Are you planning on raising a family? Are you currently raising one child or more? As parents, we encounter family problems on a weekly, even a daily basis. Now parents face a more serious problem: American children are facing unprecedented health challenges due to the consumption of refined and processed foods. In fact, you may be the first generation of parents that will raise children that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Children while young may not look like they have health challenges. After all, not all children that eat refined or processed foods are overweight. However, you may see other health problems develop. Your child may be suffering from frequent ear infections, a cold or sore throat that seems to never go away or they may have persistent sinus or upper respiratory allergies and infections or digestive issues, such as stomach cramping, constipation or diarrhea. They may have behavior problems at school or they may lack the ability to concentrate. This can happen when the body is nutrient deficient and can’t build a strong body or immune system. One fact you can bank on: a diet consistent in refined and processed foods will put your children at a very high risk for a future filled with adverse health conditions and diseases.
The Influence of a Mother’s Health
The health of a child actually begins before conception! If a mother has been getting good nutrition and has been taking care of herself, her baby will have the best chance of being born healthy with a lower risk of birth defects and future childhood and adult illness. Research has actually shown us that the health of the mother influences her child all through their life, even through their adult years. If you are in child bearing years, your health is very important for both you and your baby. To build a great body for you and your child, make sure you are exercising and getting great nutrition.
The nutritional needs for children are different from those for adults. As they mature and graduate into adolescence, their nutritional needs will change again. It’s important to make sure children are getting great nutrition to build a healthy brain and strong muscles and bones. In addition, exercise and physical activity are very important for the health of your children. They need to be involved in physical activities like soccer, baseball, gymnastics, volleyball, or afterschool programs at your local health club or YMCA. Make family activities a priority each week. As a family take walks, go on picnics, explore trails and go to your nearest playground and play together!
Lead the way for your children; set a healthy eating example they can follow. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds are loaded with health-building carbohydrates, fats, protein and powerful antioxidants and other phytonutrients. If selecting meats, use free range turkey and chicken, if selecting fish, use wild caught coldwater fish like salmon, halibut, cod, Alaskan whiting and tuna.