When you first think about it, it might seem simple enough to raise your child to follow the principles of healthy living as they grow up. After all, you know a great deal about it … and your child has not yet visited playmates at their homes or gone to kindergarten.
Moreover, your child has already gotten off to a good start sleeping on an organic toddler mattress, breastfeeding, and being brought up in a family devoted to eating wholesome foods, recycling, and following a way of life focused on cultivating a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Unfortunately, you may find that you are already receiving some slack from your friends and that your child will gradually be assimilated into a society where most people don’t drink organic juices; don’t enjoy a diet of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds; and don’t think that plain, purified drinking water tastes good.
3 Simple Tips for Better Living
Here are 3 tips to help your child understand the value of holistic living.
1. Set An Example
It’s possible that you and your family still indulge in the occasional meal out, drink carbonated beverages, and consider sugar-rich foods a rare treat. If this is the case, then it can be hard to persuade your little one to do as you say. You will be contradicting yourself and create doubt and confusion. You have to progressively wean yourself and your family off consuming processed foods and artificial sweeteners.
Must Read: 9 Food Myths Every Parent Should Know
Even the best of us find it difficult to always stick to a diet of real foods, like organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. When stressed out, we may resort to the comfort foods that we grew up to love until we learned about the toxic effects of preservative-rich factory farmed meats and dairy products.
2. Understand What You’re Up Against
When your child goes to play with friends at their house, he or she will meet other children who eat pop tarts, sugared cereals, chocolate milk, and candy with delightful abandon. These foods may not be good for the human body, but they have been engineered to appeal to our biological wiring. In prehistoric times, the idea of sweet, salty, and fatty foods was considered a delicacy because they were rare and fulfilled a dietary need when taken in moderation.
You can’t always control what your child sees, hears, and tastes when they are out of your home. Junk food is addictive and scientists have proved this with animal studies. The food industry has made a humongous profit because it has realized how easy it is to override our logic and good sense by appealing to our basic biological preferences.
3. Read Widely On This Subject
While you and your family might create a positive environment where all the virtues of holistic living are embraced as a matter of course, your child will gradually experience a world where these values are considered eccentric. Schools and other families will subtly undermine your efforts.
A time will come when your child will experience a sense of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, your family lives on a diet that most people would consider austere; yet on the other hand, teachers and friends will be indulging in food choices that appear to be both tastier and less restrictive.
Fortunately, others have faced this battle before you and can provide valuable advice. In her book,”The Organic Nanny’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids: How to Create a Natural Diet and Lifestyle for Your Child,” Barbara Rodriguez provides an interesting formula that she calls L.O.V.E. This is an acronym for Local, Organic, Vegetables, and Environment. “V” could be interpreted as “Vegetable-centric,” “Vegetarian,” or “Vegan.” By “environment,” she means being environmentally conscious. Reading books like this will not only help you realize that you are not alone in your quest to raise your child in a healthy way, but you will also get plenty of tips on how to follow a more natural diet and lifestyle and give you many talking points when your child presses you with questions.
Live A Holistic Lifestyle
When raising your child to appreciate the benefits of a holistic lifestyle, you will also have to go beyond food alone. Also focus on using natural remedies, natural beauty routines, and natural household cleaning products.