There’s a delicate balance between educating ourselves and our children on the value of good nutrition and the harm of too much refined sugar and chemical additives, while still finding holistic balance and not instilling fear of, or a detrimental obsession with food. I know I’ve struggled with this as a parent, and continue still to be conscious of it with myself and with those I work with.
I like to use the analogy of extreme sport or adventure. Let’s talk about hiking in the mountains. You wouldn’t just go blindly into a mountain terrain and start walking into the forest, right? (I hope your answer is no!) There are many known associated risks: sudden bad weather, wild animal encounters, sun burn or sunstroke, bug bites, sprained ankles or broken bones, getting lost, blisters, etc. But that will not stop you from hiking! Rather, you learn about where local trails are, you’d learn about the fitness level required for the hike, about the terrain, the weather. You’d likely pack extra layers to prepare for unpredictable weather, and wear good quality sturdy shoes rather than flip-flips. You’d likely pack food and water, perhaps take a bear bell or bear spray. You may also ensure that someone knows where exactly you’re going, in the event something happened.
I like to think of indulging in sugar and chemical-laden treats the same way. The reality is that they are a part of life, they exist, and often are a staple component in social and festive occasions. And dang it, they taste really good!
So go ahead and enjoy, allow yourself and your children to occasionally enjoy – especially at a time like Halloween.
But also let them know that because those treats can be harmful to the body’s functions, we must also be sure to consume plenty of clean drinking water and whole natural foods rich in anti-oxidants that will help the body to mitigate some of that sugar-induced harm. Tell them it’s just like riding their bikes – they can do it, but they gotta wear the helmet to protect themselves!
Making holistic nutrition and wellness a lifestyle isn’t about denying or unreasonable restriction. It’s about educating yourself and your family on what is going into the body, enjoying all ends of the spectrum in moderation, and making informed decisions to help mitigate any associated risks to your wellness.
For more information on how you can reduce the harmful effects of sugar in the body, reduce cravings, or detox from sugar contact us or see our extensive Sugar: Anti-Nutrient section in our Complete Nutrition Guide Resource eBook.