Last night my husband and I had dinner with another couple. We got onto the topic of nutrition which is easy when you are talking to me, because I could talk about it all day long! She is an Elementary school teacher and we were talking about how poorly the average child eats. She brought up one child in particular who has a developmental delay and also has to fight the fact his mom has total disregard for what is a healthy meal for her son. She actually allows her kindergarten to pack his own lunch! Which obviously consists of chips, cookies, juice and crackers. This is affecting his academic progress in the classroom as well as his behavior. This diet is terrible for any child let alone someone with autism. I am sure many of you would love to spend some time educating this mother as it just makes your heart ache that there is a child out their being poisoned by an ill-informed mom who unfortunately is not getting the right information or tools on how to feed her son.
I know as parents we want our kids to be happy and well feed. But cookies and crackers while it may make them happy in the short term could cause major issues and distress down the road. And we can all agree empty calories does not mean a child is well feed. In fact it is probably more dangerous for them to eat it. With this month's topic being on Parenting Styles, I just want to remind mom's that is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure our kids are nourishing their bodies. They are young and have no idea why or how to eat healthy nor do they have the aptitude to find out the information. It is our job as their protectors to educate ourselves in this area and supply the food for them.
Dr. Sear's has a great books and tips on how to feed picky eaters. But we have to ensure the food choices they have are safe and nutritious. Sure give them choices, but we should pick what they have to choose from. Example: "Would you like an apple or a pear?"
This may be a little strong for some of you, but I really do feel that feeding kids a diet full of chemicals and non-nutritive food is just as malice as not feeding them. The end result could potentially be the same thing.
So food for thought on Parenting Styles is to make sure as parents we are bringing healthy menu options for our little ones. It could be a battle at times, but we didn't become parents because it was an easy thing to do. We became parents because we wanted to raise happy and healthy children and give them every opportunity we could.
Terri Murray is a happy and thankful Mommy to 3 young children. While the fascination with the science behind good health began in childhood, the emotional reasons for living and attaining the healthiest life possible was finally grasped after becoming a mom. Terri holds her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Pre-Med from The University of Georgia. She has worked in Genetic Research, Non-Profit Consulting, and most recently as a entrepreneur in the Health and Wellness Industry. Through her work with Juice Plus+ (www.makingpeoplehealthy.com) she travels around the world educating families on the importance of proper nutrition. She also founded Boutique Organic, an online boutique that offers all organic clothing and safe toys for babies and toddlers. Devoted to the mission of helping parents raise the healthiest children possible, Terri and her brother, Dr. Ryan Pond, launched the blog, www.thedoctorandamom.com to continue to reach parents and help provide answers and solutions to parenting questions related to nutrition.