April 11, 2014 in Infographics
Vegetarianism is strangely controversial. There are many concerns that go into diet preferences, such as health,
When it comes to whether our children should abstain from the consumption of meat – red meat, poultry, seafood or any animal, the debate gets even more heated.
Before we decide about what our children should eat, let us look at a few options of what is in our regular diets today. Nowadays, various packaged or processed foods like cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, marshmallows and so on do not publicize their production processes. They may use genetically engineered ingredients – foods with specific changes introduced into their DNA. A study by the University of Caen in France showed results of up to 50% of males and 70% of females in the sample group of rats suffered premature death after they were being fed genetically modified (GMO) corn. Up to 80% of the female rats had mammary tumors by the end of the trial, a concerning result that shows a possible connection between the consumption of GMO food and the development of malignant cancerous tumors.
Not only are vegetables and fruits part of the GMO family, even poultry like chicken are genetically manipulated to drastically increase the growth of breast and thigh tissue, so fast that it outgrows their legs and organs. The growth of abnormally heavy bodies cripples the chickens and causes painful skeletal deformities. The process of a chick hatching from an egg to a chicken ready to be slaughtered takes only six to seven weeks. This is very telling about the amount of growth antibiotics injected into the chicken we eat.
Conventional foods produced using methods of conventional farming, with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, could be toxic. Every infant born today carries chemicals passed from the mother to the child during pregnancy. Growing up in a world full of chemicals in our food, air, water, the child will be exposed to even more toxic substances within their lifetimes.
Whether foods are grown and preserved in the country’s natural habitat is also indicative of whether it is produced completely naturally or not. Each country’s import inspections system and rules are different. To facilitate international trade, regulations might be loosened to allow a certain volume of food to enter the country because of the high consumption demands. As a result, some frightening food hazards such as mercury content or lead paint could be overlooked.
When considering whether your child should have a completely vegetarian or organic diet, take into account that even the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada have stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet is “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”.
Studies have shown that rates of death from heart disease is 30% lower amongst vegetarian men and 20% lower amongst vegetarian women compared to non-vegetarians. The China-Cornell-Oxford project, which spanned 20 years, showed a correlation between the consumption of animal products and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancers of the breast,
prostate and bowel.
Consider having a car, would you want to choose finer diesel for the engine for it to run longer?. The same goes with our bodies: to be healthy in the long run, what you put in your stomach is of high importance. A well-planned natural vegetarian diet can meet your kids’ nutritional needs and prepare them for long, healthy lives.
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, yet most challenging tasks we could be given. As a responsible parent, we naturally want to make our children’s childhoods smooth-sail experiences, however, as human beings, we are bound to make mistakes. Even as a father or a mother, we need to learn to gracefully rise up from our previous errors and deal with them properly.
We have compiled a few major points to help you remain an accountable parent and yet free you from being overly worried:
Your children know when you are feeling guilty
Children know more than you think. Even though we tend to see them as worry-free and innocent, when we think back to when we were children, we were actually extremely perceptive and would feel sad if our parents were having a fight or were feeling depressed. If you could not stop feeling bad about a previous accident that occurred, your child would sense your feelings and might internalize it as the accident worsening the relationship between you and him/her. They might even think it is their fault that you are feeling unhappy. To prevent this, simply apologize, forgive yourself and move on.
We are not liable for everything our children do
Oftentimes as parents, we make ourselves the culprits of however our children turn out. However, as our children are growing up, they are developing a mind, personality and interests of their own. A lot of their individuality is not in our control. We can try to be the best parents, however, there are still possibilities of incidents that could happen and take us by surprise. Sometimes, how our children act would shock us and make us wonder what caused their outbursts.
If you are still caring for your child, you are not a neglecting bad parent. Stop feeling guilty for no reason. You are a blessing for your child, just relax, learn from your experience and do not become overly anxious over your child’s every act.
Stay emotionally healthy
Maintaining our emotional health well helps us build a better parent-child relationship. When you need to take a break, give yourself one even if it is a quick walk, taking a shower or a short nap. Let the breaks be guilt-free because you need to recharge to deal with some overwhelming situations that might present itself while taking care of your child.
If you find that you cannot shake away your feelings of worry for weeks or even months, you should be concerned with your own psychological health. When you are experiencing sadness, worthlessness or excessive guilt throughout the day, nearly every day and have trouble concentrating on taking care of your child, it is recommended that you reach out to a family doctor or counselor, who could refer you to a therapist who can assess and treat mood disorders. Take this precautionary measure for the wellbeing of yourself and your family.
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Whether your child is loud or quiet, there is still value in maintaining quality conversations with your child, and guiding them into meaningful discussions. Here are a few conversation starters with your child to develop their skills in critically thinking about issues and expressing their own opinions.
1. Ask your child to evaluate yourself.
Have you ever thought that it would be valuable if you asked your child what his/her favorite thing is about you? Not only will you feel very encouraged, but you would know what you are doing right. Knowing some things that your child does not like is also useful because you could work on doing things differently and have your son see that you are willing to work on becoming a better parent for his/her sake.
2. Discuss movies together.
Movies are great tools to bring up interesting topics to talk about. Disney and Pixar films are guaranteed great family movies. Classic ones like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Lilo and Stitch and so on are great conversation starters for topics of friendship, disjointed families, parent-child relationships, treating those who are different and so on.
3. Talk through conflicts.
When conflicts come up about which sibling should get a certain toy, or when a child feels forced to do something, talk through it. Be calm and try to resolve the conflict by showing that as a parent, you are in a partnership with your children. Solve problems together even if at the moment you are not getting along. This will teach your child valuable skills on compromising and teamwork.
4. Bring up sex.
It is never too early to talk about sex. Here is a guide to what you could talk about at your child’s specific age. Even when your child is only 2 or 3 years old, you can still teach them the right terminology for private body parts. When they are toddlers you can give them simple descriptions for how a baby lives in a mommy’s tummy and a general idea of a sperm joining the cell of an egg to create a human being. When your child steps into puberty, you can talk more about sex-related topics in the news. Talking about sex upfront with your child avoids them looking for answers through the media or through online sources.
5. Build compassion.
When you pass a homeless person, or if you see a case of bullying, teach your child compassion by asking them what positive reactions they can give to people who are less fortunate. Be a model yourself for advocating for the poor, the needy and the marginalized. Guide your child into talking about how they would like to help those who are in need and it would help them become people who reach out to others.
Were these conversation starters helpful for you? What other ways do you spur purposeful discussions with your child? Let us know by COMMENTING below! Please SHARE this article if it was helpful to you!