It’s not like we don’t have enough of knowledge of what food is good for our children and what foods bad for our children. The problem lies in the kind of food that is being served by schools, the kind of children’s parties that we send our kids for where they get offered a junk all the time. We need to start having a very holistic approach towards the health of our children. In hospitals every day and now it’s not just middle-aged people or elderly people who come for treatments, it’s children with juvenile diabetes, heart problems, obesity issues, young girls with PCOS which has polycystic ovary syndrome, children with attention deficit disorders and there are many conditions that children are born with. There are certain cancers that children are born with, there are certain syndromes that children are born with and many of them are genetic.
But there are also innumerable children who are given antibiotics for every little cold or viral fever that they have. I’m clearly not against medicine but I am against the fact that we’re using medicine as a Band-Aid approach to fix the health of our children where on the other side we are not looking at the fact that giving the right nutrition to your kids, the right amount of activity in their lives could make all the difference.
We as parents lead by example. Your children see what you do. So the environment that you create at home is exactly the kind of environment that your children grow up in. So if you eat unhealthy food your children will eat unhealthy food. I get to speak to children all the time be it at schools at sessions or one-on-one consultations and I always separate parent from the child because the child has a lot more freedom to talk about exactly what happens at home and you will be surprised to hear the stories that children talk about. Stop doing that don’t eat this and don’t do that; no child’s going to listen to you and then it becomes a kind of a rebellious attitude where a child will do exactly the opposite of what you tell them not to do. So we have attention deficit disorders in school and those kinds of children we see the kind of lifestyles they have. At home they drink aerated drinks which are full of high confructose syrup which makes a child completely hyper all the time. There is MSG in so many of the processed foods and the restaurant foods which excites the brain of a child and then we label the child as attention deficit disorder syndrome all because we are feeding them the foods or we are putting them in a lifestyle that encourages that behaviour and having a child labelled with something like a syndrome or a disease like diabetes is the worst thing for a child’s confidence level.
We need to put the right food in their bodies Sugar is addictive for every adult as well. Processed and junk food is designed to addict you to it. Most of the food company spend billions and billions of dollars for that perfect recipe to get your brain addicted to it to generate cravings which you cannot fight and the junk food wins over your willpower. So if that’s happening to us as adults what’s happening to children who have not yet completely developed all of their motor and sensory skills. They are going through an addiction process that we have created. The choices that we make for our children are responsible for everything that our children go through. If they have low concentration levels at school we are responsible because we are not giving them a complete and balanced breakfast. We are not giving them the right amount of rest at night because we are too busy with our social lives to put our children to sleep.
We have servants to feed your children meals. It breaks that bonding. Obviously a child can bully the servant and not have the correct food that goes in. So this is reality. Don’t think you can hire expensive nutritionists and doctors to fix your child. If you’re not willing to notice the gap that you are creating in your child’s life and fill that gap, yes it requires effort and yes it requires sacrifice, if you can’t do that you are irresponsible to your child’s health and your child’s life.
Rewarding your children with food like study hard and we take you out to pizza hut, study hard, study three hours and order a pizza for you; you never reward your child with food. The purpose of food is energy and sustaining life. So when you make food a reward a child sees food as a reward. Reward them with a book, a picnic or some activity that you can do with them but never with food. Entertainment and all bonding don’t have to happen over food it doesn’t have to happen over junk food. Your child may be happy temporarily because he’s going to get that sugar fix and you’re going to get that sugar fix too but it’s not a meaningful experience. I’m not against junk food I’m against the over consumption of junk. So rewarding children with food is a bad idea.
We have to break out of culture of over feeding your children food. If your child is hungry your child will eat. I don’t know a single child who died of not eating unless it was a medically triggered disorder. If your child doesn’t want to eat don’t force them to it they will build a bad relationship with food and become rebellious. If they don’t want to eat don’t let them eat they will be hungry at some point and when they’re hungry don’t feed them until it’s time for their next meal. Then your child will learn to respect the relationship with food. Over feeding your child will not make them bigger stronger and grow taller. The growth of your child is dependent on human growth hormones. Half the lifestyles that children lead today depletes human growth hormones and your child cannot grow and then you look at growth injections and hormonal injections. Adding more protein to your child’s diet will not work unless your child’s diet is already protein deficient. Getting your children to eat balanced meals, spend less time in front of their video games and TVs and Xboxes and run around when you run when you move when you exercise, that stimulates human growth hormones and your children will grow.
The more sugar you give them, that compromises the growth of human growth hormones. More sugar creates brain fog. They cannot concentrate in schools. They have fatigue and cravings to eat more. They get addicted to the good taste of food and then which child will like a fruit and vegetable when they are addicted to something which is designed to make it taste so much better.
If you have more sugar and junk in their food they are obviously not going to have an affinity towards your vegetables, dals and rotis. But if you give fruits to a child who has never taste the sugar they will eat fruits and love them. They will love certain kinds of vegetables at one phase in their life and all of a sudden they may not like those vegetables or fruits and they’ll go through a phase. Let them go through that phase they will come back to it. But the more you push them to eat that food they will start rebelling against you and they will not eat it even if they want to eat it. So sugar and salt processed foods happen to be the biggest enemy when it comes to your health and the health of your child.
Keep everything in moderation. If they want to eat something bad you create, you create a rule that fine you can have this slice of pizza but you need to choose something that’s healthy with it. So they understand that, okay if I want to give my body bad calories I should also give it good calories so that there’s a balance. So eat your fruit, you can have a little bit of junk. There has to be a negotiation and children work well with negotiation otherwise they manipulate you and they can bully you. So smart negotiation just because you’re in a hurry for a movie with your friends or a cocktail dinner party with your friends or some stupid social event with your friends don’t think that the quickest fix is order pizza are so good the kids are going to love it eat it I don’t have to spend time with them. That’s a problem. Correct yourselves first if you want to correct your children.
Average school children are found with pot bellies that are unexplainable unless they have a medical condition. It speaks volumes about the kind of sedentary life that you create for them it is your job and your responsibility to make them move more it is not the job of your nutritionist or your trainer or your school to do that if you make that part of their culture they begin to love movement and they will start to do it automatically. But if you’re giving them so much of TV time and video game time and all of a sudden you’ve woken up to be healthy and you try to make this change and force them to do it it’s going to be difficult.
So you start from day one making active lifestyle a part of their development. Look for deficiencies like vitamin D3. Kids have limited exposure to sunlight. Today I have mothers bring their daughter saying they don’t want to put them in the sun as they become dark. Are you really so vain to worry about your daughter’s beauty and colour right now? Your children need exposure to sunlight in the right quantities at the right time. Look out for vitamin D3 deficiencies because it’s extremely important for you to understand that these deficiencies are completely the root cause of most diseases and most disorders. So please look at deficiencies.
We also need to understand that it is not about the food that you eat it is clearly about the way that food is absorbed. So basically when you’re eating the right foods you need to look at the gut health. The fact that are they able to even absorb all of the food that they’re eating. So for that you need to make sure the right amounts of probiotics are being consumed. Every time they take antibiotics and heavy medications make sure that they are also getting prescribed a probiotic so it can take care of the side effects of the antibiotics. Stop relying so much on medication unless your child really needs it.
If your child needs to miss a couple of days of school or their tennis classes or their social calendars and birthday parties let them do it to rest and to heal. Look at the amount of birthday parties. Some children have a more complicated social calendar than adults. If an average class has 20 children in a class that’s possibly 20 birthdays in a year, which means that’s an average of almost one to two or even three birthdays in a month and what gets served at all these birthday parties; pizza pasta cake chips aerated drinks package juices and all of this is unhealthy. We have set that culture that a birthday party should have all of this crap and who can change it no one but all the parents collectively that yes we want to send our children for parties where a child can have fun and can also eat healthy foods. There are healthy options like healthier cakes, healthier chips and healthier snacks. We only need to make the effort.
So many parents spend more money on gifts and return gifts than the food of the party which doesn’t make sense. Each of the parties that you do are great for a child to socialize a child to bond, but can we add that element of health to it and that decision is dependent on what you decide as a parent because your child is going through all those parties all the time and consuming so much of junk which is building that addiction and what would your child want for the next party nothing but junk. So this is going to require collective action and responsibility from every single parent to support it.
When I speak to all the schools who want to provide healthy lunches to children, but the parents interfere saying that this is such boring food. The thing is parents have fear and insecurities and their own life that they can’t deal with just because they can’t come to an understanding that you can have healthy food they can’t do it themselves. A child will adapt but because of the parents fear and insecurity we weigh all of this down on children and that’s the problem that we have today. Even schools are controlled by these so-called powerful parents.
It’s a problem of society. Society is a virus that is affecting our generation and affecting our children. In a world that’s advanced today where we have the best education systems we have the best food available we have spending power to improve our child’s life so our children can go through so much that we didn’t get to go through and yet we can’t provide them a platform of good health. Children suffer every single day with nutritional deficiencies and diseases brought on because of the irresponsibility of parents, the fears and insecurities of parents so you need to fix yourself before you decide to start fixing your children.
Reduce the junk. Let the environment of the body get cleaned up so that it starts craving clean wholesome natural food. Your child’s diet should include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and part of the cook food rice roti and lentils. You choose non-veg. That is what your child’s diet should contain and that’s all they need.
The only other thing that you need to focus on your children is building a strong immunity. Immunity is everything when it comes to protecting your child from the onset of diseases and allergies. Children are being born with allergies today. Allergy is a problem with your liver. You clean your liver, you improve your immunity. Your immunity takes care of allergies and every lifestyle that I just described is what is depleting your children of a strong immunity.
So this is a strong message to all the parents. Start taking personal responsibility for your children. Children are beautiful. They’re innocent. They’re like sponges. They are willing to open up. They are willing to try. It is we who come in between and create all of this complication. There are only two things they need; your time and they need your love. Everything else is a business. Give them your time and love and you will build a holistic platform of healing and prevention in your child’s life.