My latest houseguests have just gone.
A lasting impression that I have from their visit was the example that they set
for their daughter with regard to diet. Here are some of the food guidelines
they use for raising a happy and healthy child:
Provide healthy drinks
They neither drink nor offer soda as an alternative.
She was raised on diluted fruit juice. Between meals, water has always been the
drink of choice. They knew two important facts from the outset of raising their
daughter: (1) water is the best between-meal choice for protecting teeth and (2)
if children have not been offered water when they were younger, it will be more
difficult, as they grow up, to fit in the recommended daily allowance of one
Balance food intake with exercise
Both parents are walkers. This simple act was
something that we were able to incorporate into all our sightseeing trips, just
as they do at home. We strolled around the Stanford and UC Berkeley campuses,
San Francisco’s hills and downtown, and Muir Woods.
Cut down on salt
During the whole week, there was not one fast food
meal or package of potato chips. They recognize that children who develop a
taste for salty food will be most likely to continue the same diet as they grow
up, which puts them at risk for high blood pressure.
Eat those fruit and vegetables
When choosing food for meals, there was a dialogue
between mom and daughter concerning the daily intake of fruit and vegetables.
The twelve-year-old was able to recall which ones she had consumed, including
salad, so that she could eat her full complement of five to seven servings
Nothing is banned
When we went shopping and Katie suggested something
like cookies or another sweet, the answer was always yes. Then mom and dad
showed cunning forethought as they purchased individually packaged items rather
than boxes or bags of them. They also made sure that all the nutritious foods
were consumed first.
By setting and following these simple guidelines, this
family graced my home and my life with a peaceful week that I will always