I just picked up Chef AJ’s new book – “The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss”.
Chef AJ is a leader in the whole-food plant based approach to health and weight loss.
She talks a lot about the addictive qualities of processed foods.
From page 7 – a message to parents:
“If you are a parent reading this, please understand that once you start feeding your kids unhealthy, disease-promoting foods like animal products, especially dairy, and processed food (particularly sugar and refined grains), you are planting the seeds for predisposing them to a refined food addiction by rewiring their delicate brain chemistry in an unfavourable way and adulterating their palate so that they are disinclined to enjoy the taste of healthy, whole, natural food. Processed foods like these are engineered to be addictive; they hijack our taste buds and our brain chemistry. Getting your family to eat healthy foods after they have been habitually eating these highly addictive foods will be an uphill battle, so please heal yourself from these addictions and stabilize your own brain chemistry first. The best strategy is not to feed your kids these poisons in the first place.”
Yes, we are fighting an uphill battle – processed food is literally everywhere:
– School – I’m working on changing this at my childrens’ private school
– At our places of worship – there’s the candy man, and candy at every celebratory event
– Grandparents – This is one of their ways of showing love, and I appreciate that. But there are many whole foods that my kids love more than processed treats. My kids think pistachios are a treat, or a big bag of jumbo cherries. If given a choice, I think they would choose one of these over a cookie covered in icing.
– Friends – I have the best friends! I love them! And I fully know they are doing the best with the knowledge they have. Like grandparents, they want to show their kids and my kids a good time, and so they have junk food to do this. I totally get this… but let’s work on finding whole foods that kids love and will build their health.
Still, my children get a clear message at home: we want to choose yummy, delicious whole foods that will make us feel good, help us be focused in school, allow us to sleep well, and promote our health and well-being.