The Best Diets For Children
The Best Diets For Children
The word food brings to mind many things, from the food we eat to the food we bake, cook and eat. The word food also often invokes the image of a gourmet chef, with his or her passion for all things culinary and botanically related. While gourmets have their own appreciation for the finer things in life, food is often considered to be of greater importance to most people, and therefore to be worthy of spending money on. Food has been a source of social significance for thousands of years, dating back to the earliest writings.
The Egyptians were renowned for their love of food, taking pleasure in food and the preparation of it, as well as its consumption. Food has been used in ceremonies, passed down from one generation to another, since the beginning of time, and has held various meanings across cultures and times. In many societies, food served as a social token as well as being treated with respect by the government, religious leaders and family members who took part in rituals. Food, like marriage and divorce, was a public concern, and was often controlled by social norms. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics were full of references to food and the importance it held, as the fate of the community was dependent on the food that was available to them.
Centuries ago, food had a different meaning in many parts of the world. For instance, in many parts of Central America, corn was sacred and the production and use of corn were strictly regulated. Thus, people rarely brought corn home with them on their journeys, but instead used maize porridge, a meal made from maize grain that could be stored for many years. Another food that is still widely celebrated in many countries throughout the developing world is salt. The Inca, for instance, believed that salt was a gift from the heavens, given to humans so they would be able to live a long, healthy life and prevent diseases. Ancient Mayans and Aztecs carried large amounts of salt with them, even for journeys of thousands of miles.
In America, early explorers realized that some foods from other regions were much more likely to help people avoid illnesses such as cholera or typhoid than those found in their own food. This led to the establishment of stores selling foods that helped avert sickness and that were considered staples. Thus, among settlers and immigrants, the idea of store-bought food became a norm and slowly, as more food was imported from other areas, it became a practice to eat food that came directly from other parts of the world. Today, many Americans are used to eating foods from all over the world, even if they don’t eat enough vitamin D-rich food in their diets. Children who grow up in underdeveloped countries have a very difficult time getting enough vitamin D because they do not receive enough exposure to sunlight, making it impossible to eat enough vitamin D-rich food.
Thus, from an early age children are given a firm diet of food from only one food group to make it easier to stick to a regular and healthy diet. Children in industrialized nations live a much longer life than children in poor, developing countries, and so it has become accepted and normal for them to develop food allergies and intolerances to food groups at an early age. This means that instead of preparing meals from scratch, they get their nutrients from pre-packaged, fortified, ready-made food. In the United States, most households get their vitamins from these food groups, including milk, eggs, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, etc., and most adults get their iron, zinc, etc., from these food groups as well. But most American children, although getting enough food from these food groups, do not get enough vitamin D which is required by the body.
Thus, the best diet for children is a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, especially vegetables like green leafy vegetables (i.e., cabbage, kale, mustard greens, and collard greens), and low in processed, fast food. The main source of this type of food is real fresh food, preferably unprocessed meat and fresh poultry products such as chicken, turkey, ground beef, etc. Also remember that a balanced diet does not need to contain all the different food groups at every meal; some food can be eliminated or eaten in moderation, depending on the child’s age and dietary needs. Fresh fruits and vegetables are particularly good for growing children who still have yet to learn to chew properly, and who therefore tend to eat more of them.