Children- part 1
by Melanie Waxman
There is nothing that gives a parent more
pleasure than seeing their children grow up healthy and happy.
Over the past twenty years, I have had the good fortune to
observe many children. The ones I am most familiar with have
been raised on macrobiotics. In the early days, everyone was
terribly enthusiastic and idealistic.
We wanted to be perfect and of course the same
went for our children. We were so excited, like pioneers travelling
on un-chartered waters and we made many mistakes. The children
from those early days are now in their late teens and early
Are they any different than other children?
I think so. They seem to be more self aware, independent and
have a strength of spirit. Their outlook on life is broad
and they possess a gentle power. My father once said that
he didn't know if it was his imagination but macrobiotic children
seem to be more intelligent. Today, the macrobiotic way of
life is more relaxed and we have learnt a lot. Our children
have greatly benefited from our experiences. I am still in
the process of raising my seven children and feel blessed
for the gifts I have been given.
We all want our children to be well nourished.
Sometimes this can appear daunting especially for new parents.
What should we feed our children?
Are we giving them enough and are they getting
all the necessary nutrition?
We read lots of magazines and books and every piece of advice
seems different. I first became interested in Macrobiotics
because it made sense. It was very practical. Its roots are
found within all long-standing cultures. Macrobiotics is so
flexible that you can use it to create dishes from all over
The idea is to base the meal around the grain,
whether it is a whole grain, pasta, cracked grain or bread.
The meal is created from that starting point and you accent
with vegetables, beans, fish and various seasonings. The ingredients
used are natural and almost always, organic. There are endless
combinations and each meal is unique and exquisite. When we
eat these gifts from nature, it helps us to feel connected.
Connected to the world and our fellow men. We develop gratitude
and a sensitivity for our life on earth
Changing your way of life to a natural and healthy
one is very empowering. You become the one in the driver's
seat. You take responsibility for your health and the well
being of your family. For many people this is a big step and
can be a frightening one. Often we are more afraid of change
than change itself.
If you can see if as an exciting adventure
then it puts everything in a positive light. Remember why
you want to change; improved health, quality of life, increased
energy and peace of mind. Mind, body and spirit are one. Great
food will also nourish and free the mind and the spirit. Eating
healthy food is one of the best ways you can love and nourish
Rather than thinking of health as a something
you achieve, see it as a direction that you are moving towards.
We can move towards health and we can move away from it. The
direction is what is important. Whether you are already eating
macrobiotic foods or want to make changes to your present
diet, a gentle approach is advised.
This is important where children are concerned.
Keep in mind that you are aiming to enrich your life and not
to deny yourself. Start by including new ingredients rather
than cutting out present dishes. Begin to include whole grains
and organic foods. Look at ingredients in the foods that you
purchase. Start including items that are natural such as sugar
free jams, unrefined oils and sea salt. If you make mistakes
and fall off the wagon, be gentle. We are all human and mistakes
are the basis for great lessons. It is important to avoid
feeling bad and guilty.
Feeding children is often a challenge. How strict
should you be and how free. If you are too strict, your children
will forage for themselves and supplement the food you offer.
Young children are naturally inquisitive and love to try new
They like to be part of the crowd and not singled
out as weird or different. An established routine will help
to give children a sense of boundaries. Start to develop a
routine with your baby. Begin with bath, nap and bed at the
same time each day. As they get older, regular meals can be
introduced. Sitting down and eating together is a vital part
of family life and helps to create a strong foundation.
Children often make balance for themselves.
They might be mad on carrots for a few weeks and then go off
them altogether. They may prefer broccoli cooked in one special
way and refuse to touch it in any other preparation. Be patient
and continue to offer a wide variety of foods. Fights over
meals create stress for all concerned and should be avoided
where possible. However, you as a parent are in charge.
Children learn a great deal through observation.
If they see you sitting and enjoying beautifully prepared
meals, they will follow. It is not a good idea to ask a young
child what he wants to eat or to let him control the food
They have little imagination about new dishes
and will ask for the same thing over and over. It also fosters
endless debates about meals. A positive alternative is to
encourage them to assist with meal preparation. Even very
small children can help set the table or cut soft foods with
a plastic knife.
I have always seen life as an exciting journey.
The macrobiotic lifestyle will certainly stir one's imagination
and awaken the spirit. Children flourish on natural foods.
It provides them with the foundation for living a full and
I hope you jump in and have a go. You will
be able to observe the benefits first hand. I encourage you
to relish you life with your children. The loving environment
that you create will nourish them on all levels - physically,
emotionally, spiritually and socially. If you begin eating
natural foods then you are choosing to create the life that
you and your family desire.
Some simple ways to
- Sit down to regular meals
- Eat grains and vegetables with every meal
- Include a variety of organic grains, vegetables and
- Stop eating three hours before bedtime
- Include fish rather than meat or chicken
- Include natural sweeteners such as rice syrup, barely
malt or maple syrup
- Experiment with vegetable protein such as beans, tofu,
tempeh and seitan
- Use non-stimulating teas and grain coffee
Also read Raising
Healthy Children- Part 2
Waxman began studying Oriental medicine in 1980 and
went on to specialize in macrobiotic cooking. She has lived
in Portugal, England and America and has trained cooks from
all over the world. Melanie is the mother of seven children.
She has cooked for international recording stars, fashion
designers, doctors, and business professionals and has helped
thousands of others to change their lifestyle and way of eating.
She has written a children's cook book; Mr. Hoppity's Color
Me Cook book for Kids, a series of self-published12 Cooklets
and has recently published Bless the Baby, a beautifully illustrated
book on the natural and traditional ways a mother can bond
with her newborn. Melanie is also a massage therapist and
Feng Shui consultant.