My oldest children were around 6-8 years of age when we really made the switch to complete whole foods and everything from scratch. The older ones (now 13-15) every once in a while take some convincing that we are doing the best thing for our health and family. I appreciate the food documentaries that are out there for these times. They help to convey my convictions and research in a sort of 3rd party unbiased fashion that opens them up for discussion.
We watched Food, Inc. (again) last night for the benefit of the older ones who did not quite remember it. They were so enraged at the parts discussing the practices of Monsanto and other large food conglomerates. And rightly so! We discussed how we are helping make a change – with the way we are eating. I explain that when we choose to support our local farmers, not eat conventionally processed meats or produce or grains, we are taking away their business. If enough people stop buying their defective and harmful products, they would go out of business or be forced to change. This is the power of the free market.
Understanding why we don’t eat out at most restaurants or grab “fast food” when we are out also gives them more conviction and strength to stand by what we know to be good for us. It helps to give them vision, especially when their friends or peers make fun of them for eating “weird food” or not partaking in junk food. I feel badly for them when I hear of others making fun of them; but I know that this is part of growing up and gaining character. I don’t want to make their lives too comfortable that they do not mold true virtue and perseverance in the face of hardships. People will always have something negative to say, no matter how old you are, or where you go. But we do not have to respond in anger or rashly. We can take it as an opportunity to educate, pray and share our stories.
So if you have disgruntles mumbling about, try watching a food documentary and having an honest dialogue afterwards about it. I also like to share how we should treat all creatures and all of God’s creation with respect as He would want us to, as worthy stewards of the gifts He has given so richly. Discussing the flaws in our society today with our young people can only spark a brighter change for our future.