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"Disease Proof Your Child" and Healthy Snack Ideas

Late night infomercials are powerful!  Four-ish weeks ago my husband learned of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  He is the author of "Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss" and several other health oriented books.  Have you heard of him?  The next morning my wonderful husband sent me to the library for "Eat to Live" and "Disease Proof Your Child" and announced that our (well, mostly his) diet would be dramatically changing for the next six weeks.  I'd like to give a little shout out to my hubby for sticking to Dr. Furhman's Six Week Diet plan-- he's doing awesome!!  For those that do not know, his Six Week plan is radical, to say the least.  Going from eating dairy, processed foods, meat, etc to basically eating fruits and veggies, and cutting out salt is not the easiest or most enjoyable thing to do, at first.  

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease; he is an advocate for making one's diet consist of greens, fruits, seeds and nuts.  In "Disease Proof Your Child" he presents a book full of scientific studies linking our current epidemic of "adult cancers and other diseases... to what we eat in the first quarter of our life."  Basically, what we are feeding our children today has an effect on their tomorrow.  At the time of copyright, 2005, there was a 38% percent chance a woman would get cancer in her lifetime and a 45% chance for men!  Mind-boggling, no?!  I'm not sure of the stats for 2012, but this cancer epidemic surely shows no sign of slowing, as with every other malady that persists today....

Here are some things I learned:
  • Consumption of animal fat from dairy (saturated fat) and meat closely related to occurrence of cancer.
  • Dairy is a problem because "it takes 10lbs. of cow's milk to make 1lb. of cheese.  ...Cow's milk contains estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactin, and other natural cow hormones ... that can exert effects on humans."  Cheese has some of the highest amounts of saturated fat.  If you do eat dairy, only choose fat-free versions.
  • When you limit animal proteins and salt, you do not loose as much calcium in the urine; therefore, your need for calcium has decreased.
  • Growing bodies (babies, toddlers, young children) with more rapidly dividing cells are more sensitive to damage from all kinds of toxins (not just food).  Eventually the cells become dyplastic and over the years (with a poor diet) turn cancerous.
  • Infants and toddlers have 10x greater cancer risk than adults when exposed to gene damaging chemicals.
  • Processed foods that have been baked/fried give off cancer causing agent (acrylamides)-- chips, fries, sugary cereals... Acrylamides have caused genetic mutations and cancers in lab animals
  • Heart disease manifests in childhood.
  • "China Project" study showed cancer occurrences higher in populations that ate more animal products; a plant based diet showed lower cancer occurrences.
  • What we've come to know as diseases associated with age are actually born from a lifetime of wrong food choices. 
  • Eat beans, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and veggies every day!!
Dr. Fuhrman suggests that starting healthy eating habits early on is *key* to long-term health and likability of that fruit/ veggie.  I have witnessed this myself with my kiddos.  When T was younger, I just never took the time to prep veggies or eat them myself, and unfortunately it shows now in T's eating habits. He'll eat corn, carrots, and choke-down green peas : )  Fruit on the other hand he cannot get enough of-- I joke that we need to live on  a fruit farm!  I've definitely given Little Sis more of an array of veggies-- peas, carrots, eggplant, corn, etc; she'll even eat tofu!  For the most part, she'll eat whatever is in front of her!  Dr. Fuhrman encourages parents not to give up after giving their child/children something new to eat-- "it takes 8-15 tastes for a child to develop a liking for a new food"-- so don't give up! But, early exposure is key! 

Prior to reading this book, you could say I was naive believing that our diet early on had no effect on our years to come; but after reading this book, I clearly have been mis-informed.  I have been mis-informed that eating processed foods and foods with saturated fat is "ok;"  it may be convenient and taste good at the time, but is that worth my family's long-term health?

It is my 2012 goal, from here on out, to make sure our house is stocked with fruits and veggies and to keep processed sweets, full fat dairy, and white flour products for treats outside the home. Anyone with me??

Both of Dr. Fuhrman's books that I tagged in the beginning of my posts provide a couple weeks worth of menus and snack ideas; here are a few healthy snacks we enjoy!

 Trail Mix w/ no- salt nuts:
I also added white chocolate chips, which seemed to have disappeared!
I added chopped cranberries and coconut to our nut mix.  
**Tip: refrigerate the date "dough" for a little or its one big sticky mess!**

Strawberry Frosty:
Blend frozen berries and a small amount of soy milk.

And, don't forget about fresh fruit salads
smoothies (you can add spinach without your child noticing the taste!)
Blackberry Oatmeal Smoothie
raw veggies
Eat to Live- Inspired Pinterest Board

Hope you and yours enjoy a healthy 2012!!


17 comments on ""Disease Proof Your Child" and Healthy Snack Ideas"
  1. I was made for these! DELISH! I can't wait to try them. Perfect for us-non dairy family! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Kids in the Kitchen. Hope to see you again next week with another amazing recipe. Blessings

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  2. so much great information in this post!! thank you very much!! I cook healthy foods....and I can see the benefits in many ways just in my own family!

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  3. I have not read that book but I agree with the philosophy of how what we eat is tied to our cancer risks, weight, etc. Have you read the book "Superfoods"? I love it because it is a great reference book to which foods are good for us. I love that you are introducing healthy eating to your kids at such early ages... yay! I chuckled at the handful of trail mix in your hand because that is what I eat for a snack almost every day... walnuts, dried cranberries, and almonds. :-)

    So excited for Bruce and his success!!! Keep us posted!

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  4. What great snack ideas! We love smoothies at our house, especially the strawberry kind.:)

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  5. Thank you for linking with Kids in the kitchen! We're so happy to have you - our goals are to encourage families to cook and eat together & be healthier in body, mind, and soul.

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  6. Stopping by from Toys in the Dryer! Very interesting post! My older kids and I are working on losing weight and changing our eating habits for the better, so this post verified what we've been doing: more FRESH fruits and veggies, less meat, dairy and processed starches. We're also a make-from-scratch family (most of the time). What does the book say about dry non-fat milk and eggs?

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Sending lots of encouragement while you all change your eating habits... it's not the *easiest* thing to do! Neither book specifically mentioned dry non-fat milk, but in general said to limit dairy to 0-3 times/ week and if you choose dairy to only choose lowfat or nonfat varieties. Eggs (as with other animal products that are lowest in saturated fat) are to be used sparingly-- 0-3 times per week, as well; it is his favored animal product being it is likely to be less polluted. Let me know if you have any other questions!!

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    2. Aw! Thanks for your encouragement! It's not easy making changes for sure, but the kids are "stepping up". Diabetes and heart disease run in the males of our families so it's very important for my boys to START NOW with their diets (and my girl and I can benefit).

      We have our own flock of hens who free range so we consume about 1 1/2 doz eggs per week with breakfast and cooking.

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    3. Yes, the earlier you start eating healthy... the better!! And I just read an interesting snippet in a health publication recently basically stating that what the mother eats before and during pregnancy has an effect on the child's health/ genetics! So indeed our food matters... the mantra is true, "You are what you eat!" The study took mice that were prone to cancer, heart disease, short lives and born brown and radically changed their diet with folic acid and some other nutrients before/ and during pregnancy and their offspring were a different color and lived longer lives! Amazing!

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  7. Came here from Made by You Monday! I am so glad I stopped by! We have been changing our eating to more and more this way. With being pregnant, green smoothies assure thah I get in 2 servings of greens each day!

    Here are the Easter dresses I made Bunny, her cousins, and her dolly.

    http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/04/keep-calm-and-craft-on.html

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  8. Loads of good info here, thanks for sharing with us on Allergy Free Wednesdays!

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  9. Thanks for this post! I'm going to order disease proof your child off of amazon right now! :) xo

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  10. Some great ideas and information. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having a great week!!

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  11. So much valuable information here. This was the "most clicked" post of the week at the Sunday Showcase. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  12. So much information here. Im so glad to see your blog.

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    1. Yes, it was truly an eye opener! Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. Hi there, I'm following you now from the sharing time blog hop. What a great blog you have, I look forward to reading more. Stop by sometime and check out my new blog at http://2earthwithlove.blogspot.com/

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