Many of our food and drink choices are so deeply engrained into our culture that we don’t ever question them. Unfortunately our “norm” is what’s killing us and making our children sick.
I was blown away about a year and a half ago when we went out to eat and had the following conversation with the waiter.
The waiter said, “Would your kid like a coke or orange juice?”
I said, “No, thank you. Water will do.”
He said, “Are you sure? It’s free.”
I said, “Both of those beverages are different forms of poison. Water is good. Thank you.” And that effectively ended our conversation.
Yes, the fatigue of parenting has made me more blunt, but that’s not a bad thing when it comes to maintaining the boundaries necessary for my child to flourish. The entire exchange agitated me because clearly, I was not the norm. Most parents do not see any harm in giving these drinks to their kids and perhaps are operating under the illusion that they are healthy.
Let’s begin by pointing out that our ancestors did not juice their fruit. Most fruit has a substantial amount of fiber, which performs three distinct functions. The most well known is its ability to facilitate awesome bowel movements. Fiber also slows the release of sugar into the blood stream. Third, it acts as a prebiotic, which feeds the healthy bacteria in our digestive tracts.
Mother Nature packages foods perfectly for us. Let’s respect her wisdom and strive to eat fruit in its whole food form.
Speaking of Nature, soda is clearly a modern, man-made, processed beverage that our bodies have never seen before. It has no place in an adult’s body or a child’s and really deserves no further explanation. It is toxic and addictive.
Every one of us has to face the fact that we live in a carbohydrate-addicted society. We are wired for sweet taste. As a result of our carbohydrate-dependent bodies and sedentary lifestyles, we have epidemics of obesity and diabetes. These two phenomena often develop in childhood.
Parents have a huge responsibility to ensure that their child can taste the sweetness of a blueberry or even a cashew. The taste of concentrated fruit sugars, white sugar, and artificial sweeteners pervert our taste buds, and we then lose perception of Nature’s sweetness.
Bottom line: your kids mimic you. Eat your calories; don’t drink them!
I was amazed early on with how our son would walk up to us and want a drink of whatever it is we were consuming. “Wow,” I would think to myself. “How tragic would it be if I was drinking a Coke filled with high fructose corn syrup?” Let’s end at least one tragedy in the world. You are in control of the beverages and foods in your house. Act like it.
Processed foods exist because we buy them. Put your money where your mouth is and take all that money that you use to buy juice, sodas, and other man-made beverages and buy real food instead.
Eating well may not be easy, but it is VERY simple…so simple that we miss it. My wish for you: stop missing it. Pay attention. Think before you put something into your body or your child’s. Embrace your power as a consumer and as a parent and stop this madness.
Whew…I just had to get that message out! I’m sorry I had to yell, but I love you and sometimes we have to have the tough talks. Eat (and drink) in Peace, my friends.