Living a natural lifestyle - with kids
Andrea Donsky, RNC
Living a natural lifestyle is challenging, and raising children with the same beliefs is even harder. Living a natural lifestyle is a commitment-a commitment to your family, to the environment, and most of all, to yourself.
A few weeks ago I attended a family gathering with my husband, three-year-old son, and 13-month-old daughter. We had just arrived when my son discovered a table full of candy. My initial reaction was “no way” and “absolutely not,” since candy is loaded with unnecessary sugar and contains ingredients that I can’t even pronounce.
However, because he’s a persistent three-year-old, I decided to “let loose” for one night. After all, I ate candies when I was a kid, so why shouldn’t he? “Let him be a kid,” I was told. “How often does he have the chance to enjoy himself like this?”
Maintaining a Balance
I realize that living a natural lifestyle is challenging, and raising children with the same beliefs is even harder. I struggle daily with maintaining a balance between allowing my children to “live” and staying true to my beliefs.
Like most parents, I try to monitor what they consume, while at the same time allowing them the odd indulgence (organic cookies, watered-down organic juice, and organic raisins are considered treats in our home). Fortunately, I am blessed with a loving, supportive husband who understands the importance of eating healthily and living naturally.
Providing Healthy Choices
My children are very unique, or at least that is what I am told. They regularly snack on seaweed (dulse and Alaria are their favourites) and raw-food bars; drink only filtered reverse-osmosis water; beg for second servings of lemon-flavoured fish oil; eat “green” organic cereal for breakfast (spirulina, of course); and enjoy crushed flaxseeds and probiotics straight from the spoon.
I do my best to feed them a whole-foods diet consisting primarily of natural and organic foods, but I also try not to deprive my children of any specific type of food.
Sharing My Knowledge
For the most part, people are intrigued by my lifestyle. Family, friends, and even acquaintances call to ask questions and to ask for my opinion. I learned a long time ago not to preach to the unconverted; trying to influence skeptics and nonbelievers of the importance of living a natural lifestyle only serves to create unnecessary friction (and a little discretion also helps me keep my friends).
However, if someone is interested in learning about why I live the way I do or how they can implement some of my strategies, I am only too thrilled to share my knowledge with them. Living a natural lifestyle is a commitment–a commitment to your family, to the environment, and most of all, to yourself.