Many of us mean to eat well and make sure our kids are eating well, but often we go for quick and easy over organic and wholesome. There are are benefits to eating healthy, and choosing whole foods should be taken into just as much consideration as price and convenience. Feeding your kids organics gives them an opportunity to learn about what goes in their mouths and what the process of getting food to the table really entails. What are some of my reasons?
1. Health benefits for your family
Laugh all you want, but the No. 1 reason to eat well is to be well. Medical costs in this country are not going down anytime soon, but the better your family eats, the better their immune system is — and that means fewer doctor visits for everyone. Make the only time your kid visits the doctor be the time she jumps off the monkey bars rather than every flu season.
2. It sends a message
When you as a consumer decide to eat organic, slow, local, or wholesome direct sale foods such as Marengo Foods, you send a powerful message that you care about where your food comes from, how it was handled, and what is on it. Did your tomato get more stamps on its passport than you've ever had? What's the carbon footprint of that banana if it came from five countries away? Supporting local farmers and farmer's markets is a great way for kids to learn about food, too. Many nutritionists advocate eating in the season for better health as well. Consumers who are conscious of their choices help to keep the industry on its toes.
3. Encourages a real appreciation for real food.
Many families are now going in with other families to butcher one organic cow together and share the meat. The same with chickens, or raising chickens for eggs. What better way for a child to not take food for granted if he/she actually sees what meat really is and where it comes from?
Family organic gardens give kids ownership of their food. Many finicky eaters become willing to try the new veggie when they had a hand in raising it. All that hard work!
4. It is better for the environment
It's not just about us — we often forget that part! Organics and small farms help keep plants diversified and soil fertile. If you have plants growing in better non-toxic conditions, it's going to benefit everyone and everything involved. Eating organic keeps real food intact. Say no to GMO or what's known as Frankenfood. A tomato should have tomato DNA, not fish DNA.
5. Your purchase is better for the farmer
The more direct you buy your food, the better it is for the farmer selling it. Especially when you consider that organic farmers are not privy to the same subsidies the big industrial chemical farmers are. By buying as direct as possible or shopping at grocery stores that adhere to this policy of buying directly from farmers, you are helping the small farmer to make more organics and whole foods available. You are creating demand for better quality food!
6. Whole foods taste better
The discerning kid can tell. Bite into an organic strawberry or cucumber in the summer and then bite into one shipped in from Peru in January. The taste is like night and day. Food for mass supermarkets are usually picked way before they are ripe and they ripen in the store weeks later. But organics and local produce can stay on the vines longer and aren't typically grown out of season. Demand freshness, even if it is in the form of vegetable juices, like Juice Plus, a product recently featured on Lifetime Television's The Balancing Act.
7. It teaches children stronger values
Kids are learning from us everyday. We are what we eat, but we are also what we value. Teaching your children that you care about what goes in your body and their bodies sends a strong signal to them that this is important stuff to consider. They learn that, just as you shield them from harm in the street or outside, so too do you shield them from chemicals and future health problems.
So what are you waiting for? Eat good. Eat healthy.