This is a precious pursuit, because how you start children off in any area of their life will inform the their future. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Globally in 2010, the number of overweight children under the age of five [was] estimated to be over 42 million. Close to 35 million of these are living in developing countries”¹. No matter where you live, this is a problem that is close to home for you. That said, I knew I could help by sharing with you my 10 reasons why you should revolutionize your children’s’ food lives. Here’s your sister in parenthood calling you to action to be a part of the solution starting right in your own home today!
Here are 10 Reasons Why You Should Revolutionize Your Children’s’ Food Lives:
- Childhood Obesity is Real. I recently heard that this is a misnomer, that children cannot technically be categorized as obese because they are still growing. My position is that there is clearly a problem of lifestyle disease in children worldwide characterized visually by the appearance of excess body fat on them. If you prefer not to call it “obesity” for scientific correctness, its your world, but it is no less than a worldwide pandemic and your child may be at risk. The good news is that it is something you can do something about. So, indeed, you should.
- Brain Food is Real. This is not a term you hear much anymore but I am bringing it back. First, let’s be clear: the brain is part of the body. Why we separate physical and mental health so far from each other is beyond me, but the fact is food affects the brain just as much as it affects any other part of the body. A long time friend of mine who works with special needs (autistic, ADHD, etc.) children in their homes says when she first visits a new client, one of the first things she does is look through the kitchen cabinets. Daniel is a great biblical example of this. In chapter 1, he and his friends are teens in Babylon and they ask if they can eat a vegan lunch with water instead of the rich offering at the king’s table. We can debate their reasoning, but the scripture shows us without a doubt that they were not only healthier than their peers, but they also excelled academically above the rest.
- Break Generational Curses. These metabolic diseases are said to run in families, but the big truth is that while the inclination is genetic, the incidence is controlled by “environmental factors”, largely diet. Let me explain: If you see a lot of diabetes in your family – grandma, auntie, dad, etc. – the reasoning is twofold: the diet you are all accustomed to eating (through family food, cooking and meal customs passed down and shared around the family tree) is the reason you are seeing the diabetes, but that same kind of food can cause cancers, hypertension, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc, so the reason that the disease you are seeing is diabetes is the genetic part. To lower your own risk of diabetes, simply eat differently. To break the generational curse, revolutionize your kids’ food life. We can pray to break these curses, but indeed, faith without works is dead.
- Give Your Kids the Edge. My 5-year-old reads 2-3 years above his grade level, speaks both French and English with impressive fluency, has a laser sharp memory and is academically ahead of most of his peers. My theory is that his food life is a major factor in all of this and that if you revolutionize your children’s food lives, you will see changes in their school performance also.
- Equip Them with Knowledge Assets. Growing food, finding food, seasonality, canning, preserving and making things from scratch were all part of a child’s home-based curriculum up until about 200 years ago. Then we all became culinarily ignorant as corporations started to expand their offerings of ready made stuff and we decided we no longer needed or wanted to keep doing things “the old way”. In the process, we gave up our food sovereignty. Be on the front lines of combating deskilling by reclaiming knowledge assets for yourself and then teaching them to your children. Learning them together can make for wonderful bonding experiences, too!
- Boost Your Own Motivation. You will never personally overcome lifestyle disease in your own life unless your motivation comes from outside of yourself. I tell all my clients that if your goal is only to look and feel better for yourself, then you are not ready, because if that were enough, you would already have succeeded. Children can motivate us to do such amazing things for ourselves so that we can be great standard bearers for them to model after. Do it for them and enjoy your results!
- School is NOT Going To Do it For You. They are heavily influenced by corporate interests, especially public schools, through the school feeding program. In my experience, schools will try to bring in nutrition education, but then they send a mixed message with a nutritionally deficient lunch offering and junk food sales as fundraisers. In Trinidad, where I live now, this is just as problematic. The box lunch is often very low quality, and parents customarily give children (even as young as 5 years old) cash to bring to school daily to make purchases from the “cafeteria” which is nothing more than a candy store.
- Their Future Depends On It. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that “It is emerging convincingly that the genesis of Type 2 Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease begins in childhood, with childhood obesity serving as an important factor.”¹ Much of literature and several documentary films on this subject explain that children who suffer from childhood overweight and obesity carry this into adulthood and are less likely to marry. They may also face discrimination in employment and perhaps even challenges in job retention because of persistent health issues. The choices you make in their lives now can truly affect their future, so choose wisely!
- Improve Their Childhood Memories. For me, being chubby… ok, overweight… ok maybe I was obese at one point as a child was traumatic. I know you just want to tell your kids to ignore the taunting and they are beautiful just the way they are, and while you are 100% correct, this is a big deal in the world of a child and can truly leave scars that remain.
- They Will Thank You Later. I know you are not going to be doing this for a pat on the back, but be honest, it will be really sweet!!
So you’re ready to start now, right? OK! Check out our new homepage for information on how you can partner with me to make this change in your children’s lives and also see my post on 10 Tactics for Coaching Your Kids to a Healthy Food Life.
Thanks again for reading. Please subscribe and may God Bless You and your family!
¹ Childhood obesity: causes and consequences, Sahoo, Krushnapriya et al. 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408699/
Copyright 2019 Rashida Serrant-Davis, Really Nourish. All Rights Reserved.