Let me start off by saying, when it comes to the food my kids eat, we are not perfect.
It seems like we used to do really, really well keeping the toxic garbage out of their mouths, but as time has gone on, that has gradually changed.
If I could keep them in a bubble, protecting them from outside influences, that might help!
Actually, no… not really all that much. Their father and I aren’t perfect either… so sometimes it’s US that are the negative nutrition influences, truth be told!
If you’ve followed our story for any length of time, then you may recognize that our nutrition journey has evolved over the years. Naturally so.
What started off as a very disciplined approach to food was rattled when our eldest entered the school scene. I was no longer with her all day to help her make the most intelligent nutrition choices… plus, those in charge were consistently offering toxic food choices based on an inaccurate understanding of nutrition.
It meant that the journey evolved to one of teaching my children how to make the best choices possible without me there.
Nope. They’re not perfect.
When the adults in charge would wave goldfish crackers, pretzels, popcorn, and graham crackers in front of their faces every day, and they would watch their classmates gobble these up time and time again, they caved to the pressure more than once! Understandable.
Well, we chose to home school… so the primary person who taunts them with food now is ME.
Actually, that has been a mainstay of my ‘argument’ from those early days of school… if anyone is going to offer my kids tasty toxins, it’s going to be me, dagnabbit!
In all seriousness, I felt it was important for me to know what was going INTO my kids each day. I still feel that way. As their guardian and protector, I want to know what their source of fuel is so that I can make a more informed decision about their health in general, and teach them to do the same.
They have their tasty toxins, all right. They have their Halloween candy (some), their Valentine’s chocolate (some), their birthday cake, their occasional dessert, their pie at Thanksgiving, and their occasional ice cream in the summer (hormone-free)… so I get pretty tired of hearing silly statements about kids being “deprived”.
Honestly, as my “mommy guilt” kicks in, I’m more concerned that I’m depriving my kids of 100% for the expression of optimal health when I cave in to the peer pressure of the aforementioned societal norms.
But that’s just my issue!
I work it out in my own mind by telling myself that they need to learn, under my roof and with my guidance, how to function well and make good (healthier) choices in a society that’s hooked on sugar and other toxic choices.
I want them to be balanced. I want them to enjoy various social settings without feeling ostracized… BUT, without caving in to the pressures of toxicity. (At least not to the extreme.)
It’s a work in progress.
If they eat the way “everyone else” eats (a.k.a. the Standard American Diet), they’ll get what “everyone else” gets. That is: toxic, overweight, frequently ill, and developing more serious chronic conditions.
I don’t want to be the Nutrition Police, so I aim to teach healthy choice-making and how to be responsible for your own body. The choices they make now DO add up and will determine their future health.
I gave up on being militant with their nutrition a long time ago.
However, I’ve found there are certain lines in the sand we’ve created over time that have stuck. Things like:
- They don’t drink pop, or juice drinks, or energy drinks, or sports drinks, (conventional cow’s) milk, etc. They drink water, cultured & fermented beverages, tea, and various smoothie & “shaker” concoctions I make for them.
- They don’t eat fast food.
- We don’t buy candy, chips, munchies, etc. When it’s in the house following something like Halloween, it’s doled out in small, controlled amounts for a short period of time… then it magically disappears.
- There will be vegetables. Plenty of vegetables. And good, “clean” protein & healthy fats. It’s a given.
- We “fuel up with health FIRST.” That has been a mantra in our family for years. If we give our body its nutritional requirements first, we tend to “crowd out” the less healthy choices.
These are just “normal” choices for them.
Where their parents tend to be the negative influences is with the fact that we tend to eat out more than I’d care for. So, we have our opportunity to make the best choices, considering our circumstances.
Another strategy I’ve employed that helps me feel better about their nutrition is what I call “Hitting the High Notes” each day. I choose to believe that these ‘high notes’ will help counteract some of the less-than-ideal nutrition choices we make, as well as consistently work to create better function.
The “High Notes”:
1. They start the day with a “shot” of Terrain Living Herbs – a raw, fermented, organic liquid ‘supplement’ that enhances immune function, pH balance, gut health, and metabolism. They don’t love it. That’s not my point.
Part of their ongoing lesson in nutrition is that we don’t base all our choices on how something tastes. That would mean BIG trouble if we did!
2. Breakfast always includes clean protein and healthy fats. Even on the days that a “starchy carb” might be served (i.e. sprouted or gluten-free toast, or bagel, or cereal), they start with protein and fats, like free-range eggs cooked in grass-fed butter, or some grass-fed, &/or hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat, or left-over protein from dinner.
3. Breakfast often includes vegetables, too. Spinach, kale, and chard in the eggs, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or broccoli on the side. Pretty normal around here. They don’t always love this… but they are very used to it.
4. If they’re eating grains, we do our best to opt for healthier choices like sprouted, gluten-free, and organic. I prefer to steer them towards grain-free.
5. Each morning, I make the kids a “Shaker Shot”. They’re not at a stage yet where they like to swallow their capsules and tablets whole, so I use this Shaker Shot as the vehicle for getting the goods into them!
I start with 1/2 cup or so of a cultured beverage, like Suero or Amasai, or diluted organic juice in one of our shaker cups (or blender). Then I open various capsules and pour them into the liquid base: probiotics, a thyroid supplement, colostrum, a “gluten-removal/gut repair” type supplement, vitamin C & D, ionic minerals (liquid), greens superfood powder, and a digestive enzyme.
I shake it up, pour it into small glasses for them, give them their fish oil on a spoon, then they gulp down their “Shaker Shot”.
The magic is in the liquid base. If they like that, we’re golden!
6. I’ll occasionally make small smoothies for an afternoon snack that include some protein, greens, something fun like chia seeds, and most likely more probiotics.
7. There will be veggies with lunch and dinner. It’s a given. Usually as part of an afternoon snack, too… along with a healthy fat again… like avocados, or even a bit of almond butter to dip the veggies in.
8 . We have an “understanding” about back-to-back “junk” meals. For example, if there were substantial grains at breakfast, we don’t expect any at lunch. If lunch included a sandwich, dinner will be protein/fats & veggies.
Yep. There have been days when this didn’t play out all that well… especially if we’re visiting family or on vacation or otherwise don’t have easy access to our usual choices. So be it. That’s life. It happens. I’ve learned not to sweat it.
9. If I know we’re going someplace for dinner that might lack healthier choices, I’ll serve them some veggies and maybe a hard-boiled egg before we go. Again, I never worry about “spoiling their dinner” if dinner is potentially going to be nutritionally lacking or toxic!
If we are going out, mom always leans toward the one and only establishment in our vicinity that serves grass-fed meat. The kids know, if we’re going there, that’s what they’re ordering!
10. We don’t “do” dessert on any regular basis. If I offer anything at home, we’ll have some berries, or some simmered apples with cinnamon. I try to dissuade them from the additional sugar at night, though… even if it is a natural form from fruit. Sugar is sugar.
So, they may have pizza with friends, the occasional bowl of pasta, and chips & salsa at our favorite Mexican establishment, but I feel we’ve got enough “good stuff” going into them, too, that they just might be OK!
One can only hope!
Your thoughts? What are some nutritional choices you’ve made on behalf of your kids that you’d like to share?? We’d love to hear!
Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.
Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com, http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.
Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .
For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.