When faced with this question we all automatically and emphatically answer “Yes”! We love our children, right, so of course we are all making the right choices to provide them with the healthiest life they can have, aren’t we? But if we think about it carefully, are we really toto-my?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I regularly give my child fast food or takeaway food?
- Do I rarely give my child meals that are fresh and cooked from scratch? So no pre-packaged foods like fish fingers or tinned foods.
- Do I give my child sugary food or drinks most days? This includes ‘fruit straps’, ‘muesli bars’ and poppers.
- Do I give my child dairy desserts (ice cream, etc.), grain desserts (cookies, cake, doughnuts, etc.) or whole milk most days?
- Do I give my child the same food every day for breakfast, lunch or dinner?
- Does my child often see me eating unhealthy foods?
- Does my child eat alone or at a separate time from me?
- Does my child hear me talk about dieting because I want to lose a few kilos?
- Do I give my child antibiotics immediately when they are sick rather than waiting to let their body fight the illness?
- Do I give my child medication when they have a mild temperature?
- Do I drive my child from A to B when we could easily walk instead?
- Did I wean my child early?
- Did I eat high-fat or sugary foods when I was breast-feeding?
- Is my child exposed to environmental contaminants i.e. pesticides on fruit and chemicals in their shampoo and soap and laundry powder?
- Do I feed my child predominantly organic food?
- Have I ever had my child tested for food intolerances?
Of course we don’t intend to make you feel inadequate as a parent; what we are trying to do is to raise your awareness of some of the things that will have an outcome on your child’s long-term health! What you feed your child will not just affect their health in the short-term but also in the years to come. Diets high in processed foods, fat and sugar result in children with lower IQs, and set the scene for obesity, behavioral problems, asthma, eczema, inflammatory conditions, and auto-immune diseases like arthritis plus illness like diabetes and cancer.
You need to be conscious of what you feed your child because the types of foods that you regularly give them when they are young will influence what they choose to eat as they get older since repeated exposure builds taste preferences that will stay with them. Also be aware of the impact your behavior around food will have on your children. You will not create children who enjoy healthy food and have a balanced mindset around food and health if they see you eating unhealthy food, doing fad diets, or even talking about diets, self-image and food in negative ways.
When your child is sick try to delay the antibiotics unless it is absolutely essential! The same applies to all medications – obviously you must use them if essential and if directed by your doctor but do not get into a habit of using them routinely for a mild headache, sore throat or fever. Remember, medication just deals with symptoms but does not ‘kill’ the bug. Antibiotics and other medications increase the likelihood of your child developing food intolerances. Repeatedly feeding your child the same foods further adds to this risk. If your child suffers from unsettled sleep, frequent regurgitation of food, colic, hiccups, excessive crying, poor appetite, flatulence, stuffy nose, frequent ear infections, watery eyes, frequent colds, noisy breathing, scratching, diarrhea or constipation, eczema, ADHD or concentration problems or stomach aches, then you should get them tested for food intolerances.
Take on board the fact that food intolerance is a rising problem in our world and it is no coincidence that it is rising fast alongside rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Why? Because most of us aren’t making great choices in terms of nutrition, lifestyle and medications taken. This leads to leaky gut syndrome which is basically a damaged gut which allows food proteins to get into the blood stream and food intolerance then occurs.
As a parent, one of the best gifts you can give your child is a strong nutritional start. Your child will not know which foods are healthy unless you teach them. Give them a varied diet, based on fresh whole foods, where meals are cooked from scratch. Don’t beat yourself up over the occasional treat. To truly look after your child’s health your must first value your own health! Lead by example to help your child develop a love for whole fresh foods that will last them a lifetime.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6128051