Getting Kids to Eat Great!Last week, I brought my 5 year old daughter to see Dr. Olinca Trejo, Naturopathic Doctor. When Dr. Olinca asked about her favorite foods, she started naming vegetables and fruit. And when she asked her what foods she didn’t like, she paused for a moment, before telling us she didn’t like chia. Dr. Olinca and I both thought this was funny – although my daughter thought we were laughing at her – but what kid says that they don’t like chia??? I often get comments about how lucky I am that she is such a good eater and how amazing it is that she eats so many fruits and veggies. Is it really just ‘luck’?

Gratitude Tip: We live in a country that gives us access to so much healthy and whole foods. We are spoiled for choice and across Canada, most of the population has access to fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Yet more than 2/3 of Canadians are overweight or obese. How does this happen? And what can be done to change it? It begins with showing gratitude for our food and giving thanks before we sit down to eat. That’s the start of healthy, whole food eating.

I came across a new documentary on Netflix by Joe Cross (of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead) called The Kids Menu. ‘In THE KIDS MENU, Joe meets with experts, parents, teachers and kids, coming to the realization that childhood obesity isn’t the real issue, but rather a symptom of a bigger problem. The lack of knowledge of what healthy foods are. Lack of access to healthy and affordable options. And the influence of negative role models, whether a parent, teacher or even a celebrity.’ 

This documentary was the best one I have seen by Joe Cross. He puts together the different sides of the equation when it comes to obesity, starting with children. Since childhood obesity and type II diabetes in children is on the rise, it makes sense to start with children. What I loved about this film is that it leaves you with some excellent ideas and with real hope for a different future. I highly recommend this documentary, especially to teachers and school administrators.  He also spends some time debunking the myth that eating healthy food is more expensive. When you learn to cook from scratch (which is easier than most people think), you can SAVE money!

Most of you know how passionate I am about nutrition and wellness, and you may not know this but I also did a lot of fundraising for Team Diabetes Canada when I was doing my Ironman triathlons. My grandmother was overweight, she had type II diabetes and ended up dying from heart problems (likely from the combination of the two). As my mom told me, she loved her sweets. I have been designing lifestyle programs for over a decade, because I am committed to helping my clients to create optimal health for themselves AND their families. The 30 Day Whole Body Detox has been the culmination of all of my work. And one of the most inspiring stories from this year comes from a single mom of three teenage boys, who decided to do the program and include her family. The full story can be found here on our detox blog, and here are a few highlights:

She invited her boys to do the program with her because she told them she would not be bringing the unhealthy food into the home during the 30 days. In The Kids Menu, it’s mentioned a few times that even though we cannot control what goes into our kids mouths, we can control what food is in our homes. So the person who does the grocery shopping is actually the one who decides how healthy or not the family will be eating.

She led by example. Our kids will copy what we do. If we ask them to drink water and we are drinking soda, they will want soda. How many of us have had our young kids ask us for a sip of a beer? Yes, it’s cute and funny, but it also shows how much they follow our lead. When my daughter started eating first foods, I used to give her frozen kale pieces to chew on. She started eating green smoothies before she was two years old. She’s been taking a daily Usanimals vitamin since she was about 18 months old (before that I used to crush it and add to food).

She made different choices and changed their family habits. Before the program, she had no energy to cook or to get out and move. Now, the whole family has more energy and after dinner instead of sitting around playing video games, they go outside for a walk or simply to be out in nature.

She decided not to live by her excuses. She was intimidated by the program at first, it seems like a program for ‘healthy’ people. And it seemed like it would be more expensive. Turns out it was neither. By eating foods that have fiber in them, her boys were more satisfied and the grazing habits diminished. She decided that it was worth the investment in her health, and the health of her boys.

I encourage you to watch The Kids Menu this week. They show many examples of schools that are growing food on site. This is something that I believe is very powerful. We started this last year with a small 3 x 3 square foot garden and this year, we graduated to a large 4 x 8 raised cedar bed. We are hopeful that we will get enough sun and that our veggies will grow. My daughter loves to pick the veggies right off the vine and eat them. There is no better way to get kids to be excited about food. If you don’t have a food garden, take your kids to a farmer’s market. Most farmers love answering questions about where food comes from. And the taste of farm fresh produce is out of this world! They may even find that they like peppers, tomatoes or green beans once they have tried farm fresh.

If you want your kids eating habits to change, it starts with the parents. The 30 Day Whole Body Detox is a WHOLE FOOD program that is absolutely appropriate for everyone in the family. There are specific supplements that can be added for kids (the Usanimals, Biomega Jr. or Body Rox for teens) and they can also take the USANA Probiotics and enjoy the MySmartShakes and the Fibergy too. If you’d like to complete the program before the summer holidays, now is the time to start! Are you ready to ORDER NOW?

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