Dr. Chris and I have read “Super Immunity” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD over 100 times by now. Each time we read it we find another valuable piece of information. It is a good book to read if you are looking to improve your families health/diet.
Did you know that today the American Diet takes over 60% of its calories from processed foods? Each year that percentage raises more and more. This includes most foods made with sweeteners, white flour and oils; such as: white bread, bagels, chips, pasta, donuts, cookies, breakfast bars, cold cereals, soft drinks, pretzels, condiments, and premade salad dressings. We as a country consume less than 10 percent of their calories from unrefined plant foods such as fruits, beans, seeds, and vegetables. However, this is misleading because at least half the vegetable consumption in America is white potato products, including fries and chips!
What does this mean to us? The modern diet is not just slightly derived in a handful of micronutrients, but grossly deficient in hundreds of important plant derived immunity building compounds! Vegetable consumption is something we as a country need to start making a priority in our diets. If we don’t make that change we are going to start seeing a lot more chronic conditions, poor quality of life and premature deaths earlier than ever before. As I have talked about earlier, obesity has become a major problem in America. We are the first generation who won’t live out our parents generation in age. According to the CDC, more than one third of American Adults are obese, costing us $147 billion dollars in health care costs in 2008! That was 7 years ago, and with the rate steadily increasing each year, the health care cost goes up! Childhood obesity is also extremely high at 17% of Americans for the age groups of 2-17, which affected 12.7 million children last year!
So how do we change these staggering statistics? We need to not only start educating our children with the importance of eating more vegetables, but we ourselves need to start eating healthier too. We can not expect our kids to want to eat healthy if they watch our unhealthy eating habits. So not only do we have to be good role models for our children’s behaviors, but their eating habits too! Get rid of the excuse, “I just don’t like the taste of vegetables”. There are no excuses when it comes to health. There are so many vegetables out there. Find ones that you and your family like and try and incorporate them into your meals. Here are some tips at eating healthier and getting your kids to eat healthier. Start food shopping on the weekends or a day off so that you have a day to start preparing meals for the week. We cut up all our vegetables on Sunday, and make mason jar salads for throughout the week. Every night, we always make sure there is at least one vegetable on our plate! We typically will snack on carrots, peppers, snap peas, or cut up cucumbers through out the day. We always try and have a small salad for lunch or a side of dark leafy greens sauteed for dinner. Then we always have another type of vegetable medley for dinner. Obviously, it is going to be harder to start to change on a drastic measure so start small. Make your goal this month to find which veggies your family likes, and at least incorporate one a day! Then you can add on from there!