. You can pay now or you can later. Paying a little extra for the fruit, vegetables, and whole grains for you and your children is a worthwhile investment. Much better than having to pay for the office visits, possible tests, and medications. Shop the perrimeter of the store, look for sales, and buy what is in season to keep costs low and benefits high. Create wonderful memories with your children in the kitchen with the color and variety of the produce you bring home. Learn with them. Prepare new recipes or create your own together. Make a game out of it. The health of your children is worth the small extra effort.
The food you eat in the here and now is important, but the food that was put into your body as a child has greatly influenced your growing, your cravings, your immune system, your health and your eating habits today. The food you eat today will impact how you feel tomorrow. The food you eat this week will influence how you feel the next week. Same goes for the food you eat this month and its influence on next month and the food you eat this season and how you will feel in the next season and on and on it goes. There is no disconnect, not between you and your food, nor between you and your mind, or you and your body.