“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat [food].” Genesis 1:29
This is the basic nutrition plan that God laid out for us in the very beginning. The sooner we realize that God who made the body has a plan for taking care of the body, the healthier we will be. And the sooner we start feeding our children according to God’s plan, the easier it will be to train them for a lifetime of eating healthy.
I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon last week – at age 60 this was my first!!!! It was so much fun and so rewarding to know that I had disciplined my body to run 13.1 miles by exercising and eating healthy. Emphasize these disciplines in your children while their beliefs and habits are being formed. Teach them that our bodies belong to God who made us and we are to honor God in the way we take care of them. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
During training I could definitely tell a difference in running on the day following a day I had not made wise food choices. What you eat does make a difference! Green Smoothie Revolution and Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko have greatly influenced my diet.
Victoria has now written books for children to help reinforce good eating habits. Below are two of them and another, Green Smoothie Magic, will be available soon.
A Gift From Little Bear is such a cute little story that teaches a couple of lessons. The bear takes unhealthy food from the children and gets a tummy ache. He learns from his mommy that bear’s ‘berry’ food is good for everyone and he decides to share his good food with the children. This is a wonderful, subtle way of teaching better eating habits – and sharing!!
Buy some berries and pretend to be the little bear sharing with the children. As yall eat the delicious berries share ‘God satisfies your mouth with good things,” (Psalm 103:5)
Fruits I Love is a great way to introduce children to a variety of fruits. The book’s colorful pictures are visually inviting to children, and what child doesn’t enjoy a rhyming book! I appreciate the fact that in reading this book to a child, you are doing more than just reading words or looking at pictures, but you are actually making fruit very appealing to them.
After reading this book with your children, purchase each of the fruits depicted in the book and have your children actually examine, smell, taste, find the seeds, and rate the fruits according to which they like best. This is a delicious way to begin a love for fruits! Again emphasize Psalm 103:5.
Romans 11:16 (Msg) Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit.
What we eat affects our future children.
We are well aware that we affect our children through our DNA in their physical characteristics such as color of hair and eyes, but did you know that the way we eat before our children are conceived will affect their health? Dr. John Christopher in his book, Herbal Home Health Care states “The time we start preparing for an anti-disease susceptibility is many months before conception. If, however, that is too late and the child is here and sick at this time, we will have to work on the present cause, but this effort could be eliminated if we had started a few generations back.”
For more on this check out this article that points out what we do to our bodies can somehow leave an imprint on our genetic material and be passed along to the next generation.
How we live our lives affects our future children.
It’s interesting that what has been discovered in the scientific realm of how choices made nutritionally affect future generations is also what God has said in His Word concerning how we relate to Him. Deuteronomy 5:9 You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Catherine Marshall speaks about this in her book, Something More. She writes, ” just as we can inherit either a fortune or debts, so in the spiritual realm we can inherit either spiritual blessings or those liabilities (unabashedly called ‘sins’ in scripture) that hinder our development into mature persons.”
Chuck Swindoll in his book, You and Your Child refers to this as “grandad’s bent” and points out that the bents in our lives toward particular sins must be broken for the good of the children that will come after us. Deuteronomy 5:29 “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be will with them, and with their children for ever!
Since the nutritional and spiritual choices made will directly affect the children that are yet conceived, then each choice should be carefully thought through, if not for your own good, but for the good of your future children. Live life as a ‘God-planted, God-tended root which will result in some holy (pure, virtuous) fruit.’
I recently had the privilege of meeting Lisa Giordano. She is the leader of a MOPS group in Burbank California and is a very proactive mom in caring for her family spiritually and nutritionally. I am happy to have her share some of what she does to help her family eat healthy:
One easy way to share with my child about healthy eating is the traffic light concept. This is taken from the pediatrician Dr. William Sears. If a food is a “green light” food, it is healthy to eat or a “go for it” food. Examples of this are breads made with sprouted grains, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fish, and lean meats such as white meat chicken and turkey. The more we can make fresh fruits and veggies desirable the better. To do this, moms may need to use a low fat dip for little ones or sneak them into a shake with some fruit like your daughter-in-law Becca does (green smoothies).
“Yellow light” foods are “think about it” foods. They are okay in moderation, but should be reserved for treats and only eaten occasionally. Examples of this would be butter, cakes, candy, cookies, and white bread.
“Red light” foods are “stop, say no, bad for you” foods. Examples of these foods would be nitrate-containing meats, packaged foods with “hydrogenated oils, drinks made with food coloring, and doughnuts. One of the downfalls of “yellow and red light” foods is sugar.
Foods with complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, grains, and fruits are good for you. The simple sugars found in soda, candies, frostings, and packaged treats can do harm.Dr. Sears states these five reasons why they are harmful:
(It is helpful for me to remember these facts before I reach for a candy bar!)
– sugar depresses immunity
- it sours behavior, attention, and learning
- it promotes sugar highs
- it promotes sugar cravings
- it promotes heart disease
It is helpful for me to have weekly lists made for meals and snacks so that our family will be healthy. Fast food is something that is purchased if I don’t plan well. If I grocery shop and start meal prep early in the day, it is less likely for us to make bad food choices.
We are building temples for God to live in. We must train our children spiritually to create a desire in them to be a temple; we must train them nutritionally and physically to keep that temple healthy.
Have you heard of SAD? It is the Standard American Diet made up of processed, nutrient-deficient, fast foods that are not supplying what is needed to stay healthy and be successful. The Bible has something to say about that: Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.(Isaiah 55:2)
If the eating habits of you and your children are ‘SAD’, you will want to check out this new children’s book that addresses the issue in such a way anyone can begin making wise choices in eating. I’m excited to recommend The Adventures of Junk Food Dude by Robyn Openshaw. Robyn writes a blog (http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/) with a passion to help others achieve fantastic health and energy eating whole foods .
Her new book expresses her passion in an interesting story of two little boys and how the differences in their food choices affect their lives. Your child will learn about healthy eating without the feeling of having sat through a lesson on Nutrition. The illustrations by Lori Sume make the book very inviting to children.
If you are looking for a good children’s book to help reinforce healthy eating habits, you will love this book!! There’s even a fun quiz at the end that has you sorting nutritious food and junk food. And the story not only teaches healthy eating, it teaches care and concern for friends! This is an excellent product to help you Train Up the Child!!!