I’m often asked if it’s even possible to raise healthy-eating kids in the midst of our fast-food culture. It’s a fair question. And it’s a struggle most parents face. Of course, we all want the best for our children – all parents do. We want to raise healthy human beings who are continually becoming who God created them to be and being equipped to do what He designed them to do. We want them to thrive!
What we sometimes forget – or perhaps never knew – is that the food we eat plays a huge role in our health – physically, mentally, and spiritually. We were created to need certain nutrients – and when we don’t get them, we won’t function at our best – and neither will our kids. Sadly, nearly 46% of American children have been diagnosed with a chronic disease (in the 1960s it was only 4% of the entire population). Is anyone else shocked by this statistic?
The good news is we can do something about it. We can make a huge difference in the lives of our children and ourselves. How? By learning to nourish ourselves with foods that promote health and prevent disease.
Our spirits need to be nourished with the word of God. Our soul (mind) is nourished by thinking on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). And our bodies need the foods that God created – nutrient-dense plants and clean animals that He designed to nourish us so we can thrive!
What are these foods? Simple whole foods grown in nutrient-dense soil – and animals raised on pasture eating the plants God designed to nourish them – so they can nourish us. They don’t need labels because they only have one ingredient – the one God created like carrot, broccoli, apple, potato, raspberry, tangerine – you get the idea.
While it might be easy to throw around the idea of eating whole foods, it’s another thing to actually do it – especially if you’re not used to shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and preparing food from scratch.
Here’s the good news. It’s not as hard as you think. It simply comes down to changing habits. Will it happen overnight? No, but things worth doing never do. New habits are formed when we make a decision to change, learn how to do it, and consistently move forward one step at a time, one day at a time.
“But my kids won’t eat ______” (fill in the blank). Friends, we are all creatures of habit. Your kids will eat whatever you consistently feed them. And that can change if you want it to.
Why do my twenty-something kids enjoy eating real, whole foods?
- It’s the same reason kids in India like dahl, tikka masala and basmati rice.
- And why Japanese kids like udon noodles and miso soup.
- And Thai kids eat panang curry.
- And, it’s also why most American kids are hooked on French fries and soda pop.
Truth is my kids like whole foods because they grew up eating them.
I got them hooked on whole foods by consistently feeding them whole foods. It’s as simple as that.
When I learned about the power of food, I knew it wasn’t something I was willing to mess around with. Why? Because kids take their eating habits – whatever they are – with them into adulthood. I wanted healthy, thriving kids that would grow into healthy, thriving adults – and I knew whole foods were essential to make that happen.
Are they thriving now? Absolutely and their dietary habits play a huge role in that.
Take heart my friends – I want to encourage you that it’s never too late to spend more time in the kitchen with your kids. But be forewarned…getting your kids hooked on whole foods means you’re going to have to get hooked on them too. I guarantee you won’t regret it. It’s worth the effort at any age!
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