I thought this would be a good follow up to my previous two posts about alarming trends pertaining to autism and nutrition in children. On February 17, 2010 USA Today reported that from 1988 – 1994, 11% of children had a chronic disease. This number has grown astronomically in the past two decades climbing to 25% from 2000 – 2006. These statistics were drawn from the Journal of the American Medical Association and a similar story was run in other publications including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They confirm a scary truth that the upswing in chronic disease plaguing older populations is making its way into our schools and preschools. This is bona fide proof that we need to start protecting our children by educating ourselves about the food they eat, liquids they drink, situations they are exposed to, attention they are given and pressure that is put on them. I’m not talking about being over protective or “sheltering” our kids, however, as you can see by these statistics, we need to reprogram our thinking and make sure it carries on into their generation. A host of health practitioners agree on the fact that during their formative years, it is vital that you protect your children from the woes of synthetic agriculture and food additives. Feed them whole foods that will nourish their bodies and most importantly, their minds. Provide them with healthy snacks and lunches, full of healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, non-processed proteins and moderate quantities of whole grain. Just like we were all addicted to processed foods (who knew!) lets make sure that they crave good foods. Start to experiment with healthy recipes and get creative. If you cook a whole chicken, then you can easily make healthy chicken sandwiches for them the next day. Try different fruit varieties to figure out what they like. For instance, when I was a child, I was primarily exposed to red and yellow apples. I didn’t really begin to appreciate them until later when I discovered varieties such as Granny Smith and Fuji. Introduce your children to variety and don’t mention the “healthy”. They don’t want healthy. They want foods that taste good and with a little work you can provide them with delicious, healthy meals. My final piece of advice is to go organic. I have provided a link below to our series on organic foods, and I can tell you with certainty that these foods are well worth it. With a little practice, you will be turning out home cooked, healthy food that your family loves, saves you money and keeps you all healthy.