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Balance: reading, writing, arithmetic and a good diet

Whether children aspire to become lawyers, doctors, accountants, politicians, dietitians, or own a business, their dreams may be slow to materialize if their minds and bodies aren’t fed the proper nutrients.
 Dr. Timothy Moore

It’s that time of year again when school is in session. I’m sure parents are overjoyed to see their children return to a structured learning environment outside the home. The children may not be as happy, though, to see their summer break end. However, if you have a first-grader in your home who’s going to school for the very first time, he or she may be just as excited as you are as they begin a lifelong journey to success.

Children are precious, a commodity worth the investment. Helping their children become successful adults who live their lives to the fullest is the goal espoused by most parents. And whether children aspire to become lawyers, doctors, accountants, politicians, dietitians, or own a business, their dreams may be slow to materialize if their minds and bodies aren’t fed the proper nutrients. You can’t think well on an empty stomach. That’s a fact.

I remember watching my child go off to school for the very first time. It seemed like a part of me was disconnected and another part of me was happy to see her become a part of society. I knew with an education she could become whatever she wanted to in this world. I knew also that her mind and body needed to be fortified with a good diet.

When I consider all the possibilities that our children are afforded, the thing that resonates with me is that now more than ever it is possible for more of them to realistically envision becoming president of the United States of America. The two things that can stop them are not believing in themselves and not removing negative people from around them.

Four our children to succeed in society, they must learn, of course, basic reading, writing and arithmetic – and it wouldn’t hurt for them to learn about nutrition and how it plays a key role in their lives. They must learn that good nutrition can stop some of the dreaded diseases from maiming and killing both adults and children.

As I’ve written before in this spot, TV commercials are misleading. Fast food is very appealing and also very fattening to our children. Are school-age children exercising like they used to? I can’t tell. Are they being taught proper nutrition? I don’t think so. This is a great concern of mine. Although some children will eventually become successful adults, many of them will be stricken with debilitating diseases before they reach adulthood.

Obesity is a huge problem for children these days. It is one of the simplest things that a doctor can diagnose. The hard part is figuring out a way to stop it. Weight gain in children, which is very unhealthy and largely due in part to a poor diet and lack of any type of exercise, is responsible for more than 300,000 deaths per year, according to the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry. Over $100 million a year is spent in fighting childhood obesity.

So parents, you might want to take charge of the food that your child consumes. I remember when we used to sit around the kitchen table to eat a balanced meal. Nowadays, too many children don’t get a balanced meal. They eat junk food – and too much of it. It shouldn’t take but 30-to-45 minutes a day to prepare fresh wholesome meals.

If you are as old as I am, you might remember when parents, such as mine, didn’t give us a choice of what we wanted to eat. The meals were balanced, and everybody ate the same thing, whether we were from a family of five or a family of 10.

Why not start the school year teaching children about the benefits of eating salads, fruit and vegetables? Why not teach them the importance of exercising and how it can extend their lives; how proper nutrition can shut out some of the most dreaded diseases known to man?

Learning to read, write and figure numbers are prerequisites for success – so is maintaining a good diet.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

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