Eco-nutrition is a movement where our personal nutrition choices integrate with choices that encourage ecological sustainability. While I believe most of us would like to make food and drink purchases that do not hurt our earth, we are also faced with constraints of time, budget, knowledge and personal desires.
By thinking long-term for our children who will be left on earth after us, is it logical that a eco-nutrition movement is a priority for each of us to do our part to help the environment. By also promoting good health in our children with the best nutrition choices we can give them, we help provide the tools they need to live longer and healthier on a cleaner earth. And this is what eco-nutrition is: reflecting on the nutrition choices we make and how these choices hurt or help our fragile Mother Earth.
This article is about eco-nutrition and a child’s physical development. Interested in reading other articles in this series? You can consult them here: Eco-Nutrition: Good Nutrition Choices With Ecologically Sustainability.
How does our food and drink affect a child’s growth and normal developmental pattern?
One Key For A Child To Develop Naturally: Eat and Live Naturally.
Do these facts sound like children are developing normally?
- Childhood obesity rates increasing in epidemic proportions.
- Girls’ puberty timing arriving earlier and earlier.
- Teenage boys having less spermatozoa leading to fertility issues later in life
- Children cancer rates increasing and rare cancers not rare anymore.
- Increasing rates of boys and teens having breast development, called gynecomastia .
Fingers are pointing to the environment and our diet as one of the main causes of why boys and girls are not developing on the same rate and way as in earlier generations.
Environmental Endocrine Disruptors
Everything we eat, breath, drink and put on our skin can affect our health and physical development. Because babies and teenagers are in time periods where development and growth are at a real rapid speed, the environment that surrounds them can have even a bigger effect on their physical development. Let me explain why.
During periods of development and growth, the physical process moves along a path that starts within the brain and other organs. In a normal growing child, this is a ‘natural’ process that is part of reaching adulthood. In teenagers (and pre-teens) and babies, this growth is so fast that the environment in which the child lives in has more affect on their physical health. These ages also need more food and drink for their weight than in other life stages. In addition, in teenagers, the hormones secreted during puberty are also affected by the environment.
Because the environment, our earth, has been ‘poisoned’ by man, it is logical to me that we then ‘poison’ the human race which lives on it. The term for some of these ‘poisons’ is environmental endocrine disruptor.
Scientists believe that endocrine distruptors in our diet, water and air disturb the natural growth process in animals, plants, and in us, the human race (especially in children.) In teenagers, these endocrine disturbers take the place of the natural hormones in our body and cause the natural cycles of puberty, including breast, penis and spermatozoa production to be perturbed. And this is not the whole story. (Interested in learning more about endocrine disturbers and teens? Click on this link here)
Eating natural helps the environment and health
It may seem logical that eating natural is the way to go, but it isn’t that easy to do. It takes commitment, knowledge, time and a bigger budget to make it work. That doesn’t mean that little steps don’t count. If we all take baby steps to eating natural, less processed foods and protecting our earth through good environmental practices, our babies will have a better chance for a cleaner earth.
Eating natural can mean these things:
- eating local
- growing a garden
- buying less processed foods
- drinking water as much as possible
- buying organic
- eating raw
- cooking more from fresh ingredients
(Can you add something to this list?)
Helping the environment can mean these things:
- traveling less to buy food (eating local)
- growing a garden and buy less foods grown on other lands
- using less packaging, plastics, preservatives by buying less processed foods
- drinking filtered tap water rather than buying drinks in plastic bottles
- eating less pesticides and other endocrine disruptors by buying organic foods
- eating raw to get the most vitamins and minerals so that you would need less foods to eat and less packaging
- cooking more means less eating out and less buying convenience foods, less waste and carbon footprint
My call to action: eat natural, protect the environment and help our children develop normally
One thing that is clear: we don’t live forever. We leave our earth to the next generations. If these future generations are our own children, grandchildren or just a child that we love, we hope we leave the earth a better (and healthier) place for them and their children.
My call to action is to reflect that by eating foods and drinks in their most natural state and taking steps to protect our environment with eco-friendly purchases and habits, we are taking steps for our own and future generations.
Importantly, the normal physical development of our babies through teenage years (and especially for preteens and teens at this vulnerable age), depends on making extra efforts to eat natural and keep the environmental toxins and endocrine disturbers away from their body. This includes eating naturally to help normal weight gain and the hunger process, and increasing their chances to stay in a good weight for their height and not be overweight.
Lastly, although I haven’t experienced this directly, I have had friends with children that are sick with cancer and autoimmune diseases. I cannot imagine a worse pain to see your child suffer from a life-changing health problem. The rates of certain cancers and diseases are increasing and there is something in the environment that triggers some of these statistics. I know, as a parent of four kids, how hard it is to balance our kid’s desires for certain foods and drinks, along with a strict budget and time constraints. I can only suggest to push the family and/or yourself to make a commitment to going as food and drink natural as possible.
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