Sharing with children the gifts of real foods

For most of the people in my world, I am going against the culture, tradition and knowledge of so many generations.

My friend Gabrielle has taken a lot of interest on my views on foods in their more natural state and I had been thinking about her.

Think hard and there comes an extension of your self-talk. Gabrielle knocked on my door with her two beautiful daughters.

They brought with them their new creation: nut butter made from pine nuts — a concoction with the signature of the seven-year-old.

Yes, that’s her age and that’s wonderful. Freely sharing the knowledge of new foods with the younger generations is how I see that we can enrich the table habits of children. If they learn to understand that they can eat and enjoy some unusual offerings, they will make new choices. Hopefully, they will help spread the word among their friends. And the bounty of nature will make its way into their bodies, keeping them from getting sick, as the wisdom of nature is filled with healing powers, as new and old research have revealed.

I find it disturbing how countless families are completely unaware that the choices offered at the grocery stores and fast food places are knowingly bad for them. Not only the corporations are at fault, but the government knows that the processed foods often include multiple forms of sugar and the absurdity of trans-fats–the hydrogenated oils that make foods crispy and bring such effects to the inner arteries. ( )

When Gabrielle arrived, my table was, as normally is, covered with glass containers with dehydrated stuff and we tried the nut paste along with my own versions of crackers, cookies and a raw jam. Then we made a fresh juice to test the amount of ginger one should use for a hint of taste along with carrots, squash, cucumber and apples. It was fun-filled, nothing imposed. The four-year old went along and approved some of it.

From my experience, kids will hear a parent  talk about better choices and blatantly stick to their own ways, but suddenly begin to lecture their friends and introduce to them the healthier choices, which they then begin to enjoy together, ever so lightly…

Pine nuts: what could be more exotic for a seven-year-old?  But that’s what she came up with. We had all shared the teachings and discoveries of the Boutenko family ( ) including their teenagers authoring a fun book of recipes called Eating Without Heating.

The authors, Sergei and Valya Boutenko, now young adults, learned from their parents to eat raw foods and were able to heal themselves from diabetes and asthma, respectively, while their parents healed their own heart disease and arthritis, as told in their book The Raw Family.

It’s anecdotal, I know, not scientific enough for many out there to give it some thought, but it matches countless other successful stories of change as well as research that doesn’t seem to become main stream enough.

To honor my young friend I spent some time researching pine nuts, as I think we all become much more interested in the things we truly understand. Like everyone else, I sort of know what the good fats are, but here goes a review of those confusing words and what they mean.

One ounce of pine nuts – approximately ¼ cup — has about 178 calories. The fat content is high: about 17 grams, of which 2.5 g are saturated fat, which are not good. But these 1 oz. of pine nuts also have 7.3 g of polyunsaturated fat and 6.5 g of monounsaturated fat and what those do is to help the body get rid of the bad stuff: polyunsaturated fat lowers the blood cholesterol level, but in large amounts, it will reduce the good cholesterol, the HDL – high density lipoprotein. Monounsaturated fatty acids have the ability to lower the bad cholesterol – LDL – low density lipoprotein – without affecting the good cholesterol. (It is recommended that we don’t exceed 10 percent of the caloric intake of the day with polyunsaturated fats.)

I now know that pine nuts have numerous good nutrients. And I have certainly looked up plenty of other foods before today. Some of it I learned from these sites:, and  I am a fascinated student, especially because I feel so much energy and want to stay this way.   My friend Gabrielle has said the same thing about the energy she feels.

Next time my little friend comes to visit, I’ll invite her to search other foods with me.  Something tells me I am in for some learning from her inquisitive young mind. And who knows, maybe she’ll influence a friend, who might share with a teacher and another young one out there and they’ll start the ball rolling to motivate the younger generation on route to health.

Este artigo foi originalmente publicado no Metrowest Daily News, em agosto de 2006. 

Nota da autora: Desde que esse artigo foi publicado, o movimento para incentivar a alimentação de qualidade nos EUA aumentou enormemente, principalmente depois que a primeira dama, Michelle Obama tomou a frente e até plantou uma horta na Casa Branca.


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