Welcome Mon and nutritionist Good morning, I woke up today with a thought: parenting is the hardest, yet most natural, job in the world.
A parent’s job is to love their children by educating them.
Education in all its aspects, including food.
But who educated the parent in nutrition? What are the messages about food that parents and children have from society?
It’s not easy!
I often read articles and posts from very good colleagues about foods that are harmful to children, but as a mom, I assure you that it’s not easy to avoid everything.
Our children grow up absorbing advertising messages made ad hoc to condition them in their choices, and they also live with other children who in turn have their own conditioning, advertising or otherwise.
I have been working in the field of nutrition for more than 20 years, especially in the clinical, metabolic and oncological fields. Every day I preach the principles of a healthy diet, which begins with a well-made shopping, zero km, on a farm, with organic products, etc. …
In my house there are no industrial products, white flour, white sugar, sugary drinks, cold cuts with nitrates, but every so often my children remind me that we are different.
In reality, we are not the strange ones, but it is the majority of people who eat differently.
I remember a very sad episode: my son was in the third grade and had the task of making a shopping list by copying down the names and kinds of food products in the house. You can imagine what happened at school: a Martian!
My son was eating strange things that no one knew about.
You can also imagine my son’s psychological reaction.
So the reflection you make as a parent is, “maybe I’m doing it all wrong? Maybe I’m making him eat well, but then creating psychological trauma for him?”
Cleverly, I started talking to my son and explaining my job, the fact that somehow he was lucky to have a healthy diet, that his mom prepared things for him at home instead of buying them because they were healthier and tastier.
I tried to point out all the positives that I could find (I assure you it was a difficult task, we are talking about an 8 year old child). But I realized that you can’t be Taliban, every now and then the concession must be left.
So my advice as a nutritionist mom in 2017 is to eliminate white flour, white sugar, fruit juices, cold cuts with nitrites, but every now and then the exception must be there.
In addition, we must reason about the nutritional status of the child: if they need to lose weight, if they are growing well, if they are healthy.
Then get them moving (but with more than 2 hours of sport per week), keep them outdoors, let them run.
Maybe after a good run a slice of bread and chocolate is not so harmful.
Finally, I assure you that when my children’s friends come over, they eat and like what I make!
Fish, ancient grains, vegetables, “brown” desserts made with whole wheat flour and coconut flower sugar.
Change may be easier than you think.
Let’s try to eat healthy and mindfully together, do ourselves some good, but also make an exception every now and then without stressing too much.
Maybe waging war on junk food isn’t the right way to go?
Look for example at the use of tobacco: I don’t think that so many wars have reduced the consumption of cigarettes and the consequent damage. Perhaps we should look for another way to bring in the concepts of healthy eating, perhaps with the support of institutions.
In the end, it is just a matter of waging “war” against multinationals!
Sooner or later, however, a choice will have to be made: I do not think that health care in the future will be able to cope with all the expenses that are expected due to the increase in metabolic, neurodegenerative and oncological diseases.
Primary prevention can be done only by changing lifestyles!
Today my children no longer feel like Martians, on the contrary they share my choices and understand the differences in quality and taste, they are curious and taste everything, they often cook healthy things together with me.
I wish everyone this joy!
Dr. Ed Vir: mother and nutritionist