Monday, June 6, 2011

Real Food Nutrition & Health Homeschool Curriculum

My husband and I have made great strides in taking care of our health and fitness.  With all that we've learned about food, our bodies, and fitness, it would be a crime to not pass down what we've learned to our children.  How could we sit there and eat our grass-fed steaks and spinach salads and fill our children up with unhealthy processed fried chicken nuggets, french fries and chips?? 

Advertisers are smart and they know how to market to our kids.  My kids want the brightly colored, character adorned boxes of crap they see in the snack aisle.  And I'm a mean mommy because I say "no".  Please don't get me wrong - I would not deny my child a slice of cake at a birthday party or an occasional ice cream cone here and there.  I even occasionally make homemade cookies for them (made with healthier ingredients, of course).  It's just that we refuse to keep unhealthy items in my house on a regular basis.

My husband and I eat Paleo, however, unlike us, our kids do consume whole grains.  We just try to limit the amount they consume and we choose snacks and bread that are free from corn starch and high fructose corn syrup (organic when possible).  I also had to get creative and spend some extra time searching the grocery stores for healthy alternatives to their favorite foods.  We even managed to make their diet mostly dairy-free.  They love chocolate and vanilla almond milk!  In fact, almond milk has WAY more calcium than cow milk.  So far, the kids have been more than happy with their healthy snacks at home.

I think it is key is to teach children WHY they should eat certain foods and WHY they should avoid other foods.  Simply saying "no" is not enough.  I found a resource for teaching the 'whys' of nutrition on the Food Renegade website.  It's a curriculum called Real Food Nutrition & Health.  I haven't read this book yet so I can't give it a 'yay' or 'nay', however, I was happy to find a book that is more in line with what I know to be true about food & nutrition.  The government can reinvent the food pyramid all they want, but the truth is that their pyramid has done nothing but help make America fat and unhealthy (Wanna read more?  Click here.)

I want my kids need to know that I care more about their long-term health than I do about their immediate gratification.  If that means that I'm "mean" because I said no M&M's, then so be it.  When we truly love someone, we give them what they need before we give them what they want.

I want my kids to grow up healthy, strong and happy, just like any mom does.  I believe proper nutrition plays a big role in accomplishing that.

After all, we are what we eat.

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