My youngest son Ryan has always been the one who has provided the most challenge when it comes to healthy eating. He is the one who rejected anything green, who at first wouldn’t touch salad and vegetables and who had an eye for anything in a bright wrapper.
Nowadays, he eats well but still needs a lot more encouragement than Ethan to reach for the salad bowl. With this in mind, the following story is pretty amazing and shows that when it comes to children and eating healthy food, sometimes you just need the right motivation.
Yesterday, I signed up to Food Matters TV. I had heard good things about the documentaries featured on this site. They cover many topics in the areas of food, lifestyle, the environment and spirituality. Given the fact that I don’t find much on TV that gives me joy it sounded like a great option. So last night, Ryan and I decided to give it a go. I let him pick what to watch and he chose a film called “Fat, sick and nearly dead”. It was in the inspirational category and probably wouldn’t have been my first choice given the title, but obviously appealed to a 10 year old boy for the same reason.
It was about an Australian man named Joe Cross, who had contracted an auto-immune disease and obesity through his diet choices. He decided enough was enough and embarked on a 60 day juice fast whilst travelling across the USA. Along the way he inspired many people including a truck driver named Phil who actually turned out to be the biggest miracle of all in the film. The ripple affect of one man’s choice was so incredible and provided all that most of today’s TV lacks (joy, hope and inspiration). Joe managed to lose all his extra weight, come off all his medication and heal his disease. Ryan and I really enjoyed it and went to bed feeling happy.
I didn’t realise how much the film had affected Ryan until this morning. When it was time to have breakfast, he asked me to take him down to our vegetable garden to show him what he could put in a juice. We went down armed with a large bowl and scissors and he chose greens! It took a lot of effort to keep a straight face. It was like I was walking beside a different child! He then made juice for the whole family, aided by Ethan who is easily inspired by anything food related. Not only that, he drank the whole thing and actually enjoyed it!
Apparently he is going to have another at lunch and one at dinner too. I was feeling very grateful that I have been learning about edible weeds and that we have many in our garden. Looks like we will be needing a lot of produce! The thing is too, even if he doesn’t have more juice later today or even next week, he has overcome his aversion to something healthy and green on his own terms and by making a choice himself. That is the biggest achievement and the one I am most proud of him for.
Our juice this morning contained the following:
Chickweed (most gardens contain this one)
Lovage (celery flavoured herb)
Given the fact that fruit juices are high in fructose we chose to stick mainly to vegetables and just added a little apple to make it palatable. This juice provides a host of concentrated micro-nutrients.
I wanted to share this story because if you have a child that doesn’t want to eat well, don’t lose hope. There are many triggers that provide a child with the motivation to make healthy choices. Possibilities include education, helping with meal preparation, gardening and in Ryan’s case, watching an inspirational story. Check out the website for “Fat, Sick and nearly Dead”: http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/ You can watch the trailer on there. This isn’t the only film of its kind either. More recently “That Sugar Film” has had a great effect on many people; adults and children. Check out Food Matters TV too as you may find something on there that speaks to you and your children.