Have you ever looked at a food label and been surprised to find a laundry list of industrial terms that sounds more like something from science fiction than your neighborhood grocery store? Well, the old adage that you are what you eat could not be closer to the truth; everything that we eat is assimilated into our tissues. Thus, it stands to reason that we should attempt to eat the most natural, next-to-nature foods that exist.
This is especially true for growing children. According to Dr. David L. Katz of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, “The growing body of a child is manufactured out of the nutrients in the foods he consumes, and out of nothing else. Suddenly, the notion of ‘junk food’ will seem neither cute nor innocuous.” To grow properly, children‘s nutrient needs are high; however, their tummies are small. This leaves little room for the extra fat and calories found in processed foods (not to mention the food industry’s sci-fi additives). Likewise, just because a food item says “natural” or contains “whole grains” does not mean that it is the best choice or is less processed. Investigation of the ingredients label may give you clues to the amount of processing; usually the fewer ingredients in a food, the less processed it is.
So do you want to be made out of junk or fresh foods found in nature? The best way to build a healthy body is to start with simple, fresh foods. A foundation of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and lean protein is a good place to start. These foods naturally contain a combination of essential nutrients to build a healthy body. Look no further than the humble pear for a fresh place to start!