Let Children’s Instincts Rule!!!
By Dorit author of Celebrating Our Raw Nature
Do not be alarmed!
Children respond strongly to colors and will sometimes go through phases in which they will only eat foods of a certain color, texture, or smell. Do not be alarmed. One of my private clients was a bit hesitant and expressed her concern to me when her toddler was refusing to eat anything but bread and red bell peppers. I assured her that children eat instinctively and that when her daughter’s little body was ready for other forms of nutrients, her daughter would move on to them. It was exactly what her daughter eventually did.
I had another client who became alarmed when her little boy would only eat fruits. I pointed out to her that we were in the middle of a particularly hot and humid Southern California summer. Wasn’t she craving these fruits, as well? Her reply was of course she was, but to maintain a balanced diet, she was forcing herself to have a little bit of meat and other foods. Taken aback, I asked her if her son was suffering from lethargy and having a rough time with the heat and humidity. She replied, “No! That is what is so strange!”
I asked her the same question—was she suffering from lethargy and having a rough time with the heat and humidity? She replied, “Of course I am. Isn’t everybody?” I told her that, although I didn’t like the heat, I was tolerating it very well. Like her son, I had given in to my instincts for moisture-laden and cooling fruits only. She looked baffled. “But he is a growing child!” she exclaimed, “and I need to make sure he is getting protein.” I pointed out that fruits also had protein and if he needed protein in another form, he would start asking for it instinctively. She told me that he was too small to make these decisions for himself and who had ever heard that fruits had protein?
Such is the bliss of ignorance!
The reason it seemed to her that better nutrition for the child was eating a white bagel with “cream cheese” in the midst of a boiling summer’s day is due to the social hypnosis that we all succumb to as a result of wisely crafted and manipulating advertisements on TV, billboards, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and even some news reports!
My thanks go to so many in the raw, vegan, living foods movement and all the scientists who are now dispelling these myths. Parents, child care providers and schools need to spend more time with, in, and studying nature, so they can gain a healthy respect for the rhythms of the human body, which when left clean and untainted by “education,” follows the rhythms of the seasons and, therefore, of life itself!
Honoring your instincts
I believe that to raise healthy, confident, well-attuned human beings, we need to encourage and foster children to eat, sleep, urinate, defecate, and make all other everyday decisions by respecting and honoring their instincts. When we ridicule them what we get are frightened, fear-filled, de-natured children.
What I am saying is learn what works for your children at meal times. To do so, make space and time for them in the kitchen, at the farmers’ markets, and farms where they can pick their own berries and apples. The more involved they are with growing, picking, and sprouting of their own food sources, the healthier their eating habits will be.
One of my favorite gifts to give children is sprouting jars and other sprouting equipment. I have also suggested to clients seeking to raise healthier families that the fun of sprouting be assigned to a different child each month. It is such a joy to watch the delight with which they master this learning tool. It also does wonders for their self-confidence, especially when the entire family gathers around before mealtime to watch and celebrate as that child harvests the sprouts for the meal about to be served. Remember to also include the name of that child in the blessings for the meal!SHARE THIS