Children are resilient little beings. They can get banged up, cut, scratched, and break bones, and within seconds, days or weeks they’re back up again and running around without a care in the world.
This resilience is what we admire about kids and it is also one of the reasons why we believe that we can feed them anything and they will continue to function optimally.
First Time Mom
When I had Kuya and became a first time mom I looked to other moms I knew and the advice I got from my pediatrician in raising him. These people had experience and their kids seemed healthy so I never questioned what I figured was normal parenting.
This included letting Kuya watch TV whenever he desired, allowing him to play on the iPad and of course feeding him processed food and snacks that were manufactured for kids. Kids eat cereal, frozen pizza, crackers and cookies and mine wasn’t any different.
Shortly after he turned one Kuya started becoming picky about the things he ate. When we presented him with vegetables he would not touch them. My son became a picky eater and I kept wondering why. I soon realized that if he didn’t eat what I was giving him I’d just make him something he’d actually want – I was the source of the problem.
It wasn’t until I started my own health journey that I realized everything I was feeding Kuya was so backwards. Being a parent is one of the most rewarding yet stressful jobs. We try and find ways to make this job easier and food companies know that which is why they invented “convenience foods”. As I walked further and further down my new way of life I soon learned that these are not food at all.
Before starting my sugar detox I watched the documentary Fed Up on Netflix. If you are a parent and only do one thing after reading this post then let it be to watch this film. After watching Fed Up and learning about all of the harmful things in processed food I could no longer consciously feed Kuya these things.
As his mother I was supposed to be his protector and do all that I could to help him thrive. However, I was the one buying and feeding him the very things that could prevent him from doing so. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I like most moms will do anything I can to keep my child safe and this change would be no different.
If you feel you are depriving your child by not allowing them to eat fast food or buying them candy and sweets I urge you to start educating and empowering yourself on what proper nutrition consists of. Once you do you’ll find that McDonald’s and Oreos can’t even compare to real wholesome organic food.
The Road Less Traveled
It hasn’t been easy making this switch in diet for Kuya. There were many many nights when Nic especially couldn’t stand the thought of his son “starving” and wanted to give in. To all parents who want their kids to eat healthier and have the same concern, know this – children will not starve themselves. Especially children under the age of five.
I’ve questioned myself many times about our decision to follow this unconventional path and we still have a long way to go. However, seeing my baby boy today take a bite out of lettuce, ask for more mushrooms and jump up and down screaming “bananas yay bananas!” when I get back from grocery shopping make me know that it is all worth it.
Eating habits are formed at a young age. I had to sit back and think about the things I had taught Kuya early on. At first I was teaching him if he doesn’t like something he could just say so and he’d get something different.
I’m a first generation American so we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, therefore we ate whatever was on the table. Today our world is full of abundance and it isn’t uncommon for kids to have sweet treats and fast food practically every day. I didn’t want my children growing up with this expectation, so I knew I had to make changes.
A Call To Action
When I was young I was taught in school that if I was ever alone and a stranger stopped me and offered me candy to get into his car I should run in the opposite direction. Kidnappers knew they could entice children by offering them sweets. There are other culprits who know this – food companies.
In 2009, food and beverage companies spent $1.79 billion to market their products to kids. As a parent I feel that we should be outraged by this. Here are these adults who are purposely targeting our children. Children who are easily influenced and who are still developing their thoughts and beliefs.
If you feel some sort of way about Joe Camel and how the tobacco industry used him to market to kids you should feel even more offended that food companies are still allowed to do the same thing. Until they can no longer target our children, I would encourage all parents to limit the advertising their children are exposed to and to not support these companies.
I know that some may see my views as extreme but honestly they come from my deep desires and passion. A passion to leave the world a better place, a desire to ensure that my children will live long and healthy lives and a passion to share the truth and lies that I’ve been able to uncover.
We are not perfect, so you may see me or my kids eating something unhealthy at times. We’re only human and my goal is to eventually get to a point where we no longer desire unwholesome food. But I’m happy we are at a point where these moments are few and far between.
What are you currently feeding your children? Do you believe these foods are helping your children thrive or setting them up to tumble?