One of the most challenging experiences in my lifetime has been becoming a step-mother of three. Not at all because my kids are difficult to love, but because I did not have the pleasure of raising them from birth, or the “luxury” of the one-on-one time with them as they came into this world.
While I have much more to say on the subject of marrying into a “ready-made” family, as a holistic nutritionist, that also works with mothers of young children, I cannot help but to want to stress, and stress, just how lucky they are to be able to impact their little ones lives NOW.
Check out this video from an interview I did on Texas Living News with Kimberly Whitman and Hilary Kennedy on Packing Healthy Lunches for Kids (and why it is important). Interview on Texas Living with Hilary Kennedy and Kimberly Whitman
Children start developing taste preferences from the moment they are introduced to their mothers milk. Despite the way American’s live their lives these days, a baby’s first choice would not be to eat meat or cow dairy. Unfortunately, we don’t give these impressionable offspring any other option. From infant formula to baby’s first bite, we are setting the stage for their health and dietary preferences.
From our infancy, we are programed to desire sugar, fat, and protein.
This desire is normal. The brain needs glucose to function, amino acids (protein) for growth, and fat for a multitude of functions. You can read more about the function and role of fat in the body in this article: “Fat is Good.” These three components; sugar, protein and fat, are readily available to us in Mother Nature in the most useable form.
This key phrase: “useable form” is the link we often overlook. Nutrition Labels and Facts are only necessary for foods that come in a package. Just because a nutrition label promotes a food’s beneficial components (“high protein” or “healthy omega fats”) does not mean the body can actually use these sources readily.
Mother Nature does not come with a label, but rather, allows one to use their eyes to see the vibrancy and taste the health that is already in the perfect package for consumption. When we raise children to develop a taste for what is natural, they will also naturally turn away from what is unnatural (because it will taste artificial to them). This is a tough concept for those that enjoy a mainstream diet. We cannot fathom not craving that cinnamon roll, or pizza, so we give it to our kids so that they may also share in our addictions. We think it is natural that they should automatically want the same. We cannot fathom saying “no” from the get-go, so we allow them to choose the sugary cereal over the bowl of fruit (because if they have been raised on sugary cereal, they are going to choose the sugary cereal). This is where our adult guidance is undeniably important. We are the adults. It is OKAY to help guide our children just as it is OKAY to teach kids not to get in the car with a stranger, to eat glue, or to draw on the wall.
However, because we want them to be normal, we let them have “normal” foods as soon as they are “old enough”.
But who does that help? Is “normal” what we want for this generation? Or do we really want them to be strong, happy, good, and loving individuals that do well outside of your nest?
It is OKAY for our children to be different than the norm. With rates of diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease soaring, and a failing healthcare system, who wants to be normal? If normal means having to medicate children, then you can count me out of the norm.
Stepping into the role of stepmom, is a challenge because I walked into play the good guy, disguised as the bad guy with sides of broccoli, small salads, and not a lot of time to play around in the kitchen. (Yes. Fast Food is sometimes quicker in the short term). I see and understand the struggles my clients are facing with their children, and with their own bodies. If we can raise our children to have more knowledge of nutrition, and help them delight in enjoying Mother Nature’s finest for strength and beauty, we can help prevent the incidence of disease in this nation, eliminate the confusion and stress over food, and help to build the confidence of our youth.
Cheers to good health!
If you are interested in looking into the life of one blogger who documents her daughter’s healthy eats as a toddler, check out Gingeristhenewpink.com. If you are interested in further support, I highly suggest looking into joining a great community like Lifeforce Families.
It is possible.