If we want to build the house of our dreams, we spend so much time planning for every little detail and then selecting the best raw materials that we can possibly have. We also pay attention to choosing the best raw materials we can afford for our furniture, clothes, accessories, cars, and all other materialistic possessions that we own. How come then that we pay much less attention when we are building the bodies and minds of our dearest little ones and biggest investment in life- our kids? Doesn’t seem logical that we ought to be even pickier and more selective when we choose the raw materials for this purpose?
Steel bars, bricks, stones, doors, windows, paints, and tiles are some examples of the raw materials necessary to build a new house. But what are the raw materials to build our kids? Macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs), and micronutrients (mainly vitamins and minerals) are the building blocks of the human body. We should get these nutrients from the foods we eat.
Just as there is a huge variety in the quality of raw materials you get in a store, there is also a huge variety in the quality of foods that you get in a supermarket. There are some very high-quality and some very bad choices we can make with a wide range in between. Examples of this:
• Some of the best sources of foods containing protein are organic free-range eggs and chicken, wild fish, fresh organic meats, high-quality plain dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes, while some of the worst are most of the highly processed cold meats, sausages, hotdogs, sugary dairy, and highly processed soft cheeses.
• Some of the best sources of fats are olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, oily fish, organic ghee, and butter, and some of the worst are the highly processed plant oils and margarine.
• Some of the best sources of carbs are sprouted whole grains, starchy vegetables, and whole fruits, and some of the worst are the endless selection of processed fruit juices and junk foods made of starches and sugar.
The better choices are the foods that will provide high-quality proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to build a strong & beautiful body, while the poor choices are those that will provide poor-quality proteins and fats, and lack vitamins and minerals.
A kid may put weight on bad choices, but will never get enough of the much-needed nutrients for growth and vitality. After all, this is why they are called “empty-calorie foods” and this is why we are called “overfed but undernourished”. Please, let’s learn together how to stop feeding our kids and how to start nourishing them!
Dr. Riham Nasereddin (A Canadian licensed pharmacist, diabetes educator and holistic health and nutrition counselor)