Raising Healthy Children

Photo Credit: Ubo Pakes

First off, I am not a doctor. Neither am I a nutritionist.

But I have read enough and done enough to raise disease-free kids. I am proud to say that my children are hardly sick, thanks to what they eat and do differently.

By sharing with you what I do, I hope you can learn one thing or two about rearing healthy children – the natural but unconventional way. 

Take more greens and less meat – Healthy eating for children

This is a known fact but not many can stick to it: we have to consume more vegetables than animal products. In other words, alkaline foods should be more than acidic foods. How much is enough? Experts say 80% alkaline, 20% acidic. But this is only a guideline and not a rule set in stone. As long as you have more greens in your meals, you are fine. But please note that when I talk about vegetarian foods, I am NOT referring to having meals at vegetarian restaurants. What you only find there is processed vegetarian foods – which are equally unhealthy.

One rule of thumb that I always use is to consume foods that are as closely as possible to nature, as unprocessed as possible. Examples of this are all types of plants: tomatoes, broccoli, capsicums, eggplants, nuts and seeds, grains (buckwheat, millet, quinoa), avocados, steel cut or rolled oats, garlic, onions, etc.

Do you see what they share in common? Things that Mother Nature gives us are the best. You don’t need to process them to consume. A healthy body comes from healthy diet. Most vegetables are alkaline in nature while animal products are acidic. Bacteria and viruses have no chance to survive and grow if you have an alkaline body. Who needs food supplements if you have a healthy diet? Save your money and buy yourself natural foods.

For a more detailed explanation and examples of what we have, check out healthy family diet.

Take a little risk

Are you ready? I am going to tell you something that goes against what the experts tell you: go for dirty/junk food once in a while. Play in the dirt occasionally.

Even though I emphasize healthy eating at home, but on weekends we relax our rules. My children (including me) will take whatever we fancy. That includes junk food, unhealthy food, and processed food. We don’t always dine at 5-star restaurants and patronizing a roadside stall or a no-frill restaurant is very common for us.

Why do we do this? If we are strictly on clean food and one day you accidentally consume some “dirty” food and since your body is not conditioned to accept this kind of food, the result might not be a happy one. That might lead to sickness or vomiting.

Expose your child to “harsh” conditions, he will get stronger. By saying that I don’t mean torture but let your child get used to situations that are a little uncomfortable. Most parents overprotect their children. It’s funny but I feel that when a child grows up in a protective environment, chances are he will be weaker compared to his peers who are more seasoned and exposed to “difficult” environments.

For example, if you child is hardly exposed to sunlight, he will get sick (fever maybe) when he gets contact with the sunlight, no matter how little it is. In contrast, if a child is always exposed to sunlight, over time he is conditioned to it and exposing him to sunlight is like second nature to him. This might not be a good example but it’s good enough to illustrate my point.

Let your child go wild. Let him play in the rain. Play in the mud. Catch fish in the river. Run under the sun. Walk barefooted…

Don’t listen to commercials

Use your intelligence to differentiate what is fact and what is hype. Did you ever notice that the milk products are getting more complicated by the minute? A lot of ingredients which the milk companies claim are super powerful are added to their formula – usually with names that we don’t even know how to pronounce. They claim that when your child drinks it, he will become smarter or healthier.

If what they preach works, we will have a fit and healthy generation by now. But instead, the world is now facing serious obesity problems. Mostly due the foods we consume. And we also have diseases that we have never heard of. The only objective of all the commercials is your money. They don’t care if you get the desired results. Even if you do, the results will not be permanent. Again, the best approach is to go for natural, unprocessed foods – not other overly-priced so-called health products.

Another advertisement that drives me up the wall is hand soap. Every brand is now claiming that their product can kill 99.99999% of bacteria if used. Have you ever thought of it? Is it possible that we are able to get rid of 100% bacteria from the surface of the Earth? Of course not. They are here for a reason. After all, not all bacteria are harmful. The best strategy to approach this is not to be 100% bacteria-free but to have a resilient body that can protect you from any harmful bacteria. You don’t need any over-hyped hand wash to protect you.

Create a happy and carefree environment

Don’t put too much pressure on your child. Many parents want their child to do well in school and other activities. They focus too much on the results that they forget to have fun. Instead of enjoying what they do, the children repulse and this has a negative effect on them. I have heard a story where a student gets sick every time when he sits for the exams. His mother puts too much pressure on him to do well. Stress is known to cause sickness and disease. By creating a carefree family that emphasizes on doing fun and exciting things is a more conductive environment for the children.

If your child falls sick, don’t do this

If your child ever gets sick, you don’t need to rush him to see a doctor immediately… of course except it is an emergency. Our body has amazing self-healing powers and most of the time, it will get better by itself. Take cold for example. When your child catches a cold and has runny nose, it simply means that the body is working to get rid of mucus from the body through the nose. If you stop it by taking medications, you interrupt the natural healing process of the body. Why not just let your child go through the cold and let the body work its way?

See Also…

Thermomix: How a small kitchen appliance helps stay-at-home dad

My True Story: How I Lost 10 kg Naturally In Two Months (or Less)

How to Get Your Child to Eat Raw Foods

About Abel Cheng

I am a work-at-home father and chauffeur to my 2 children. I love simple living and my latest passion is healthy eating. Lastly, I am the founder of ParentWonder, which shares tips on becoming better parents.