by Melanie Waxman
I think many people are in your position.
I suggest that you begin by setting yourself a direction and
move towards a goal that you feel is possible to reach. Write
it down on a piece of paper and add the steps you need to
take to get there. It could go something like; By March 2007,
I will have a sugar, dairy and animal food free home (or whatever
it is you desire).
Step 1: check out the local supermarket and natural food shop
for healthy alternatives.
Step 2: Start to buy organic produce and foods.
Step 3: Add a vegetable dish every day.
Step 4: Take a cooking class.
Step 5: Connect with people who are also eating a healthy
Complete all the steps up until your goal. You can add a time
limit for each step such as 2 weeks to check out Stores and
another few weeks to start buying organic produce and so on.
This process re-enforces your desire and gets it down on paper.
Following a series of steps is much easier than trying to
tackle all the different aspects at once.
It is not always possible to
make a drastic change especially when loved ones are involved
who might have differing views. You can move slowly towards
your goal by introducing new foods rather than throwing away
the processed and sugared ones. When shopping, start buying
organic produce and sugar free jams, biscuits and juices.
Slowly begin to replace the processed items with those of
better quality such as sea salt, brown rice vinegar, sesame
and olive oils and sourdough whole wheat bread . If your husband
still wants meat and potatoes then choose organic varieties.
When it comes to cooking the meals, begin to include more
vegetables and whole grains. Again don't stop the other foods
but include some new dishes and try to have vegetables and
a whole grain on a daily basis. Maybe a few times a week you
can try a new recipe that would appeal to your husband such
as fried noodles or fried rice. Soups are always a popular
You can add miso to almost any bean, vegetable or fish soup.If
your husband is at work, you can make a really healthy lunch
or tea for yourself and your children. You will be surprised
how a small shift in direction will start to have great results.
If your husband is willing to try the new foods, he will also
begin to change his diet naturally without it being forced
Change often seems more difficult
than it actually is and the constant thinking about it is
what gets us stuck. Once you create action by starting to
put things into practice, life becomes much easier. There
is no correct way to change your diet and lifestyle. It is
what suits you and your family. Maybe you can gently suggest
to your husband that he research the effect of food on our
health. It is a very hot topic right now and is widely viewed
that we need to make more effort to provide a healthy diet
for our kids. Sometimes advice from an expert is more readily
accepted than hearing it from a loved one.
This article gives you
some ways to change your children's diet. I hope this helps.
I wonder whether you have any suggestions about the macrobiotic
view of autism ? -- top^
A: I have
known and heard of autistic children who have greatly benefited
from the macrobiotic lifestyle. Autism covers a wide spectrum
of symptoms and varies from one child to the next. Generally,
foods that clog the digestive system create more problems.
These include dairy foods of all types, tropical fruits especially
bananas and wheat gluten in the form of cookies and bread.
To strengthen the system, avoid extremes of
salty foods and excessive sugary foods and stick to a wide,
middle of the road diet. Mild sweets such as long cooked carrots,
squash and parsnips are very helpful. Make sure to offer a
good variety of foods, different tastes and dishes. Many autistic
children are very fussy about foods, liking to smell, touch
and taste a little before actually eating. Patience is needed
to offer a selection and to keep trying new things.
It is also very important to establish a routine
within the family. Of course a chaotic lifetsyle makes it
difficult for anyone to feel secure and stable but especially
for an autistic child. Activities such as bath, bed and exercise
should be carried out at the same time each day. Make sure
that meals are also eaten at the same time each day and that
the child sits to eat with you and the family.
Macrobiotic lifestyle suggestions such as walking
in nature, keeping green plants in the home and wearing cotton
next to the skin would also be beneficial.
Q: Should Kids
off Dairy Consider Calcium Supplement? -- top^
A: There are many excellent
sources of calcium for those following a vegetarian or macrobiotic
Use dark green leafy vegetables such as watercress,
kale or collards. Toast sesame seeds and sprinkle a teaspoon
over vegetable orgrain dishes.Other seeds such as sunflower
and pumpkin can also be used.
Sea vegetables contain ten to twenty times the
minerals of the land vegetables. For small children, toasted
nori is a good way to introduce sea vegetables. Arame can
be used once a week for children who are 3 and older.
Vegetable quality protein such as beans also
Watch out for excessive amounts of animal protein
which causes calcium to be leeched from the bones and teeth.
Too much sugar, chocolate and sodas will also interfere with
healthy bone and teeth development.
For a stronger hit of calcium, usesardines
with their bones. A special condiment made from finely ground
Chirimen Iriko (dried sardines), toasted sesame seeds and
kombu can be given to children suffering with teeth problems.
Make sure your children have lots of outdoor
activity too. Nature and sunshine go a long way to helping
children have healthy appetites and active, well balanced
Q: Is soya foods e.g. soymilk, safe to give to children?.
A: It ok as a transition
away from dairy but too much will weaken the digestive system.
Probaby no more than twice a week on a regular
Miso is good for children - those under the
age of two should have a very diluted version. Tofu is fine
but again not everyday. The same goes for tempeh and natto.
Q: My children don't eat enough? -- top^
A: Remember they will
Often it is a way of controlling the parent especially if
they see it bothers them!
To encourage children to eat more - a wide
variety of foods should be offered but the amount of each
dish can be small.
This will help them to open up a bit. Watch
the salt and too much grain. If they go for grain and sweets,
it means they are too tight inside.
The parents may need to relax their diet too
and not worry too much.
about the vitamin B12. -- top^
From my experience I have seen many macrobiotic children grow
up from birth to adulthood. I have yet to see one child with
I heard about the cases in
the Netherlands. The parents were eating very strictly and
not appropriately for the damp, cold climate. There were also
a few cases in Connecticut in the US.
The parents in those circumstances
were not using salt in their diet.One baby in question wasn't
given any solid food for at least one year.
The B12 problems occured in
the early 80's. I think we have all learned a great deal since
then. There are two differing situations with B12. One is
the body's ability to absorb B12 and the other is the liver's
ability to store it.
Both have to be dealt with
in adifferent way because one is a yin cause and the other
I do believe that it is possible for a child to recover from
B12 deficiency although injections
of the vitamin would be necessary at the beginning. If a parent
is concerned about the condition of her baby, it is important
that he or she contact an experienced counsellor or have the
B12 levels checked by a doctor.