Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Nutrient Density Matters

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS:  Nutrient Density Matters

“When are you going to stand up for your children and their future?  It’s time to warrior up!”               

        --- Tsleil-Waututh Elder Amy George from Sierra Magazine, March/April 2014

How often do you think about your children’s future and what their world will look like in five years?  In full disclosure, the above quote came from an article in Sierra Magazine.  The article was about the impact of coal trains on a sensitive area of northwest Washington State where fishing for salmon and herring support a local culture, including the Lummi Nation of native Americans.

When I work with parents who are overweight or who have children who are overweight or obese, I often have the same thought as Tsleil-Waututh Elder Amy George.  Are we willing to let the large food manufacturers dictate whether our children will be doomed to a shortened lifespan because they are overeating foods with no nutritional value?  Will the McDonald’s dollar menu be your family’s demise?  Will eating too much of the bad foods (white sugar, white flour, and too much salt) cause health problems for your family?  Will the sugar-filled cereals and Pop Tarts intentionally placed at a child’s eye level of your grocery store rob your kids of their ability to focus in school? 

A lot of my work centers around teaching families about how to become more health literate and making better choices for themselves and their children.  Our children are getting fatter, but obesity is preventable.  Focus on eating nutrient dense foods (like wild salmon, kale, lentils, spinach) to replace foods of low value.  The most nutrient dense food is watercress - in case you are wondering where to buy it, I can always find it at Publix, thanks to B&W Growers in Fellsmere, FL.  High on the list is kale.  Green is great!   For a link to some great nutrient dense recipe ideas, click here.

As parents, whether we choose to fight to prevent coal trains from coming through environmentally sensitive lands or whether we choose to educate parents with the knowledge about how to eat well and economically to prevent obesity and obesity-caused diseases, we make choices every day.  It is time to warrior up! 

Thank you,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.