Friday, September 2, 2011

Why depriving my children is good for them

The August 21, 2011 Parade Magazine had a "Kid's Health Quiz".  The answers to this quiz reminded me that a lot of the ways I rear my kids -- ways that look like cheapskate deprivation to others -- are actually helping me to bring up my kids to be healthier and happier than "un-deprived" kids.

Here's one of those miserly things I do.  My kids are allowed at most one cup of fruit juice each day.  They are allowed one cup of milk each day.  They get no soda.  The rest of the time, whether at meals or just because they're thirsty, they drink a lot of water (fluoridated tap water, to be specific).

Is this horrible?  Parade Magazine has two quiz questions related to this topic.  Here they are.
  1. Which is the biggest source of calories in a youngster's diet?  (a) Baked desserts, (b) Pizza, or (c) Soda/fruit drinks.
  2. What's the most common chronic childhood disease?  (a) Tooth decay, (b) Diabetes, (c) Obesity, or (d) Asthma.  
The answers to these questions -- for the average American kid -- is (c) Soda/fruit drinks and (a) Tooth decay (although all four conditions are on the rise).  For my kids, spending LESS money on drinks actually means BETTER health.

I still remember a social worker asking about what our new son would be doing when he joined our house.  She knew we were a very active family that doesn't spend a lot of time on electronic entertainment.  She asked, "But you will let him play video games, right?"  I don't remember how we answered; I think we said something about spending time together as a family.  But the direct answer is that neither of our sons has video games in our house.  They watch TV only rarely (we make them pay with Mommy Dollars for the privilege).  Is this a terrible hardship?  Here are the relevant Parade Magazine questions.
  1. Which of the following is an actual medical condition that kids can develop? (a) Guitar Hero Wrist, (b) iPod Finger, (c) Nintendinitis, (d) Cell Phone Elbow, or (e) All of the above.
  2. Which essential vitamin are 70 percent of kids not getting enough of?  (a) Vitamin C, (b) Vitamin A, (c) Vitamin D, or (d) Vitamin B12.
The answers are (e) all of the above, and (c) Vitamin D.  Regarding Vitamin D, Parade notes that "It's hard for kids to get enough from food alone.  Consider letting them play outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen."  In this case, my scavenged basketball net with our many found and donated balls is not only a form of exercise, but also a form of nutrition.  Video games are neither.

No caring parents would let their children skip needed medicines just because the kids didn't like them.  We buy our kids costly things -- medicine, nutritious foods, education, bike helmets -- even if the kids don't want those things, just to make sure they stay healthy.  

Doesn't it make sense, then, to make sure that we do those cheap things that accomplish the same goal?  


  1. Nice blog! And thank you very much for your time and your consideration.

    In regard to making your children drink fluoridated water, I understand that the same amount of flouride used in tapwater in the United States is the same amount of flouride used by physicians in Germany and France to supress overactive thyroid in their patients. Yes, fluoride is one of the most debilitating poisons known, and the amount in tapwater is dangerous, no matter what the accepted propaganda states. Fluoride kills thyroid tissue. There's a reason why the directions on flouride toothpaste boxes warn against swallowing even one dosage, and if it does happen, to immediately take the child to the hospital. Please do the research, and you'll see why you and your children should avoid consuming flouridated water. Just like cigarettes were considered "safe" for decades (until the suppressed truth finally saw the light), and aspartame is publicly accepted as an acceptable sweetener in food (when in fact it destroys serotonin function in the brain, and when first introduced as a food product it was subsequently proposed as a chemical warfare agent), flouride is deadly, and its effects are cumulative. Please do the research, and perhaps drink filtered water instead; I believe that you can purchase an affordable attachment that adheres to your tap, and will filter out the flouride. Please! I know you don't want to destroy your children's health. Remember, if flouride was safe, then there'd be no health warnings about it on the toothpaste labels. It is a horrible chemical to ingest, no matter what is publicly claimed about it. On the qt, there are health professionals that will tell you how dangerous it is, but they won't publicly discuss it.

    And not to change the subject, but contrary to popular belief, the FDA wasn't set up primarily to "protect" people, but to control as a friend of Big Pharma; they won't allow a company to make proven nutritional claims for their food products, even though the companies quote scientific tests that were government-sanctioned. I recall that a certain company that manufactures cherry juice concentrate was forbidden to make claims that cherry juice helps ward off gout, even though the FDA's own sanctioned tests proved it. (The FDA threatened to shut the company down, unless they stopped making the claims). In regard to the known cholesterol-lowering properties of Almonds, the Blue Diamond company was threatened with harsh fines for linking that information to their product. And just wait until Codex Alimentarius becomes law, which means that our various food products and nutritional supplements become regulated like medicine, requiring a prescription. This is not conspiracy theory, but fact.

    By the way, you are absolutely right about the sodas (sweetened with high fructose corn syrup). They make people fat! If I drink soda, then I start retaining weight. I also know at least one formerly overweight person that stopped drinking soda altogether, and ended up losing about thirty pounds in just a couple of months.

    Take care!


    Kyle Lynne

  2. Sorry I spelled "fluoride" incorrectly. That's what I get for not using spellcheck before posting! Please don't let it detract from the facts. Thanks again.

  3. Kyle,

    Thanks for this long and thoughtful comment. The first people to worry about the hazards of tobacco were doctors. So to assess the safety of fluoride I decided to skip over the FDA (which seems to worry you) and see what dentists themselves say. The American Dental Association at says this:

    "Studies conducted throughout the past 65 years have consistently shown that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe and effective in preventing dental decay in both children and adults. Simply by drinking water, children and adults can benefit from fluoridation's cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school.

    "Today, studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20-40%, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste. Fluoridation is one public health program that actually saves money. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling.

    "The American Dental Association continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. "

    I know that there are a variety of opinions and studies out there. No one scientist or legislator knows everything. In this case, I'm choosing to go with the accredited body of experts on tooth health.