- by Carissa Leventis-Cox
Let’s un-process our children’s food: prepare everything from scratch and eliminate processed foods as much as possible.
Although we call them ‘food’, processed foods are not readily recognized by the body. They are seen as alien matter and our white blood cells will be on attack mode as soon as they enter our system.
Most of all, processed foods create more waste: Processed foods create toxins in our systems and cause degenerative diseases; and since processed foods require more energy and packing material, they create more waste for our planet, too.
Repercussions: Our Children’s Health
Studies have shown that processed foods are contributing to our children’s emotional and/or health disorders. Recently, processed foods have been shown to adversely affect our children’s intelligence. And yet, processed foods are still everywhere: in home kitchens, restaurants, cafeterias, and worse of all, they are used as gifts and rewards for children.
A few months ago, my friend Christina told me her children’s teacher at school gives Potato Chip parties every Friday for the best performing student of the week. The kids also receive daily Candy Rewards for good behavior. My niece Lia is in preschool and candy rewards are there too. And it doesn’t end at school. There are always boxed juices, frosted cupcakes and pinatas full of more candy at birthday parties. Doctors visits end with lollipops.
Shouldn’t We Reward Positive with Positive?
What adults are essentially saying to children is “You are so good! Here’s some junk food that causes disease!” Why does our culture encourage this shameful and imbalanced exchange?
Is it correct to reward our good children with processed foods containing empty calories and zero nutrients? Is it right that we give them foods that negatively affect their future health? Is it acceptable that by rewarding with these processed foods that children will be more resistant to eating whole foods? Is it suitable that we are allowing children to crave junk foods by using them as rewards?
According to Joanne Ikeda, a nutrition education specialist highly regarded for her work on childhood obesity, these are all the factors why foods (especially candy) must not be used as rewards for good behavior.
What’s A Mama To Do?!
After a whole year of my son pestering me for the same lollipops he’s seen other kids eating (“Mama, REAL lollipops not my Banana Lollipops”), I finally ran out of distraction tactics or maybe he just wore me down. So the other day, this Raw Vegan Mama succumbed to buying organic processed lollies for her son. He’s only allowed 1 a week, which he rarely remembers and hubby and I conveniently forget to remind him.
The top 3 ingredients are: organic evaporated cane juice, organic tapioca syrup and organic rice syrup. Not bad, no high-fructose corn syrup at least. But all 3 ingredients are still processed foods. I sigh – almost defeated. If you’ve read Is Sugar Toxic? you wouldn’t want your children to consume any kind of processed sugars either.
What are your tactics to keep your children’s food un-processed?
Tags: healthy children, natural food for kids, processed food, raw food for kids, Whole Foods, whole foods diet
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