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Any of you who read my blog regularly know that I am
pretty opinionated passionate about a wide variety of topics. As I sat down to write this blog Wednesday night, I couldn’t decide which of my passions to discuss. I was looking for something that I have strong feelings about, but not something that would require a lot of time to write or research to back up my opinions (because I had a migraine most of the day and needed to get some good sleep).
I finally decided to write about children and food.
I’ve been doing a bit of reading the past week or so about artificial colors and other food additives and it’s got me thinking. I believe as a society, we are not feeding our children well.
Without looking up statistics, I feel safe in saying that our nation’s obesity rate is out of control. I also feel safe saying that too many children are on medication for hyperactivity and ADHD, etc.
We live in a culture where we demand so much from ourselves and our children and there are only so many hours in the day. As a result of not having enough time to make home-cooked, nutritious and healthy meals, we turn to fast food. We eat in our cars to save time. (I’m totally guilty of this and some of the other things I write about here. I’m not writing this to point fingers, but as a wake up call to all parents, myself included.)
Soda pop, candy and other junk food are readily available in many of our children’s schools. And school lunches are, for the most part, not a healthy way to go either. And even when parents pack their children’s lunches, the snack foods that many of them include are loaded with artificial colors and flavors and preservatives.
I believe that we need to slow down. I believe that we need to get back to the basics in cooking and feeding our families (as well as in many other areas). Perhaps we could start by using the crockpot for dinner if time is a big issue.
We need to teach our children to make healthy choices regarding foods (not sneak vegetables into all of their meals and assume that will help them develop healthy eating habits).
We need to be informed about the ingredients that are in the foods that we buy. Are they made from petroleum and/or tar? Have they been linked to hyperactivity? Have they been banned from other countries? Perhaps instead of medicating our children, we should try limiting their intake of food additives and see how it affects their demeanor.
I’ve been reading Healthier Food for Busy People by Jane Hersey and it’s been quite the eye-opener regarding many of the foods I eat or have eaten or given to my family in the past. I will be giving away a copy of this book in the future after I’ve had a chance to read it and review it, so stay tuned for that if you are interested in learning more. :)
I believe we have a lot of work to do and the first step is becoming more informed. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Knowledge is power. Eat it up. (Pun intended.) ;)