It is never too late…or too early… to educate your children on the importance of protecting the Earth, and introduce your family to healthy, natural and organic foods.
Protecting our children is a natural instinct. Yet, have you ever given much thought to protecting your child from unhealthy foods? As more and more food choices become available to us, it’s important to understand the impact of the foods we eat and how to make healthy food decisions…particularly for our children. Knowledge of natural and organic practices is one of the greatest tools we have to educate our children about healthy food choices – and enable them to make healthy food decisions in the future.
Did you know? On April 22, 1970, 20 million people across America celebrated the first Earth Day. It was a time when our cities suffered from poor air quality due to smog and the pollution of our rivers went unchecked. Now, Earth Day is celebrated annually around the globe. Through the combined efforts of the U.S. government, grassroots organizations, and citizens like you, what started as a day of national environmental recognition has evolved into a worldwide campaign to protect our global environment. Pass along this sense of environmental consciousness to your children…they’re the guardians of our future!
When comparing organic and non-organic foods, it is critical to know how organic farming differs from conventional farming. In organic farming, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, feed additives and genetically modified organisms are strictly limited or banned. Organic farming relies on crop rotation, natural fertilizers, composting, natural pest control and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity. Antibiotics and synthetic hormones are also strictly limited or banned for use in livestock. By eliminating harmful chemicals, organic farming actually improves the air we breathe and helps protect our water resources. Organic foods also taste great, are wholesome and delicious, and are free of additives, artificial colors and artificial ingredients. Introducing organic foods to young ones can be fun for the whole family. There are dozens of simple ways to get children genuinely excited and interested in their own health and natural and organic education.
Lead by example
Kids are conditioned by what we teach them. If healthy snacks are a daily part of your diet, your children will most likely develop a taste for healthy foods as well. Stock up on a variety of healthy organic snacks, such as applesauce or popcorn, and make them easily accessible. Also, get in the habit of making lunch for your children. Organic peanut butter is the perfect choice. Take time to read the label of conventional peanut butter – the list of ingredients is astounding, and you probably won’t know what many of them are. With a short list of ingredients, organic peanut butter is a natural choice for your children.
Get the kids involved
Children often respond well in situations where they have input. Allow them to be part of your family’s food decisions. When you’re shopping, challenge them to find the USDA Organic seal on products. Teach your children to read nutrition labels and recognize healthy ingredients. You might also consider getting the kids involved in preparing meals. Scrambling organic eggs, topping a pizza with organic veggies and making organic fruit smoothies are all fun food activities for your children.
Promote being Earth-friendly
Educate your children on the importance of protecting the Earth. Celebrate Earth Day by visiting a local organic farm to instill an appreciation for the way natural and organic foods are grown. Think about planting your own organic herb garden and have your children water and nurture it. These practices will spark curiosity and help them make healthy food choices in the future.