When Healthy Eating Goes Too Far!
Our culture is undeniably diet-obsessed, and with an impending national obesity crisis, is it any wonder that an increasing number of people are producing health regimens, workout DVDs, and diet books.
The proportion of obese children in the world has more than doubled over the past quarter-century, and if the current trends continue, the number of obese children worldwide would increase from 42 million to 70 million by 2025. So how can we address this issue without exposing our children to several fad diets that really are likely to increase their eating problems?
The Popular Diets
The Paleo diet is just one of the diets that have recently made headlines. Pete Evans, a famous Australian chef, has written a children’s “paleo diet” cookbook named “Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way” that instructs parents to feed their young children primarily foods that our caveman predecessors would have consumed. The most contentious recipe in the book is one for baby formula made from bone broth and said to contain up to 10 times the allowed quantity of vitamin A for newborns. The opinion of health specialists has been negative, with one stating that “a baby may be seriously injured” if the book is published. Pan Macmillan, who had intended to publish the book, terminated connections with the project, leading Evans to self-publish it digitally.
Let’s examine what the Paleo diet actually entails. Fundamentally, it conforms to the notion that our bodies were designed to ingest only the foods that flourished or existed naturally in our environment during the Paleolithic period. In primitive times, hunter-gatherers spent their days hunting wild creatures and gathering, among other things, nuts, berries, and fruits. According to advocates of the Paleo diet, malignant diseases did not exist during this time period, and they ascribe this to the foods ingested. Hence, it is inappropriate to consume foods containing synthetic or artificial ingredients, junk food, partially hydrogenated oils, legumes, cereals, dairy, and potatoes. However, while it is apparent that limiting our children’s consumption of junk and processed food will have a very positive effect on their diets, it is quite concerning that by removing wheat and dairy, they would be missing out on essential nutrients.
The Role Of Family
Clearly, it is the responsibility of each family to decide how to feed their children. However, in order to educate our children about nutritious food, we must address the problem of educating the parents. When time is of the essence and convenience seems to be the easiest route, it is difficult to find the time to create nutritious homemade meals in our fast-paced society. But, the most essential to keep in mind is that our children’s health should be our highest concern. Take the time to eat together as a family, involve the children in preparing meals or cooking, and buy groceries from a range of sources to enhance their awareness of where food is grown from. Children’s diet shouldn’t be restricted, as they are still developing and need all of the necessary nutrients for good growth.