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Keep the word Healthy in your kids Lexicon.
A dive into a trend that is bound to be detrimental for everyone.
There’s a quiet trend brewing on social media of castigating the word “healthy” as an adjective that will undoubtedly damage children and adults alike. Instagram moms and nutritionists have been publishing several posts on how and why you should never use “that word” with kids and how they may become traumatized by it.
The argument they present is that calling a specific food healthy casts judgment on other foods or people that make different food choices.
I’m here to tell you otherwise, and I’ll do so briefly and simply.
Eating healthy is a goal that ALL people should aim for, even knowing that realistically we won’t get there on many occasions, and that is fine. This does not mean that we exclude that goal completely from our lives, it means that we recognize that we are human and therefore flawed, but we keep trying. I think most people also understand that for example, while vegetables and fruit are healthy, there might be someone who’s allergic or does not do well on them, but we don’t then deduct that fruits and french fries are therefore the same.
We can speak broadly, while still understanding that there are exceptions. Those exceptions shouldn’t invalidate the general concept of healthy foods for most people.
Blurring or omitting the word healthy from your kids’ lexicon does them no favor, contrarily it removes a worthy goalpost that should guide their food choices. Yes, it’s true that a food that was once thought to be healthy, can today be known to be unhealthy, but just as times, news, and science change, so can our food choices accordingly.
There’s actually increasing evidence that food and nutrition play a bigger role in overall human health, with even new scientific disciplines arising from this, as is the case with Nutritional Psychiatry. This new discipline recognizes the nutritional impact of food choices on psychiatric conditions such as depression, among others.
There’s no benefit for families or children in eliminating the word healthy from their vocabulary, but in a country with one of the largest obesity rates in the world, there are plenty of common sense advantages in pursuing a healthy lifestyle and diet. To do that, we have to know where the goalpost is and we must have the language to express it.
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