1st Chapter: Food is more than just Nutrition
-Our children are in trouble because we’ve outsourced the job of feeding them.
When we look at the food and the functions that food fulfills in our lives, we can sort it out separately into two important categories.
The first category is Nutrition- Food provides us Nutrition, its fuel right? You’ve heard the saying which goes like, food is fuel and it fuels our body, it fuels our physical activities, It helps us to think and it helps our body to repair as a mechanic would when certain parts are damaged. It helps us to grow and maintain our body healthy, so this is an important part of the equation of life.
On the other side, we have social functions of food, even from the smallest families from the first day of life, and up to the most kind of extended social networks, Food is a way of communicating, its showing care and love for one another, It is an amazing expression of celebrating together. It’s also a way of passing on our family’s history and our traditions and all of these things fall under the side of them that I would call the social functions of food.
But let’s go over to this nutrition side, once again and just to look at these facts, the first thing we need from the food, in terms of nutrition and we sometimes forget about this Water. We human beings are made up of 50% water by weight and water facilitates all of the body functions we need to survive on, so water is really important and sometimes we forget about that.
Then the next thing we need is energy, We get energy from our food in the terms of something called macronutrients, and they are called macronutrients because we need a relatively larger amount of these compared to the micronutrients, they are things like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
So the next thing we need are micronutrients, these are things like Vitamins and minerals and these vitamins are the organic substance made by plants and animals, whereas minerals are the inorganic elements that come from the earth’s soil and water, absorbed by plants.So animals and human absorb minerals from the plants and that helps the body needs to grow, to repair and function as normal.
The last thing that we have to add to this Dietary fiber, And Fiber is a really important part of the diet, it sometimes called Ruffage, but its basically the indigestible part of plant food, the part that our digestive tract cannot breakdown and absorb and it protects the health of our digestive tract, it also helps us to remove waste from the body as well.
While looking towards the Social functions of food, which provides a very powerful means of communication, when we eat together with other people, we communicate, we become integrated into the heart of our families or into the society as well. Through the act, just the act of sharing a meal and solidifies social connections that we established by spending time around a table and eating, talking together were actually contribute to the emotional health of our children. Some research saying that children who eat with family meals actually do better in terms of Emotional well being.
And Finally, eating together and doing that over time, forming many many years is a way in which we pass on our family’s traditions, a way in which we record our memories and pass those on. And the history of the generation that comes before us and passes it on to the next generation.
So while we recognize the importance of the nutritional contribution of food. Food is certainly fuel and we recognize that it’s critical over short and long periods of survival but we can’t forget the huge contribution of food and the way in which we eat to the survival and the development of us as social beings. Beginning really from the first day that a child born and someone provides that child with Food.
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Until then eat safe and eat happy.