I have my youngest son-8 years old, Marco, registered in a ‘fit kids” class. While I do feed my kiddies very healthy and mostly Paleo…they are not 100% with Paleo nutrition. Marco has always had some extra weight and while it has always been a concern for me, I try not to make a huge deal out of it. Still, I want my son to be healthy and fit. Marco isn’t big on sports. He’s tried soccer and gymnastics and it just wasn’t his thing. He loves bike riding and swimming and playing outside. That’s a bit harder in the winter.
Anyhoo, a friend of mine told me about this FREE program in my community that helps children with obesity prevention. It combines fitness, nutrition and lifestyle/behavioral for children that are overweight. I thought it would be a good opportunity to expose him to other types of physical activity and help us, as a family, be more active AND add to our healthy lifestyle.
I already knew what the program’s nutrition component was going to look like…low-fat, whole grain…the Standard American Diet (SAD)! I already knew that the nutrition would not mirror what I believe about the amazing benefits of Paleo nutrition. How was I going to explain (nicely) to my son that what the nutritionist say about saturated fat, fiber, grains and such is all wrong? (in my book, anyways).
Both of my sons know lots about Paleo nutrition from me…watching sugar intake, avoiding and/or limiting grain, not eating processed foods, why we eat organic produce and pastured meats, etc. They both like that mama cooks from scratch and that we yummy nutritious meals that are not only delicious but helps us feel great. I do allow then to have some treats with most of them being homemade. So it was quite the challenge to decide how I could get Marco engaged in the class but how I would steer him away from the “nutritional advice and tips” that the program offers. Actually it hasn’t been hard at all. Marco is smart is really starting to monitor how he feels eating a meal….watching sugar intake, eating more veggies. etc.
I really do like the program, overall. The instructors are wonderful and really love working with the kids. The fitness component is really fun for Marco and he gets a 45 minute session on Mondays and Wednesdays and then another 45 minute family workout on Friday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the kids get nutritional and behavioral education after the work out. and I worked out with him yesterday and it was lots of fun. We did a warm-up, work-out stations (jumping rope, push-ups, get-ups, jumps, etc.) and some relay races. It was a good workout. On Fridays, following the workout, we get a nutritional and lifestyle class after the workout.
So yesterday, we worked on reading foods labels and what to avoid. I wanted to add that if we ate more whole foods and less processed foods from a bag, box or can…we wouldn’t have to decipher so many food labels. I’m not shy but I am also not going to convince the conventional thinking of schooled nutritionists. I’d rather save my energy. I bit my tongue and smiled.
The pediatric nutritionist (from a hospital) said that saturated fat was BAD and that cholesterol was BAD. I think using the word BAD on needed nutritional fats is BAD. We agree that trans fats are BAD but perhaps we replace the word BAD with something like “highly processed fats that should be avoided because they will make you sick”. Too many words?
You need fats in your diet. In the Standard American Diet Pyramid, it is suggested that oils, fats like butter, and animal fats are to be used sparingly. Yet, we still have an obesity crisis in the USA eating a low-fat diet. I’m not going to re-write the science about fats in the Paleo diet as there are plenty of sources online. I believe in Paleo nutrition principles and that’s what works for me.
Then she went on to say not to worry about carb intake…grains! AND that canola oil is GOOD. It’s not her fault that she is teaching this information. It is what is taught and believed in mainstream health system. I’m not going to convince a program that taught by a hospital to check out Paleo nutrition and that I know better…although I did offer some whole foods snack ideas that were well received.
She also said that bacon was BAD. That’s when I whispered to my son, “Did she say bacon was BAD?” He smiled and nodded as he loves bacon. I whispered back, “Get your things. We are out of here.” And we kindly excused ourselves from class.
I plan on keeping him in the class for the physical benefits. We will just have to smile and bite our tongues for the nutritional stuff.
Maybe I need to develop and teach my own class…hmmmm.