Being a parent in today’s acidic world is life’s biggest challenge and greatest responsibility.
If you’re trying to raise your kids to be healthy, it’s even harder. We are inundated by tempting junk food. And kids are surrounded by other kids eating this garbage all day long.
And yet, we are talking about our children – they are worth the challenge! Now more than ever, we need to enable our kids to become healthy adults. We know more and more every year about how obesity contributes to diseases as serious as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. And yet, obesity rates have increased over the last 20 years.
You might already know that 1 in 3 children are overweight, and 1 in 5 children are obese. But did you know that the rate jumps dramatically after age 5?
That’s right, according to the CDC, from ages 0 to 5 we do a fairly good job of helping children stay healthy. But then obesity rates DOUBLE during the ages of 6 to 19.
What that tells me is that when parents have more control over what their kids eat, they are healthier, but once kids are in school all day and away from parents more, they begin to veer off course.
So today we’re going to talk about not just how to feed them nutritious, alkaline food, but also how to educate them so they can continue to make good choices for themselves throughout their lifetimes.
Let’s get started.
- Remember 80/20 – It’s not about perfection.
We chose never to be those parents who say, “You can't have a cupcake at a party.” Some parents do that, and that’s what works for them. Our approach is this… Control what we can control, and let our children still be children.
If our son, Brayden, is 80% fully alkaline, he will thrive. And so far, so good. He eats almost all alkaline without feeling deprived of other foods, he has never had a single drug or medication, and is growing so fast (and straight I may add, he has been adjusted since 12 minutes after birth).
Now I won’t lie to you. It’s a huge challenge when Brayden sees another child eating ice cream or cookies and he wants that too.
How do we explain to a 3 year old that he can't have what other kids are eating 24-7? Have you ever come across this problem?
It’s not easy, but I’ll tell you it is amazing how young he is, and yet he does have an understanding of what good food is.
He’ll say, “Good food makes me strong like Dadda! It makes me smart like Mama! Junk food makes me tired, and makes me slow.”
So keep talking about this stuff, and it does make an impression on them, even if they still want that cupcake at the party.
- Need vs. Want.
Give your kids what they NEED, not what they want.
We love our children so much, and always want what is best for them. So as parents, we need to RAISE OUR STANDARDS when it comes to giving our children the foods their bodies need.
If you take away one point today, I hope it’s this… When you give your child a donut, you are not giving them a treat. I hate to be so harsh, but you are feeding them poison, literally. No one wants to hear that, but unfortunately, it’s true.
When you start thinking about it that way, it can change the health of you children and family in every which way.
Remember, sugar is what makes cancer cells thrive. So when you let your kid have a soda, or ice cream, or other sugar filled foods, keep that fact in mind.
I want you to think about these questions when you give your children food:
Are you feeding health, OR disease?
Are you cleansing, or are you clogging? Finding other ways you can treat your kids, like spending extra time with them or taking them somewhere special, or making a healthier ‘treat’ instead?
This is so much better for them and they’ll enjoy it too.
Let me give you an example. Brayden came home from school the other day and I must have heard the word COOKIE come out of his mouth a million times. Of course, he wanted more after their school Haloween party. As Tony Robbins says, I had to do a pattern interrupt – and I asked Brayden if he would want to make a Chia pudding with me?
He said YES, and then I asked what flavor he wanted, Pumpkin, Chocolate, or Vanilla Coconut?
Letting them choose what they want makes them feel empowered, and so much more inclined to participate. So not only did I successfully get Brayden off the cookie train, but I also got him to spend some quality time with his daddy, and we made a delicious, healthy alkaline treat for the entire family.
He added the ingredients one by one, he blended it, he named the treat, and then he taste-tested it (and practically ate the entire bowl!).
- It starts at home.
When kids are at school, activities, and friend’s houses, you aren’t always going to be able to control what they eat. And you’ll have other people, including teachers, telling them that junk like yogurt and fruit juice is healthy for them, which drives me crazy.
That’s why what happens at home is so important, and it’s not something we take for granted. We are tireless in setting a good example for our kids and setting them up for making the right choices themselves.
Kids don’t actually have a vendetta against green things! The problem is often that the adults around them aren’t practicing what they preach.
It’s simple. If they see you eating fried food and ice cream, they are going to think it’s okay to eat that too. If they see you eating a plate full of delicious vegetables, they are going to think it’s okay to eat that too.
You won’t need to say, “Eat your vegetables!” when the whole family is eating a meal of nearly all vegetables.
Remember, they won’t starve. Serve them what you know is good for them, and if they are hungry, they’ll eat it.
- It’s never too late.
Whether you have a baby, a preschooler, or a high school senior, it is NEVER too late to start. It may be harder if they are older, but start by adding, not by taking away.
If you slowly add one good food at a time, and do it consistently, eventually, the good will outweigh the bad. There’s a reason I recommend that for adults – it works. And it will work for your kids too.
- Make it fun.
Kids love games, so make it fun! Brayden loves going to the farmers’ market. We gave him his own little basket, so he can pick out his own foods and get involved.
Then when we go home, we take out the Vitamix or the Hurom juicer, and we let him pick the produce, we let him put it into the blender, we let him turn it on, and then he pours it into the glasses. Yes, it can turn into a mess, but it’s worth it and it’s fun.
As I did with the Chocolate Chia Pudding, Brayden will come up with a fun name for the alkaline drink, and then guess what… He drinks it! And he enjoys it.
If you have food toys at home, practice sorting them. Young children love to sort, and they can separate the fruits from the vegetables, the red foods from the yellow ones and green ones, and the healthy ones from the not healthy ones. Make it fun and playful, and they’ll get the lesson.
As kids get older, you can use the same tool you use yourself, only make it into a game. Swap This for That – toss out a food and let them come up with a better alternative.
- Help change the world.
It’s really hard going to activities and parties with kids when you know there’s going to be pizza, cake, juice, pretzels, and other supposedly “kid friendly” foods.
You can take an alternative for your kids, so they have healthy options.
Or even better, you can volunteer to be the one who brings the snacks. Most organized activities love to have parent involvement and if you take the responsibility yourself, you can bring anything you want.
We’ve been doing this since my son started school and we bring veggie sticks and hummus, fruit and nuts like almonds and macadamia nuts (check for allergies first), and baked zucchini chips.
- Emphasize good choices.
This goes for all parenting, right?
It usually doesn’t work well to criticize decisions kids make that we don’t agree with, and the last thing we want is to tell our kids that certain food is nasty (even if it is) because you know they’ll go to school and say, “My daddy says your lunch is nasty!” We can’t have that!
So at our house, we emphasize "good choices.” We praise him when he makes good choices and give positive reinforcement like, “This is going to make you grow big and strong!” or “Just like a race car, you need this good fuel to go fast!”
As kids get older, you can remind them that, yes, it’s your choice what you eat, but we hope you make healthy choices just like we hope you make choices to be a good student, a kind friend, and so on. That way, they know that making choices you don’t agree with doesn’t mean they are bad kids.
And when they do make poor food choices, use it as a lesson. Talk to them about how they feel after they eat that piece of cake at a birthday party. When you rarely eat sugar, it does not feel good. And even at just age 3, my son has started to notice that.
- Ideas from Chelsea
Although I’ve written “we” throughout this blog post, I really need to give my wife, Chelsea, all of the due credit here. She is an incredible mom, and keeps Brayden so on point with what he eats, the supplements he takes, and his whole attitude toward food.
She shared these fantastic suggestions in the Get Off Your Acid 7-Day Alkaline Cleanse Facebook group, which if you’re not a member, it’s a great group that’s worth the price of the Cleanse by itself for all of the ideas and motivation in there. Here’s what Chelsea said:
- Sprouted tortilla (Ezekiel brand) with raw almond butter and cinnamon cut in small pieces.
- Sweet pumpkin breakfast bars
- Hemp seeds
- Raw sprouted almonds
- Homemade trail mix
- Chia bars
- Salty sesame soy chickpeas
- Popsicles made out of any alkaline smoothie recipe
- Daily Greens fruit pop made with frozen fruit, Alkamind Daily Greens, coconut oil, date, and chia seeds
Other members in the group shared their snack ideas too:
- “The kids love tortillas so the Ezekiel one topped with Dr. D's burrito bowl taste just like a fajita!” –Michelle Z.
- “I make my own version of pbj with this awesome nut butter and fresh blueberries, chia seeds and cinnamon.” –Joan P.
- “I make applesauce and blend it with spinach just like a smoothie. I use a mix of red and green apples to cut down on the sugar and add cinnamon.” –Katherine C.
If you have alkaline snack ideas, we would love to hear them. Share them in the comments.
- Don’t forget to supplement.
Nobody expects children to be perfect. The fact is, they are going to eat foods that are not supplying them with nutrients.
Even if they were perfect, their need for vitamins and minerals would still be greater than our food supplies. That’s the case for all of us, and it’s why supplementing is so important.
So take any pressure or guilt off yourself to get them to eat 100% nutritious by supplementing their diets with the following:
- Alkamind Daily Greens – 1 scoop per day, just like adults. Add it to their smoothies to deliver a mega-dose of organic, food-based vitamins and minerals.
- Omega 3 – The food they are eating is not supplying enough of this, so buy a quality source and give them at least 600 mg per day.
- Vitamin D3 – Most people are deficient, so give them at least 600 IU daily, and more for infants (at least 1,000 IU).
- Probiotics – If you buy a really good, refrigerated children’s probiotic, follow the dosing on the package to deliver enough good bacteria.
Give them a scoop of Alkamind Daily Minerals mixed with water before bed so they get a restful sleep, which is what every parent wants!