What's for Dinner?
Are you opting for convenience over long term health? There are repercussions to our behavior and it’s turning out to be the children of the next few generations.
The convenience of keeping our kids occupied by screens in grocery carts, restaurants, friend’s houses or even school is turning a generation into socially isolated individuals who have trouble with social cues- yes there are lots of children who don’t fall into mainstream categories but even so is this helping them?
Now what about food? Is convenience food helping a developing and growing body? Is this nutritionally deficient food able to sustain a body and brain that needs the proper fuel to perform and absorb the information through the school day?
Convenience from time to time is necessary but when compounded in 3 meals + snacks 7 days a week for a few years adds up.
The phrase “use your best judgment” is something we use widely. However, we must have a solid foundation in decision making to do this. Children today are lacking this opportunity. Adults are choosing convenience in decision making and our children are watching.
When we choose convenience foods, we lose our ability to make a better judgment on our health.
It’s time we have family dinners a few times a week. It’s time to put away the screens and talk to each other. It’s time to let our children participate in the life of the family and to support the family unit through chores and decisions. It’s time to let our children make their own decisions and let them fail at it- it’s the only way to learn and we need to stop ourselves from even thinking “I told you so”.
It’s time to take back grocery shopping and cooking meals our grandparents cooked and maybe our parents didn’t learn. It’s time we teach our kids to put down the packaged, over saturated, ultra-processed, undernourished foods and start to eat real food. The fact that children recognize food labels and logos is only getting worse. Fewer children know what real food looks or tastes like. It’s time we take responsibility and not lean on our teachers to also work at this.
Food choices have behavioral impacts and often these cues are not looked into or discussed. My first question as a teacher in such a situation was “what did you eat today?” Cookies, GoGurt, chocolate milk, nothing, and such were answers. So, this child is now the product of their stomach and the content in it, not their spirit, not their personhood, and not parenting either. The food. Repeated foods lead to repeated behavior and this becomes a pattern and so the brain wires it’s way accordingly as the child develops. Wouldn’t it be easier for us to help both the parent and the child eat the right foods to prevent this from the start?
Besides behavior there’s also the short-term and long-term overall health we still need to take a look at, but that’s for another post. We have lots more to talk about on this subject. Lots! And this is why I’m doing this, so I can support you in any way I can. I’ve worked with many parents one-on-one and also as a classroom to advocate for healthier food options in the classroom and at home. I have noted the struggles working parents have in these endeavors, including my own struggle to teach, cook, and be a parent to my own kids. It takes time, effort, love and risking our own egos. It takes abandonment of conventional trends, making difficult choices and being strong in conviction. It can be done, and sometimes we need a helping hand and someone to hold us accountable.
I hope you’re with me, and I hope somewhere in all this I can connect with you and offer you what I have learned over the years.
A brief description of a few benefits of processed foods, and also the dangers and ultra processed foods to avoid. A short and informative list of slides.
Here are some family friendly meals if you are looking to add some new recipes: https://themodernproper.com/30-best-kid-friendly-recipes