What exactly is an anti-nutrient?
“Hmmm…I would never feed that to my child!”
“She eats well most of the time.”
“We’ve had such a hard time getting over this illness! I guess it is just that time of year.”
Lies. All lies people. I want to shout it from the rooftops “THERE’S A BETTER WAY!!”
When we think of feeding our children, we are tired. Let’s face it, as moms, we are worse for the wear. From wiping noses and vomit or being up all hours of the night–yep, that’s us. Tired and looking for anything that will help us maintain our sanity. It’s no wonder we turn to the convenient to appease our always “Mom, I want a snack!!” little stinkers. Can I buy it in bulk? Check. Is it in an easy open package? Check. Do my kiddos like the way it tastes? Check.
What are anti-nutrients you ask? If you can buy it in a box, bag or drive through, chances are, it’s chocked full of these stinky anti-nutrients. Think of the 7 dwarfs of nutrition- white flour, over-processed meats, artificial flavors, white sugar, chemical food dyes, dough conditioners and preservatives. A good way to know is by turning the package over and reading the ingredients. Anything over 5 ingredients can pretty much guarantee one or all of these nutrition stealing dwarfs are present.
According to Dr. Lendon Smith, author of Feed Your Kids Right, the body gains very little in the way of nutrients from these substances, and that it often will use up more nutrients then it gains in its effort to digest and process them through the body. In other words, you may be better off if you didn’t eat at all, rather than put your body through this kind of abuse. Dr. Smith discusses that the elimination of these anti-nutrients in the diet delivers a healthy immune response to the body in and of itself. Just by eliminating these foods in our household, I have seen our health improve tenfold.
Another fun fact from a trusted expert, author and nutritionist, Adelle Davis candidly expresses in her book, Let’s Have Healthy Children, that all children deserve to be beautiful, and can be IF their nutritional needs are met. Wait what? Beauty can come from nutrition? (Side note-have noticed this too, esp with my prior very acne prone skin) She proves that health, intellect, and the beauty (physical development) of children goes beyond genetics, and can be largely determined (or changed) by what they are fed. You don’t say Ms. Davis?!?!
Now that the experts have spoken, that’s all fine and well, but how can it be done? We are busy, we work outside of the home and are on a fixed income. We are limited to what we can afford. I always ask people if they would rather pay themselves or the doctor? It may sound funny but it is a reality that most Americans are not ready to face. So, how can the everyday mom feed her kids the very best? A simple and perhaps dreaded word-Planning. I plan everything that goes into the mouths of my children. I’m intentional about it because we have had to learn the hard way (as I do much of the time). From ear infections, fevers and rashes and my own personal journey fighting against auto immune disorders, I am uber-passionate about what we eat. Living in 2014, we have so many resources to help us with this seemingly daunting task. Baby steps are key. Here are some simple tips to help you get started:
1. Have your kiddos help you plan meals and snacks. This way they can feel involved and include their favorite foods (with a healthy and delicious twist) on the shopping list.
2. Go to a local farmer’s market with your family. Pick out some fresh, local produce or some grass fed dairy and cage free eggs. There is something special about meeting the farmer and buying something local that makes it taste better and gives your kids pride about the food you buy.
3. Give yourself grace. It takes time. You will learn how to tweak things each day and as you continue to learn, you will feed your kids in an exceptional way.
Here are some of my favorite blogs to get you started:
…and here is our current favorite snack-So easy. So real food delicious:
http://friskylemon.com/2011/08/23/ironman-coco-nut-bars/ (Ironman coconut bars!)
Here’s to eliminating anti-nutrients!
1. Denise Thompson, BANT blog & abcsofhealthyparenting.blogspot.com
2. Let’s Have Healthy Children by Adelle Davis, REVISED AND UPDATED. Mass-market paperback. Signet books, 1972.
3. Feed Your Kids Right by Lendon Smith M.D., Mass Market Paperback. Dell, November 15th, 1981