Everyone is born with a taste for sweetness (calories) and an aversion for bitterness (toxins). We’re also born with our mother’s taste for certain foods. If our mothers ate salty foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats while they were pregnant with us, we’re likely to be born with a taste for junk food. Most of our tastes are locked in at about the age of 5. The best time for acquiring new tastes is during the first year of life. Unfortunately, most mothers feed their kids sweetened baby food or porridge, which creates a taste for junk food for life. French fries are the most commonly consumed vegetable for 15-month olds in the US.
GUIDELINES FOR KIDS:
- Don’t force foods on kids- you can turn them off for life.
- Kids are naturally wary of new foods, therefore prepare new vegetables with a texture familiar and appealing to your child. If your child likes crispy crunchy food, then present new veggies raw.
- Introduce new foods when kids are hungry.
- Introduce a variety of foods. Serve small amounts of a half a dozen vegetables at a time and see which ones your kids like best. Prepare those favorites in different ways.
- Babyled-weaning is a popular method of introducing new finger foods to babies from 6 months onwards.
- Rule of 95/5 – 95% PLANT-BASED/ 5% ANIMAL BASED.
- 65% CARBS – MORE beans (1 cup/day); greens veggies (1 cup/day); fruit (2-3/day); whole grains (daily) LESS potatoes; NO chips, sweets, soda pop.
- 20% FAT – MORE Olive oil (2 T/day); Nuts (1/2 cup)/day; LESS – animal fat products; NO trans fats.
- 15% PROTEINS – MORE beans (1cup/day); tofu (1/2 cup); fish (2x/wk); LESS meat (1x/wk); dairy
Plant slant – ensure that 95% of your food comes from a plant or plant product. The best longevity foods are leafy greens ( spinach, kale, beet, etc.). Olive oil increases good HDL cholesterol and lowers bad LDL cholesterol. Combined with seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans, dominate Blue Zones meals all year long.
WHAT IS LONGEVITY?
Longevity means to live with optimum health as long as possible, slowing down the aging process and preventing or delay the onset of age-related disease and decline. It is promoting “active life expectancy” – the time in late life free of disability.
There is plenty of research supporting the value of healthy, balanced diet and exercise, to delay and prevent age-related health problems, but are there other interventions that can help? Current studies are looking at the possible benefits and risks of a number of approaches, including antioxidants, calorie restriction and hormone supplements.