It's heartbreaking watching your child suffer with asthma. I know from personal experience. So I am always looking for new information on the medical issue, and the latest took me by surprise. According to researchers, children who eat junk food three times a week have the worst cases of asthma and eczema. The findings are worrisome, to be sure. But there is good news within all of this too.
The asthma rate has doubled in the last 20 years (nine million kids suffer with it in the U.S.) and these experts believe that it may be because kids eat less natural foods these days. They also noticed a steady decline in certain vitamins and minerals while consumption of fats and processed foods rose dramatically. If the illness is really diet-related, that means the problem is fixable -- or at the very least can be made less severe by changing eating habits.
Easier said then done, right. Some kids are so picky, we are just happy to get them to eat anything, even nuggets and pizza. But I think there is a way for those foods to move away from the mainstay of children's meals. And with this new research, it is more important than ever. I am trying to teach my son at 4 years old how to make smart food choices. I am no nutrition saint. He gets fast food, but only for one meal on one weekend day. That way, he thinks of it as a treat as opposed to something he should be able to have every day or with more frequency. And because he is not totally deprived, he doesn't beg or whine for it.
I also make him a part of our meal planning. I make sure to include foods and flavors he likes and I tell him that healthy foods will make him big and strong like Superman (we have a superhero obsession in my house right now). My hope is that starting good eating habits and developing a healthy relationship with food will better prepare him to make smart choices as he gets older and eating on his own.
Do you think there is a link between asthma and fast food? Do you let your kids eat fast food?
Image via Robert Banh/Flickr
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