I recently read an article about the correlation between food and intelligence (click HERE to read article). It showed that children fed processed foods consistently scored lower than children fed a natural diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits grains, beans and legumes. I was just taking a lunch break and had the local news on and another study just confirmed these findings.
As parents, we take a vow to do whatever we need to help our children. How many rashes have we rubbed cream on? Throw up we've cleaned up? Bottoms & noses we've wiped? Friendships we've counseled them on? Pediatrician offices we've sat in? Concerns we've discussed with teachers? We stop at nothing to be good parents, yet when it comes to food, we often turn a blind eye. Why?
Food is an emotional phenomenon. We associate comfort with certain foods, fun with others. When we go out with our friends or spouse, it usually is centered upon food. Family gatherings would be downright intolerable without a huge spread! Super Bowl without chips? Food is everywhere, all the time. And we're teaching our kids how to eat. They model our behavior and eat what we allow them to eat.
While it can be overwhelming to take on another responsibility and teach our kids to eat nutritious food (after all, it's so much easier to give them what they want!), it's our job. If they don't learn it from us, who will they learn it from?
What I want to suggest is that we take a deep breath, close our eyes and just imagine what it was like in a simpler time. Food was found in the garden and in the pastures, not at the giant big box store. Meat was clean because the animals were healthy. Vegetables were eaten in season and manure was the only form of fertilizer. Butter was made from cream of a dairy cow and not from processed oils refined in a factory. There were modest but wholesome breakfasts, lunches and dinners - not snacks between every meal. Sugar was a luxury so it was rarely eaten. People ate until they were no longer hungry, not until they were so stuffed they actually felt bad after a meal.
In our rush to find the next greatest "convenience" food, we have forgotten what food is supposed to be - energy. Fuel. Pure and simple. Yes, we can enjoy it with friends and family, but can we step back and make it more about friends and family and less about the food? Is it the food that makes it so great or the relationships?
Processed foods are such a far cry from the simple life I just described. They are a complete adulteration of what food is supposed to be. It's making us and our kids sick, stupid and cranky. With summer quickly coming, let's try to ease up on the food a bit. Eat what's in season. Eat local. Eat light and healthy. Challenge yourself to cook more and use a can opener less. Don't fill your body with packaged foods when everything you need to be healthy, strong, vibrant and ALIVE is growing in the ground. God is so good!
What about you? Let me know what simple things you wish were still around. I'd love to hear!
Welcome to my Blog about Food and Well-being!
I am often asked to share my knowledge of food and recipes. After changing my diet four years ago from a typical "Western" diet to a mostly whole-foods and plant-based diet, I have seen incredible changes in my health and well-being. I have spent countless hours researching and love helping those who are ready to feel better. The underlying theme? YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Read on to find out more.