Dr. Joy’s Myths Busters: Breaking the Pattern of Poor Health 

 September 7, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

What we learn in childhood stays with us for a long time.

What are some of the limiting beliefs we might be exposed to in childhood? 

Children can be limited by food choices or amounts if there are money issues in the family. They could be experiencing lack, hunger, or missing nutrients which could affect their health.

Children could feel limited by a lack of opportunity, education, attention, love or validation. We are social creatures who need to be accepted, encouraged, loved and supported.

Children whose family rewards them with sweets and treats could grow up preferring desserts instead of protein, healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates, the foundations of good health.

Food types and quantities can be limited depending on the cook’s choices and cooking skills.The amount and quality of food for meals and the frequency of meals can all affect a child’s health.

Families that don’t sit down to a cooked meal and talk together can lose the nucleus bonding of the family. If all the members grab snacks and go their separate ways, that connection is lost.

Families that eat fast foods, daily desserts and drink sodas, colas and punches (containing artificial flavors, preservatives, texturizers, coloring, etc.) get limited nutrient balance and quality.

The parent’s or caregiver’s food choices will typically become the children’s preferences in adulthood. The parents’ knowledge about nutrition will be what the children think is normal.

In some families, there may be an emphasis on carbohydrates. This food type can tend to create weight issues if family members are not physically active. 

The amount of activity and exercise is also learned from the family. School sports, bicycling, skating, and running are examples of activities that can improve health and fitness.

Children learn from watching and listening to parents, relatives, and teachers. They usually do what these adults do, believe what they believe, and think what they think.

I believe that nutrition should be taught in grade school and high school. We must give children a firm foundation for good health when they are young for longer, healthier life. 

Parents that grew up with no guidance about healthy nutrition can learn the basics by watching programs on YouTube, television, or reading nutrition books. Beware of fad diets. They rarely work.

I wasn’t taught to cook at home. But I learned from the best chefs in the world on the television cooking shows! It is an investment in your future health! Be curious. Try new foods. Experiment!

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