What Are We Feeding Our Children?

April 29, 2010

Asalaam ‘Alaikum,

I guess some topics of concern don’t die easily. I’m still reading and learning more about food and trying to have a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family. Alhumdulilah, it makes me feel better to know that I am trying to give my children healthier habits now – and not waiting for them to have health problems before it becomes important. I wasn’t as fortunate – growing up in a family that had every type of junk food around the house at all times – and then on holidays, it was much worse! Alhumdulilah, thought – it is never too late to learn!

Now that we are free for the summer, we try to go to the gym more regularly. The problem is, every time the kids go to the gym – the lady there gives them a cookie when we leave (for some reason lately she has started giving them a cookie and a lollipop each time.) My older two – while they would eat them – also know that they are not healthy – but the problem is mainly with my little one who gets upset when she can’t have one. I see around me such evidence that the way we eat is becoming detrimental to our health and I sometimes become shocked when people just don’t “get it.” The lady asked me why I didn’t want the kids having the treats and I told her a couple of reasons – which only caused a raised eyebrow and perhaps the silent thought that “that Muslim lady is bonkers.” I promised the girls we would make some special cookies later that night instead. We ended up taking a friend on a picnic the next day and that night we made pumpkin cookies that had all healthy ingredients – and they tasted pretty good too. In the end, the kids were happy to make a healthier choice.

After getting married, I was fortunate when I met a wonderful sister from Turkey who was a wonderful cook, Masha’Allah. While I believe I only knew how to cook spaghetti when I was first married (my dh really hates spaghetti now!) – I was an avid learner – and I love cooking and baking in the kitchen, Alhumdulilah. So, with her great recipes – and others that I gathered over the years from people all over the world – our diet is pretty diverse and leans much more on the healthier side. However, there is still so much more to learn – and I am blessed that I keep finding out more information in books and videos about living more healthfully. So, with that – I just wanted to share some of the things I have come across lately – for those of you that are concerned as I am.

Books I am currently reading on the topic include:

Food Politics – by Marion Nestle

What to Eat – by Marion Nestle

I also just finished reading “Pet Food Politics” by Marion Nestle – while it is not really about human food (no, I don’t have any pets) – it was quite alarmed about problems that do arise in the food industry and the importance the food industry puts on those problems. Quite shocking – it takes a look into the not to recent (March 2007) pet food recall where foods caused 1000s of pet deaths. As I said, it is not about human food – but it is worrisome when you think about the mentality of corporations – just how long should it have taken these people to say something?

I also got the children’s book entitled “Chew on This” by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. I read their book entitled “Fast Food Nation” quite some time ago – but thought that this book would be helpful for the girls because it is written for a younger audience. Believe it or not, my older daughter keeps asking me to read it with them. She has enjoyed it so far, alhumdulilah.

And, last but not least – we have been viewing some documentaries about health lately as well – the kids and I are learning quite a bit, alhumdulilah.

How to Get Fat Without Really Trying

Super-Size Me

The Future of Food

Anyway – I thought I’d share what we’ve been learning lately & hope, insha’Allah that it might help you and your family as well.

What I’d like to know is – how are you trying to keep your family healthy? Have you found any resources particularly helpful – cookbooks, websites, books? I’d love to hear what you are doing!

Asalaam ‘Alaikum,
Sumayyah Umm SAA

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One Response to “ What Are We Feeding Our Children? ”

  1. Raniah on April 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I also have been on this track of finding healthier ways to feed my family and I. After watching Food Inc, I have begun by changing where we get our meat. Alhamdulilah I was able to find a farm nearby that sells only grass fed meats. I also have been trying to buy more locally grown produce that doesn’t contain the chemicals that you get with your produce from the store. with that, I begin to learn more about the other foods that we can eliminate from our diet and replace with healthier, more nutritious food.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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