Sunday, October 28, 2012


This post is not meant to offend anyone, but there is something I have noticed. There seems to be a great difference in what my two of my friends feed their children. Looking back at what I fed my own kids leaves a lot to be desired. And, if I had to do it over again I would definitely do things differently. Too bad we can’t go back in time, which brings me to the topic of this post. 

Knowing now what I know about food and its ability to heal or destroy it becomes difficult for me to sit by and watch what these parents feed their kids. These two friends of mine have completely different circumstances as parents and both handle their kid’s nutrition in different ways. Let me explain...

One is a single parent of 2 and is struggling to make ends meet. They are busy, tired, and stressed. For them feeding their kids is all about convenience. Quick prepared meals that they can slap on a plate and the kids will eat without too much objection is their first choice. When this parent does have the time to fix a meal the kids are so programed for fast food that they don’t like the food prepared at home. Meal time becomes a battle and the parent often just gives up. The extremely sad part about this situation is the young age of the kids and how they are already programmed. They won’t even try new foods. Their diet is mostly pizza, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, Lunchables, and spaghetti. Breakfast is always cold cereal with milk or scrambled eggs with cheese.  The children very rarely eat anything green or nutritious. 

The other parent is married and stays at home with their 3 kids. This is a full time job in itself and everything they do is on a schedule. This helps to run the household more smoothly. This parent doesn’t spend a lot of time cooking either, but they make sure there is a variety of foods in the house and the kids eat everything that is put in front of them. This family does not have the money to go out for fast food and so the kids are used to eating homemade meals. The only thing is that they eat a lot of meat and cheese which aren’t good either. The difference here is that the kids DO eat a lot of vegetables and greens. They like them and meal time is not a battle. This parent puts together easy to prepare dishes and feeds them leftovers throughout the week. 

So why is it hard for me to watch these parents and how they handle their kids nutrition? Well, it’s because now I realize how important nutrition is throughout one’s entire life.  Diseases (such a heart disease) starts while we are young and progresses as we grow. I’m sure if we had the technology you could go back in time and prove that my own heart disease did not happen magically overnight. It started when I was young and continued as I was growing. 

I know what these two parents are going through. I remember being broke, stressed, and so busy that I had hardly any time to prepare a meal for my kids. So what did I do? Sometimes I bought pizza, sometimes I bought Taco Bell, often it was a box of macaroni & cheese with some tuna & peas thrown in it. These were my standard go to meals. I considered nutrition as an after thought to convenience. Later, I began using a crock pot and would throw in some chicken breasts with carrots or some kind of vegetable. Even then the focus was mostly on the meat and not on the vegetables. Yes, I did a lot wrong as a struggling parent raising my kids. And I wish I could have a redo opportunity--but I can’t. 

Back to my two friends...both of them have opportunities that were not available to me. First, they have me as a friend showing and advising them on the value of eating right. Second, one of them often eats with me and likes what I prepare.  Why not feed the same thing to your kids? Why feed fast food to your kids and you eat a healthy meal? Third, the other parent has a support system (sisters, other friends) that have made changes in their families nutrition to help with issues such as autism, etc. 

Both these parents have more knowledge and resources than I had when I was raising my kids. These parents need to make nutrition a priority for their kids. Both are aware that most of the diseases that have claimed the lifes of their loved ones are preventable with nutrition. 

It becomes a struggle for me to watch the nutrition of their children and consider their future. I want the best for all of them. I want to see them & their kids THRIVE. 

Dr. Neal Barnard has excellent resources which explain the benefits of a plant-based for kids. There are also free downloadable booklets with meal plans and recipes.

Check out his website:

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