As a specialist working with parents of babies and young children, I can’t help but notice the amount of stress which is created by the idea that parenting could / should be more convenient. This idea is sold by suggesting that it is somehow better for the baby.
The main goal of parenting is to nurture our children into good people - caring, productive, honorable, connected people. The question is: Have we unknowingly shifted the focus to producing an egocentric, independent, stressed out, disconnected society? Something is not working… If you don’t believe me, just look around you. There is a social epidemic with many symptoms including a health crisis, an environmental crisis and a financial crisis (that we are all too familiar with in Greece). Probably now is our opportunity to re-evaluate our goals and values as parents and re-connect with what is really important to us.
One important component is what we now call nutrition. Food was once something uncomplicated and pleasurable. It was grown or produced from nature and provided a family with energy and a source of life. Food was celebrated, respected and enjoyed. Food (real home cooked food) was the center for gathering a family together and feeling connected. This feeling of connection brought with it a base of safety and nobody thought about calories or vitamin content. So what happened?? Science and industry have 'raped' food and renamed it nutriton. We are more concerned with isolated vitamins and calories than true nourishment. The disconnect between food and nutrition has now pervaded a whole generation (or two) and begins right from the beginning of life. Why should something as fundamentally important as feeding a baby, a child and a family be convenient?
Parents and society are increasingly becoming more concerned with parenting being convenient, especially concerning our food choices. New parents are often unaware of how influential their own nutrtion and lifestyle choices are on their children. What we do and our priorities as parents have a more profound affect on our children's future nutrition and lifestyle choices than any other influence. This effect is especially strong in the first years of life from breastfeeding through the first navigation of whole, real food and eating. It is never too late to make positive changes in your family’s nutrition and lifestyle, but the earlier you begin the stronger the base will be. Remember that it is not about calories and isolated vitamins, but a connection between your family and the abundance of energy available from nature. Choose whole foods that are grown and produced locally. Avoid processed foods with added chemicals and compounds (not only preservatives). Sit together as a family with gratitude for the nourishment that you receive.
The goal is to make small movements in the direction that you want to go. Take time to reflect on how you eat, where you eat and what you eat. Make a plan to change one thing. An example could be to sit down once a day and eat with no other distractions (no book, no computer, no driving, no telephone) and if you can, avoid eating alone.
Our children and grandchildren do not need to inherit our troubles. On the contrary, we can use our awareness as an opportunity to make small changes, beginning with the basics of nourishment, with our goal being a better future for our children. A future rooted in gratitude, connection and compassion
Family Wellness Athens will be offering a seminar beginning in February 2012 addressing small changes to improve your family's nutriton. For more information contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org