Much has been researched and written about Nutrition and the requirements at different stages of child and adult development. Popular diets come and go, guidelines and recommended daily allowances are set, facts on carbohydrates, proteins and fats abound – all based on what can be quantified, measured and analysed in our food. But what if we step away from this approach for a moment and begin to look at what a foods hidden qualities are, the qualities science is only just beginning to question and are still looking for ways to measure.
During our children’s early years, their bodies, immune systems and organs are still forming – they are in a stage of intense growth. Here they are laying down the foundations that will form their constitution in terms of health during this life time. Everything they experience during this stage goes into building up their foundation. Not only are they creating their physical bodies and health constitution, but also the foundation for their emotions, their personality and how they will perceive the world.
When we digest food, we taste a little bit of the outside world, we analysis it, we disect it, we overcome it and then use what we select to provide our energy, our vitality, our physical body and to feed our emotions. It is not only the physical components of the food that our digestive system comes into contact with and analyses, but also everything that our food has experienced. Just like all life (including ourselves), our food can not be regarded on solely its measurable quantities, but it is also a result of the influences it has experienced. It is not only our hereditary lines and the food we take in that makes us who we are, but all the influences and experiences we are subject to are incorporated into our being. Animals also take up these influences, and in both humans and animals these influences give rise to the hidden qualities that surface and blossom or show themselves under different circumstances – these qualities can be seen but as yet, not measured. As a living substance, why would a plant be any different – it may not be able to express these qualities, but it has been exposed to experience and different influences. As a plant grows it is exposed to many different aspects in the environment, which if it is to survive, it must digest, overcome and incorporate into its being. When we eat our food, we will also take into ourselves what that plant has experienced and which has now been made part of itself – from seed, to soil, to growing methods, harvesting, processing and finally preparation.
Our children are very malleable during their early years. What influences do we want to bring at this time to help lay the building blocks for what we will see reflected back to us as our children mature? What qualities do we want in our food for our children and ourselves to use as the basis for our life and our vitality.
We can choose Vital, Living, Health giving Natural Foods that have grown strong through the building of their own resistance, analysed and responded to their own changing needs and searched for and incorporated into themselves only that which would serve to strengthen and help their own destinies and purpose to unfold or we can choose the alternative …
This is not in an attempt to answer any questions, or to make far reaching statements, but rather to raise questions, to provide a base for the exploration into the quality of what we eat and its effects, basically just a little ‘food for thought’.
Annette Batchelor ND RM BT
Naturopathic Consultations in the Spirit of Anthroposophy, Victoria, Australia