A brave new world of well-nourished children...
Let’s do better by the children. Let’s re-create the food model-- what we eat and how we prepare it. Children that have come in with GF/CF issues are calling us not to do more of the same differently, (i.e., tweak the old model with brown rice flour), but to create something new. They are calling us to start over. To create a food model based on “things that work” for them, and that will ultimately transform how we all eat.
The current model for all children, including the GF community is:
- too much processed food,
- too many carbs, and not prepared in a way that can be digested,
- too little healthy fat, and
- improper food combining (too much protein and carbohydrates eaten together. Example: a turkey sandwich.)
Let’s do it differently.
Don’t all the children in the world deserve to be served the nutrients they need to live happy, healthy lives? I daresay, yes—and think most would agree. So let’s see what a new food model would look like for all children (and heck, all adult’s too!)
1. Cut out processed foods. For the purposes of this article, a frozen GF muffin made of brown rice flour and tapioca flour is just as dead as a “regular”, i.e., non-GF muffin. Only worse. Feeding these grains to a GF child does nothing to help heal the gut and, in the longer term, may lead to candida overgrowth issue. They also do nothing to stem the tide of toxins to the brain made from the inefficient digestion of carbohydrates.
2. Eat more properly prepared whole, gluten-free grains, such as buckwheat, millet, oats, and quinoa made at home. These grains, when prepared correctly through traditional soaking and cooking techniques, and served with healthy fats accomplish the following goals: they do not strain the digestive system because they do not contain the long chain protein known as “gluten” or large carbohydrate molecules found in rice, potatoes, and other starches typically used in processed GF recipes. These grains provide high nutrient density that is easily absorbed by the body. They do not convert into toxins that can then be absorbed by the bloodstream—a problem for those with compromised gut health. (See Natasha Campbell McBride, GAPS, SCD and BED for more on this).
3. Use alternative flours—nut flours or coconut flour. For those who can tolerate them, nuts and coconut flour are nutrient-dense options that pack a wallop. Nuts are very high in protein and healthy fats (so you don’t have to worry about a sugar crash like you do from a high carb muffin), and coconut flour is high in lauric acid which is a natural immune booster (for more on the nutrient benefits of coconut, see Bruce Fife, The Coconut Oil Miracle and Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Eat Fat, Lose Fat).
All of the above calls us to create a new way of eating. It demands a learning curve along with a dash of creativity and a sense of adventure to learn anew the old techniques and incorporate them into one’s cooking repertoire, to work with whole grains and flours one has never worked with before, and to change our thinking about what is nourishing to children and to the rest of us. (STOP serving turkey sandwiches on any kind of bread and START giving the children the fats they need for healthy brain development…butter from grass-fed cows or casein-free ghee and coconut oil, for example.)
A, a brave new world of well-nourished children who are able to focus, participate, and THRIVE. Come with me to envision it and invent it. For all of us.
copyright 2010 Monica Corrado