The 3 topics I chose to reflect on from the topics I studied in Contemporary Diet and Nutrition are some that I feel are the most basic; Food Choices, Economics (food cost and nutrition), and food-borne illnesses. Once I finish all of my schooling (and I know I have beat the “I plan to be a physician assistant” thing into the ground) nutrition will be a big piece of my treatment program. I have been an army medic for a very long time, a mother for not such a long time and a person who has observed and struggled with her own weight as well. There are a few things that I feel comfortable saying as “blanket” healthcare and one of those is we each can control most of our own health. Nutrition and exercise is the way we do that, put the right stuff in and keep moving- it is unbelievable what poor food choices and a couch potato lifestyle can do to a body.
For Food Choices here are some great resources that can get anyone started:
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
The Ten Commandments of Healthy Eating for Parents: It’s as Simple as Counting to Ten, (sparkpeople.com) I love these so much I want to put them here. I think #2 is the most influential.
- Thou shalt not force, bribe or coerce thy child to eat.
- Thou shalt set a good example by eating at least five fruits and vegetables, three whole grain products, and three dairy servings per day thyself.
- Thou shalt make mealtimes pleasant.
- Thou shalt encourage thy child to help in meal planning, preparation, and cleanup.
- Thou shalt back off when mealtime becomes a power struggle.
- Thou shalt accept food “binges” as phases that will eventually pass.
- Thou shalt accept the fact that thy child is an individual and thus will dislike certain foods (and there may be many!).
- Thou shalt not give up on introducing thy child to new foods. Thou shalt realize it sometimes takes ten tries to get a child to accept a food.
- Thou shalt use this division of responsibility for eating: As the parent, thou art responsible for deciding when and what to serve. Thy child is responsible for deciding how much (if any) will be eaten.
- Thou shalt give thy child a multivitamin-mineral supplement if he is a picky eater.
In the Food Economics category I chose these resources to help people find more cost effective ways so maintain better nutrition. Cost is always a major factor in the argument against fruits and veggies so removing that obstacle is paramount.
The local Health Department
My last major concern is food borne illnesses, the improper handling, storing, and preparing of food can be really dangerous. I have spent almost an entire spring break in a Florida hotel bathroom from bad seafood- from a four star restaurant and am pretty sure it was poorly stored Chinese that caused me to go into premature labor with my 9 year old twins so I feel well versed in “what not to do” as far as food handling (oh and the microbiology and army food safety course might have helped too). I have a short list of resources that can help folks understand how to handle, store, and prepare food to prevent an ER trip or worse.