It seems like every paper or magazine we pick up these days the word obesity is there. It’s hard to ignore but at the same time it’s written about so much we’ve become immune to it. We are so bombarded with bad news and negative articles about our lifestyle and health that we seem to have sunk into a mass state of denial.
We put so much faith in our government to provide for us when we get ill. Most of our doctors treat the symptoms and not the root causes. It’s a vicious cycle that causes us to eat, drink and be merry which in turn causes us to feel lethargic, depressed and gain weight.
There is no magic pill for obesity and we need to understand that feeding our kids processed food from infancy has a chronic impact negatively on their health. Most babies are being weaned on food devoid of nutrients. Packaged convenience foods may seem a cheaper option that saves time but long-term the shortcuts will only turn into chronic illness and medical bills. If you look at the ingredients used in these foods I guarantee you there are words you can’t recognize and sometimes can’t even pronounce. We should only ever eat anything natural and fresh and I think we all know that the list of E numbers and additives we see certainly don’t grow in the ground or come from an animal or a tree.
As a parent it seems a constant and daily battle trying to feed our kids healthy food. Temptations and marketing are simply everywhere. James gets up in the morning and before I have even dressed him he asks for jellies and after school as soon as he’s in the car he wants a treat because he’s been good during the day. I absolutely have to take responsibility here as sometimes I give in because I’m tired which very simply makes me too lazy to do the right thing.
I’m making changes slowly now, as we all know that making dramatic changes and denying ourselves everything never works. I have gone back to what my grandmother used to do when we were kids and have made Friday nights our party night. I’m trying to make food more interesting and getting James involved in the cooking process.
The immediate changes I have noticed are in his sleep and behavior. He’s much more focused when he’s not loaded up with processed food. He actually answers me when I call him. Our kids are not supposed to have more than 5grams of sugar a day and there is 10grams in one tiny petit filous. James was eating three or four of these a night which turned into a game of chasing at bedtime. His concentration during storytime was simply not there and it felt like sitting beside a kid with ants in his pants!
Now don’t get me wrong I’m human and believe me all I’m doing is my best but I’m hoping that by slowly making changes to his diet I can try to cut down the processed sugars that are causing such dramatic behavioural differences.
My rule of thumb is to try and stay away from packets. Stick to fresh food as much as possible. Choose wholegrain breads, nuts, seeds and berries. James loves eggs or porridge for breakfast now and I always cook with coconut oil. I’m still learning but there are lots of choices out there, you just have to step out of your comfort zone. We are creatures of habit but I promise you when you start to feel better in your self, have more energy and start to sleep better you won’t look back. I still have my take away’s but I do notice a dramatic difference in how I feel when I eat them.
Try and keep a food diary for both yourself and your family. You’ll be shocked at how we lie to ourselves. You’ll also start to notice patterns with mood and behaviours and soon you’ll be able to pinpoint certain foods and choices that cause us to feel bloated, tired and irritable.
One thing is for sure if we eat badly now we’ll pay later and as Dr Joel Furman says “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead but the more you eat green, the more you get lean.”