As each generation eats more poorly than the last, we are seeing each new generation getting sicker more quickly than the last. This truly breaks my heart! Did you know or do you remember that type 2 diabetes used to be called "adult onset diabetes"? Diet and lifestyle are the reasons we are seeing it in kids and can no longer call it "adult onset". Fruits and vegetables are critical if you want to be healthy - meaning free from disease whether that is a cold or flu or something life threatening like cancer or heart disease. I'm not saying they are everything but they certainly are a HUGE piece of the equation. This is even more important for kids. They are developing healthy or unhealthy habits now that will stick with them for a lifetime. What you teach, model, and encourage now will have a lasting impact on your child's health. Please read on. There is so much to say on this topic but I've tried to keep it brief.
"Phytos help your body fight germs. (Tell your kids about 'Phyto-Man'!) They also prevent wear and tear on your cells and organs and help the body repair itself. Unlike prescription medicines, phytos have no side effects. They do nothing but good things for you."
"Different foods contain different phytos, which have different functions in the body. For example, the beta carotene and lutein in spinach help keep eyes and skin healthy. The phytos in broccoli (e.g., vitamin C and sulforaphanes) are antioxidants; they protect rapidly growing cells from becoming cancerous. The list is endless.... When you put a bunch of phytos together you create synergy..."
Dr. Fuhrman's book has tons of helpful information as well. One of the main things that has stayed with me from "Disease-Proof Your Child" is that how I feed my child today may have more impact on her likelihood of developing cancer or other degenerative diseases than how she eats as an adult.
Here is what I just heard him say in a lecture. This was HUGE to me as a mom. You might feel bad as an adult reading this but no worries. The talk was about overall health and immunity. He had great information for adult. Much of it is covered in his book, Super Immunity.
So here is the quote:
"When your cells are replicating, when you're growing, between the ages of 1 and 10 years old, is when most of the damage occurs to the DNA, setting the stage for later life cancers.
Childhood diets are the major cause of adult cancers."
Dr. Fuhrman has a nutritionally oriented family practice. He advises a plant based diet. With that diet, he has seen young children recover from asthma, allergies, ADHD, constipation & digestive issues, ear infections, eczema & other common skin diseases, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Fuhrman says:
"Health is normal. The human body is a self-repairing, self-defending, and self-healing marvel. Disease is relatively difficult to induce, considering the body's powerful immune system. However, this complicated and delicate machinery can be damaged if fed the wrong fuel during the formative years."
"Healthy living with nutritional excellence throughout life can slow the decline of aging."
I highly recommend either book especially if you are a parent. Dr. Fuhrman gives lots of scientific back up for his recommendations (in easy to read language). It's a "heavier" tone than Dr. Sear's book. I appreciate the nutritional advice, recipes (both books include these) and education in both. If you are ready to make the leap into a primarily plant based diet then Dr. Fuhrman's book you might like best. Otherwise start with Dr. Sears. Either books give great education, rationale and tactics for helping to feed, educate and encourage kids towards a healthy lifestyle.
Here's to "Phyto Foods" and eating the Rainbow! We can all benefit rather young or old.
Rainbow Food - Getting Kids to eat Healthy Food
Food Art for Kids - Making it fun for them to eat their fruits & veggies