To each parent, our children are our number one most important thing in the world. It’s our responsibility as parents to teach them what is good and what is good for them; however, if we are not aware of those good things to teach our children, then they cannot learn from us. So, parents, be proactive and know what is good for your children, seek out the healthy products and educate yourself. Difference

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow to help you get started:

Offer five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Choose good protein sources, such as lean meats, nuts and eggs.

Whole-grain bread is high in fiber. A good rule is: If it is white, it is not right. White means processed and no nutritional value.

Bake, broil or steam foods instead of frying. Oil used for frying becomes a rancid fat once it is heated.

Limit, or best, completely eliminate, junk and fast foods.

Micro-wave destroys all the nutrition in food.

And most important—WATER, WATER, WATER! The sugary fruit drinks may be convenient, but they are not a good choice. Just water or water with a squeeze of lemon or orange is best for all of us.

There are better choices than cow’s milk. Almond, rice, oat and coconut milks are much healthier. Think about it: Other than humans, what other animal consumes milk after it is weaned? Cow’s milk is a mucus forming food, plus calcium comes from vegetables. Difference

Parents should carefully read the labels of all food products to ensure the nutritional value and the ingredients, keeping in mind the sugar, sodium and the kind of fat content. Also, sugar and salt are preservatives, so when the label says “no preservatives,” be aware of the amounts of sugar and salt. Many products have “other ingredients” listed. The rule is, if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be consuming it!

Adding a multivitamin and mineral supplement is a wise choice. A good time to start taking supplements is when children are young. The goal is to build a strong immune system. We know about the “bug” that comes home from school or a simple play date with the neighbors. A strong immune system is like making a deposit into the “healthy savings account.” Your child may not need it today, but when every other child is sick, those with the strong immune systems will not be ill. Difference

Children are imitators. What they see you eating and drinking is what they will consider best for everyone. Be the example. Let’s teach our children to help themselves to be healthy by showing them better choices. It is an easy thing to do. Just being aware and making the healthier choice is the answer. Then, Mom and Dad, you have done your parenting job to the best of your ability.

Consider this: Disease is not hereditary, but lifestyle is! Start today to make wiser and healthier choices for yourself and your family.

By JoLynn Hasler,

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