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Study: Diet of Mother Has Biggest Impact on Children’s Healthy Eating Habits

The results are in! Kids who see their moms eat in a healthy way are more likely to follow her example.
Mother's Diet Affects Her Children

Today we live in a world where we are constantly challenged with the problems of obesity and diabetes. Kids are the quickest-rising demographic group for being overweight or obese. Dealing with this can prove to be a huge challenge, as it requires us to look at the roots of the problem — parental example.

Oftentimes, mothers’ eating habits must be considered first when dealing with childhood nutrition issues. In fact, this latest research confirms that the way a mother views her child’s eating habits (i.e. “a picky eater” or not) has a big impact on whether the child eats enough fruits and vegetables.

The “Picky Eater” Study

A recent study, published in the journal Public Health Nursing and conducted by professor Mildred Horodynski at Michigan State University’s College of Nursing, looked into this very question. The scientific study was done on 400 low-income women (black and non-Hispanic white) who had children one to three years of age.

Information was collected from mothers in 28 Michigan counties. It was found that the children of mothers who ate fruit and vegetables less than four or more times per week were also less likely to consume fruits and vegetables. It may not seem like a stretch for the imagination, as mothers and children often eat the same foods. But it does set a scientific precedence showing that the behavior of mothers is critical for dietary health in the young.

Similarly, it was found that the if the mothers saw their children as picky eaters, these children were also less likely to get enough health fruit and vegetables. This may be connected to a “laid-back” parenting style that does not “force” children into eating fruits and vegetables.

Culture and ethnic background was also considered. It was found that African American mothers and their children did not eat as much fruits and vegetables as non-Hispanic whites. Sadly, it was found that the vast majority of all women studied were eating much less than the current recommended U.S. dietary guidelines.

Previous and similar studies found that children who were exposed to different kinds of foods, overtime, were also more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. This means that kids need to have continual exposure to different healthy foods before they begin to like eating them. In fact, this same study found that kids need up to 15 exposures with a certain food before it can determined if a child indeed likes or dislikes something.

Lead scientist on the study, Mildred Horodynski:
“Health professionals need to consider this when developing strategies to increase a child’s consumption of healthy foods. Diets low in fruit and vegetables even at young ages pose increased risks for chronic diseases later in life.” [1]

She went on to suggest that the study confirms the need for “family-based approaches to incorporating fruits and vegetables into daily eating habits. Mothers need to have the knowledge and confidence to make these healthy decisions for their children.”

In other words, if we can get the mothers’ fruit and vegetable consumption to increase, we are very likely to see positive role modeling for children, and thus a healthier diet for our offspring.

What are your thoughts on this study? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

Research: Purple Fruits Halts the Development of Alzheimers, Parkinsons & Mulitple Sclerosis

We’re taught that iron is good for our bodies. It’s used in the production for fresh blood cells and helps our bodies regulate temperature and muscle tissue. Iron is also an important part proper neurological function and numerous other biological processes. But dietary iron can be a double-edged sword. While certain forms of the dietary mineral are essential to our health, others can cause irreversible damage to some of the same bodily systems they’re meant to enhance.

According to Dr. Douglas Kell, esteemed professor of Bioanalytical Science at the University of Manchester and Chief Executive of the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), warding off these various debilitating illnesses may be cause by renegade iron in the body. And preventing them may be as simple as eating the right fruits or drinking a little more tea.

The Unseen Connection Between Iron & Degenerative Disease

Neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, slowly destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people every year. In their own unique way, each of them erodes delicate brain and nervous system tissue leaving sufferers increasingly unable to mentally and physically function.

In research recently published in the medical journal, Archives of Toxicology, Professor Kell outlines his novel discovery into the connection between these seemingly unrelated conditions and a specific class of toxin produced by an excess of poorly-bonded iron in the body.

His findings suggest that these toxins, collectively known as hydroxyl radicals, are able to induce the “large-scale cellular death and destruction” that is frequently associated with many common forms of degenerative neurological disease.

Foods to Protect Your Brain & Nervous System

Nutrients that are abundant in darkly colored fruits and vegetables, as well as green tea, appear to naturally bind loose iron molecules through a process known as chelation, making them safe for the body to properly utilize.

Blueberries and purple-colored fruit, such as plums and grapes, are excellent sources of these iron-binding agents. Other brightly colored fruits are also believed to contain varying amounts of these nutrients, although often in smaller concentrations than specifically blue and purple fruits.

If these foods truly do hold the natural secret to warding off even a handful of the degenerative diseases that plague growing elderly populations, their use could dramatically boost productivity and overall quality during the final years of live.

Professor Douglas Kell:
“The importance of iron may have been missed because there is no gene for iron as such. What I have highlighted in this work is therefore a crucial area for further investigation, as many simple predictions follow from my analysis.. If true they might change greatly the means by which we seek to prevent and even cure such diseases.” [1]

Besides purple fruits, green tea is another excellent source of the beneficial chelators, as well as many other health benefits.

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The Super(Food) Bowl Teaches Your Kids About Superfoods

Superfood Bowl Animation

The Superbowl is this weekend. So, as you gather with family and friends to watch the Packers beat the Steelers, you might be tempted to eat an abundance of delicious, but unhealthy foods. After all, that’s what the Superbowl is about – Family, Food, Fun & Commercials.

But in the video below, you will learn the importance of adding Superfoods to your diet. In fact, according to the description from, this video has been used for the last couple of years to help teach kids the importance of eating healthy foods, and trying to cut-down on junk foods.

The Description of this Video from
This Super Food Bowl animation was created (and narrated) by the Health Ranger in 2008. Featuring superfoods squaring off against junk foods on a football field, the animation has been very popular among parents and educators.

15 of the Best Superfoods:

  • Broccoli
  • Goji Berries
  • Green Tea
  • Cabbage
  • Quinoa
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Beans & Lentils
  • Raw Nuts & Seeds
  • Hot Peppers
  • Salmon

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