Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ask Dr. Ellouise Column #3 3/18/08

Let’s begin this month’s column by reviewing last month’s final point.

What should I eliminate for my child to be healthier?

Eliminating processed food would be one of the most healthy choices you could ever make. Now, I didn’t say it would be easy, but it’s certainly simple.

Eating foods that are as close to nature as possible like fresh fruits and vegetables will benefit you and your child in almost unimaginably wonderful ways.

How can I accomplish this without a rebellion?
The first tip in this area has to do with the TV. Remember those 13,000 food ads mentioned in the first newsletter? Those ads are convincing your child to want (even if it’s disguised as “need”) the items advertised.

But, if the TV has been turned off for a while so you both can do the cross lateral activities, life will be easier.

By not being bombarded with those advertisements (remember that CANDY stands for Continually Advertised Nutritionally Deficient Yummies) your child might be more willing to try something healthier.

Sounds good, how do I actually begin?
The first thing to do is to use up what you have that’s unhealthy or processed (I am not unrealistic enough to think that you would just throw away what you have but if you want to do that, it’s a quick way to get going).

The next step is to avoid buying any more of the unhealthy stuff.
One technique is to shop the outside aisles instead of the middle which usually has the more processed foods.
In order to purchase only healthy foods, you may need to shop alone instead of with your children. Then the whining for the processed foods will be at home and you won’t give in just because people are listening.
Choose organic fruits and veggies so that your move towards better health isn’t sabotaged by the pesticides in non-organic foods.

Using a list is important here too. In order to have a list, though, you need to plan what you are going to have to eat and then plan what you need.
Once you get home with the fruits and veggies, be sure to use a fruit and vegetable rinse on them and dry them before putting them into the refrigerator. The reasoning behind this is: if the fruit is ready to eat, it’s easier to get the child to eat it. Youngsters are used to “fast” food, so they need those snacks to be fast and having to stop to wash the food will make them less likely to choose it.

Having the fruit or veggies attractively arranged helps also. Fruit that can last outside the refrigerator can be put into a lovely bowl on the table. It serves as both a decoration and a quick fix for the hunger pangs of the afternoon.

Veggies can be cut up and put into attractive containers in the refrigerator for more quick munching. Those same veggies, cut a little smaller, can also serve as toppings for salads at lunch time.

One idea is to purchase a plastic bin of organic spinach and one of organic spring mix. After washing and drying them, just combine them and put them into individual containers that are the correct size for one lunch. A quick lunch is then made by putting the spinach mix, several small containers of celery, grape tomatoes, red bell peppers, cauliflower and whatever else you want into the lunch bag. Additional toppings include yellow raisins, pecans, sunflower seeds, and croutons. Just put your favorite healthy light salad dressing into the lunch bag and you have a lunch that is filling, yet healthy.

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