I work with children. I’m a speech therapist by day and a Primal Enthusiast by evening. I love children. I love Primal living.
I enjoy most aspects of the daily career that I have chosen for myself. I get to help children learn to communicate and to become chatty little creatures. Awesome? Yes, I think so!
I feel a special connection to the kids I work with and I want to protect them and teach them just as if they were my own. So when I ran across an article today in the local newspaper I couldn’t help but think of how I wish I could meld my two worlds: Speech therapy and Primal living. This article really got me thinking.
You see, children don’t get to be in charge of much. From the moment they wake up choices are often made for them. Parents tell them when to bathe, when to brush their teeth, what to drink, what to eat, what to wear and when to go to bed and more! It’s what parents do, right? After all, as parents and teachers it’s our JOB to teach them HOW to do all these things, correct? If we don’t teach them, then who will?
During the daytime, I work in the homes of the rich. I also work in the homes of the poor. In both cases, children are treated the same--No real choices throughout the day even when it comes to food. Food is provided and kids chow it down.
You may be saying to yourself, "Maybe the parents can't afford to shop for meats, fresh veggies and fruit (what I refer to as REAL FOOD)?" I disagree.
It's not because parents cannot afford real food. In fact, some of the higher income homes I go into the parents bring home dinner in take-out containers and paper sacks more frequently than in the lower income homes. Healthy food choices and income don't seem to play much of a role in the choices that are provided. In some homes children’s choices go something like this, “Ralphie, would you like strawberries or yogurt.” In other homes choices go something like this, “Nate, would you like chicken nuggets or hamburger?” or my favorite, “McDonald’s or Taco Bell, Timmy?” What's available in the kitchens and homes of children is not directly correlated with income in many cases. I believe, it's all a matter of convenience.
But here's my real point: We could kill two birds with one stone. Why not provide REAL FOOD? Nutritious fruits, vegetables and meats that sustain our children throughout the day. These foods maintain blood sugars, regulate energy and promote healthy brain development and immunity. If you say you don't have the money I will say, "You are a crazy fool." You would find money if your child needed to go to the doctor for an ear infection, needed insulin to stabilize blood sugars or medication to control hyperactivity. If you can find money for these doctor visits and medications, then you can find the money to feed your kids real food. Afterall, it's their greatest line of defense and real food prevents 90% of these problems anyway!
Think of it like this: “Perhaps, Timmy would have only 1 meltdown per week if we fed him real, nutritious food—like vegetables that grow out of the ground?” or “Maybe he would follow directions or attend to therapy tasks more willingly if he didn’t just eat 42 M&M’s in 30 seconds and his brain could focus?” Hell, I’d be 10 seconds from looney too if I ate half the crap we feed our kids! Give me one ‘fruit’ snack and I will have a sugar crash in 20 minutes and fully demonstrate a temper tantrum for you-- complete with whining, crying and self-injurious behavior!
Just a thought here, but don’t our kids deserve more from us? Why is processed, sugary food even an option for them? Don’t they deserve for us to teach them to eat real food? How to grow food, love food, cook food and enjoy food?
Can't we make eating and feeding our family a learning opportunity? Think of all the verbs, nouns, adjectives and language that can be incorporated in preparing real food as a family! You can have wonderful conversations around food and around the dinner table. It is possible to meld these two worlds--Speech therapy and Primal living. Trust me.