Let children choose for themselves!? This suggestion may illicit fear amongst mothers and fathers alike. What would our dear little ones choose? Thoughts of chocolate, chips and lollies may come to mind. But what would really happen if we allowed our little ones to make their own decisions around food??
We found some interesting research that suggests some surprising results…
So let us begin with stating the obvious … The body’s wisdom is not perfect and complete in all individuals –otherwise everyone would be able to choose correctly what he or she needs to eat all the time, and the study of nutrition would be a waste of time.
Here’s where it gets interesting. An experiment was done in which small children were given a free choice from any type of good wholesome food. They all chose differently from each other, but they all thrived. Did it matter that some refused carrot and pumpkin, and others refused beef and beans? This is encouraging. But what would happen if small children were given free choices, not only of wholesome foods but also sweets and sweet drinks. Would their body’s wisdom triumph?
In the book Biochemical Individuality, the author Roger Williams writes that the results became even more interesting. Extensive experiments were able to show that even when small children were given a free choice of sugar in their diets that, when the children were adequately nourished with a diet containing the proteins, minerals, and vitamins that they need, they voluntarily ate less sugar!
The research shows that good nutrition promotes the bodies wisdom to assist the individual to make healthy food choices.
Time to stop sweating the small stuff and relax a bit about sugar perhaps?
In other studies using rats, who were given a choice between water and alcohol, the ones who had an adequate diet would drink less alcohol than those on inadequate diets. In fact, when the diet was deficient all the animals in the study lost their wisdom of what the body needs and consumed alcohol at a higher level. When the animals were given well-fortified diets supplemented particularly with vitamins, they all developed wisdom of the body and turned away from alcohol consumption. So there you have it, rats on nutritionally deficient diets when given a choice gravitated towards more more sugar than those which have their nutritional needs better satisfied.
Isn’t that fascinating, the ability to teach our body to innately choose wisely, when the body has what it really needs to work well. This is why for some families I don’t focus on diet to begin with, but start to nourish the body with supplements (and herbs if the kids let me) so that their own bodies can find their natural healthy grooves.