My next week of blogging will be about one of my favorite topics, possibly the #1 question I am asked—and the one I care about most. How do I get my kids to eat right? That is, parenting skills for young children when it comes to food and nutrition. These blogs are derived from the introduction of my program 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
Taking on the 12 steps in the program is a worthy goal for anyone, and you can make these changes whether or not you have children, and whether or not they live at home. But one of my greatest passions in life is to help parents understand the importance of excellent nutrition early in life and implement strategies to achieve it. So if you have children at home (or are close to people who do), this is for you.
I have found dieticians to be largely useless and sometimes harmful in the way they teach mothers about nutrition. (I’m sure truth-seeking dieticians do exist, however.) Keep in mind that these are the folks designing the menus in school and hospital lunchrooms. (Enough said?) It’s not their fault: they are taught curricula heavily influenced and even written by the wealthiest industries in America: the dairy and meat conglomerates.
My experience is that dieticians feel their main job is to push milk and dairy products, because they have been taught that these products create strong bones and teeth. I spoke with a dietician recently who had never heard of the ingredients in my Appendix A (whole-food sweeteners and other nutrition products you can find in health food stores). She taught in a class I attended that getting your child to drink “flavored” milk is a great idea. By that she means hormone- and antibiotic-contaminated milk with pink chemical dye and plenty of sugar added. Dieticians also believe that to get protein, you need to eat plenty of animal flesh.
I have looked elsewhere for my own nutrition education and strongly recommend you do the same, to increase your nutrition-related parenting skills for young children. I don’t advocate for vegetarianism, but rather for increasing whole plant foods in the diet. But the most bioavailable sources of calcium for humans are not found in the milk of other animals. And protein is manufactured and utilized by the human body very well when the range of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) in whole plant foods are supplied as fuel. We need look no further than our vegetarian cousins, the primates, for evidence of this.