What Should My Child Be Eating for Optimal Health?By Dr. Margaret Paul
January 16, 2008
Most parents want their children to be healthy, yet sometimes it hard to know what kind of nutrition creates optimal health.
Understanding healthy eating has become a huge challenge in our society. Our ancestors living thousands of years ago did not have this challenge. They ate what grew and what they could catch. Before the advent of agriculture, people ate what was naturally supplied.
While I have been studying nutrition for many years, I am not an expert, since I am not a scientist and have not done my own research. What I share with you comes from my personal experience with my children and and the children of my clients.
Rather than laying out a specific way of eating, I am going to write about what I have learned about what NOT to eat.
Below is a partial list of things not to feed your children:
- Corn syrup
- Glucose syrup
- Wheat syrup
- Rice syrup
- Potato starch
- Modified food starch
- White foods - white bread, white rice, rice milk, white pastas, white wheat flour
- Processed grains
- French fries
- Industrial seed oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn, canola, and so on
- Preservatives and food colorings - or anything that you can't pronounce!
You might not think you are feeding your children many of these, but if you look at the labels, you will find many of these non-foods in packaged and refined products. In fact, most refined foods will contain one or more of these items.
For your children to be healthy, they have to be eating foods that are nutrient-dense. Not only do none of the above items have substantial nutrient value, they rob the body of nutrients, creating the weight and health problems that are endemic to our society.
What are the nutrient-dense foods?
The most nutrient-dense foods are organically grown vegetables. Next are fruits, followed by beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds - in moderation. If you are not vegetarian, you can obtain highly nutritious forms of animal protein in organically fed grass-finished beef and lamb (grain-finishing beef and lamb changes the composition of the fat and causes many health problems), free-range organic poultry, and organic free-range eggs. Mercury-free fish is very healthy, as the oil provides important omega-3s.
Regarding dairy products: pasteurization kills the enzymes in dairy foods and can cause problems such as asthma and allergies. Pasteurization also causes milk and other dairy products to become difficult to digest - also contributing to illness. Unless you can get very clean, raw organic milk and cheese from grass-finished cows, it is better to avoid dairy. Due to the difficulties in absorption of pasteurized dairy, it is not a good source of calcium - despite what the dairy industry claims. My children were brought up on raw Alta-Dena dairy products (before they were put out of business by the factory farms) and did very well on them. The organic yogurt and kefir from grass-fed cows is well tolerated by most children and is important for a healthy gut.
The right kinds of fats are also important. Coconut oil, butter, ghee, lard and tallow are the best to cook with and olive oil is the best in salad dressings.
It's vitally important to make sure that your child eats some fermented foods daily, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. Central to good health is keeping the intestinal balance healthy, and this occurs through not eating processed foods and including fermented foods. The balance of the intestinal flora is easily destroyed by antibiotics and other medications, processed foods and chlorinated water, and this is the source of much illness.
How do you get your children to eat like this?
The only way I know of, which is what I did when my three children were growing up, is to eat this way yourself. I chose not to have anything in the house that I didn't want them to eat, so everything they ate at home was healthy. I never insisted that they eat. I just put the healthy food out and they ate as much or as little as they wanted.
If you want to be healthy and have healthy children, the very best thing to do is read as much as you can about healthy eating and then decide for yourself what you want to do for your family.
Learn Inner Bonding through Dr. Margaret’s workbook, "The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance."
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Earth is a challenging place to be, and may be filled with pain for you unless you stay in conscious connection with the love, wisdom, guidance and comfort of the Divine Mother/Father Spirit that is within you and around you and always available to you. Today, focus on connecting with this Love.
By Dr. Margaret Paul