What to tell a child about nutrition: tips, heard in the detox clinic
When you become a mother, you literally start to perceive everything through the prism of this status. Even from a trip to the detox clinic – not at all childish – you can take a few lessons that are good for the health of children. Many of my friends and readers of the blog are looking for a way to teach a child to eat healthy. And if there are several children in the family, the problem becomes even more acute, because they may have completely different addictions. My sons are a good example, although I bring up and try to feed them the same way. The elder can live happily solely on bread with pasta. And the younger one eats almost the same way as me: he eats various, mostly vegetable foods, is ready to try new things, loves bright tastes (ginger, green onions, lemon, garlic and the like).
In general, there are no universal rules to instill in children a taste for healthy food, as there is no single formula for a healthy diet: some avoid meat, others – cereals, and others – dairy products, and there is no point in arguing about the pros and cons of a particular diet.
But, fortunately, there are indisputable statements, true for the children’s diet. So let’s focus on these axioms:
Here they are:
More whole organic foods.
Fewer industrially processed foods with unsafe additives (including sweeteners, colorants, flavors, preservatives).
The highest quality products available (for example, if it is meat, milk or eggs, then from proven farms, if vegetables and greens, then from your / grandmother’s beds or, again, from trusted suppliers).
As diverse as possible diet – to get the widest possible range of nutrients.
I will supplement these rules with the recommendations adopted at the Austrian detox clinic Viva Mayr mentioned above:
Teach children to chew food thoroughly. Often, children swallow food on the go or for cartoons, not knowing what they eat. However, chewing 30–40 times each piece (or spoon) is very important! First, saliva during chewing sends the stomach information about what food to wait for it and what digestive enzymes are necessary for its processing. Secondly, thoroughly chewed food removes unnecessary stress from the intestines and improves the quality of digestion. Thirdly, if you eat slowly, the risk of overeating drops sharply, which means your child will eat exactly as much as he needs to saturate.
Give preference to alkaline foods. Many diseases thrive because of the violation of acid-base balance in an acidic environment, and it is created by the most common components of the children’s diet – all animal products (including dairy and meat), sweets (including juices and pastries), industrially processed products. A diet formed from oxidizing and alkalizing foods in a 1: 2 ratio is most optimal for health. The conclusion is simple: give the children as many plants as possible. It can be salads from raw vegetables, vegetable soups, mashed root vegetables (not only from potatoes). Many ideas on how to feed a child with plants, you will find in my application with recipes Live up! in the children’s recipes category: https://live-up.co/app/.
Do not take fruit as a dessert (that is, something that is eaten after the main course) and do not give children fruit along with other products. Otherwise, they begin to ferment and create an acidic environment in the intestines, increasing the risk of inflammatory processes. Think of the fruit as a separate, independent dish that is best absorbed in the morning.
The main thing is to educate in children the right attitude towards food as something important and worthwhile. My boys missed me very much while I was at the clinic for 10 days, and the older one with tears asked: “Why did you, mother, go to this detox?”. I was glad that my answer satisfied him: “In order to treat and restore tummy health, not to get sick and live for a very, very long time.”
Someone may call me obsessed with food and its quality, but I am sure that what and how we eat is the key to our health and longevity. Moreover, it determines the quality of our life: how we feel every day, whether we have enough energy, not only to drag ourselves through life, but to work, learn, play with children and do it with a feeling of happiness. Therefore, I consider it my primary task and daily work to provide my children with the highest quality nutrition, to form their proper habits. And this is quite difficult in the modern world, where candy, cola and muffins pop up from almost every corner. My sons from the cradle assimilate: between what they eat and how they feel, there is a direct connection. Now the elder makes conclusions faster than me: the tummy has fallen ill – “apparently, I ate a lot of unhealthy food today. And most importantly, the hated carrot they should be eaten, not because my mother makes, but because I do not want to get sick.