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Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo: Adopting Mindsets to Save Our Children from Poor Food Choices

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“You are doing an excellent job at sounding the alarm. In the meantime, I would love it if you could send me 3 to 4 ideas of some food combo you give your children. Thanks a zillion and have an amazing day,” my friend, AB, said when she wanted to buy a children’s meal plan (nutrition plan) from me. But I didn’t sell the plan she wanted. I, however, explained an alternative which is to sound the alarm to save our children from the effects of poor food choices.

According to the World Health Organisation‘s 2022 data, more than 390 million children are currently overweight, and experts predict that these figures will more than double in the next 10-15 years. Our precious kids are in the middle of a global health crisis, and the cause is simple: poor diet and what I am calling a junk pandemic. Children today are experiencing completely avoidable diet-related illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, childhood obesity, various heart diseases, and more.

The future doesn’t look promising for our children’s health. Those who have any influence over kids’ diets such as parents, teachers, aunts, and uncles need to make better choices for them. My alternative response to AB’s question was to share three mindsets I bring into cooking for and feeding my children and family. As a weight loss expert, I can guarantee that what follows is worth your attention.

Meal plans do not change anyone’s condition if it is not layered on a new mindset powered by education. Instead of simply purchasing a meal plan, focus on educating yourself to adopt a new mindset first, and then use nutrition plans to support it. 

The first mindset is to prioritise water. We believe that when it comes to liquids, water is king. It always has been, and always will be, in our home. Water is preferable over every other drink, believing in its miraculous properties. We start our day with water, end it with water, and carry it with us throughout the day. We only pack water in our kids’ lunch boxes, bring it with us when we’re out for a long time, and offer it to guests when they visit. We don’t regularly buy sugary or packaged drinks for our home, and we usually don’t include them in our kids’ party packs. When given in other kids’ party packs, we store them in a bag of miscellaneous items at home. We’ve created a home environment where water is preferred, and fizzy, sugary, and packaged drinks are kept to a minimum or are nonexistent. Just like my 7-year-old son’s science presentation title at school: at our home, it’s water water everywhere! So parents should prioritise water today.

We believe in the farm-to-table concept. I cannot recall where this mindset originated for me, but it’s ingrained in our family. The idea is that we mainly consume foods that closely resemble their natural state when harvested from the farm. If a food looks significantly different from its natural form or has been heavily processed in a factory, we avoid it. It’s a simple rule that even young children can understand.

We enjoy fish, chicken, goat meat, and shrimp since they maintain their natural appearance from the farm to our table. Similarly, we consume brown rice, yam, plantain, oats, potatoes, yam/plantain flour (amala), green leafy veggies, cocoyam, and beans because they all pass the farm-to-table test. However, we avoid brightly coloured, sugar-coated, and uniquely shaped cereals because they undergo substantial factory processing, altering their “farm DNA.” Noodles, sausages, and similar products also fall into the category of foods we avoid due to extensive processing. This mindset helps us make healthy food choices, and our family’s overall health reflects the benefits of this approach.

 

 

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Feature Image by August de Richelieu for Pexels

Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo is a first-class Sociology graduate, a US-certified Health Mindset and Habits Coach, and an Australia-certified Gut Health Coach.  If there is something people say a lot about Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo, it is that she is very INTENTIONAL when it comes to feeding her family. However, she was not always this way. Like most moms, as her kids transitioned from breast-milk into semi-solids and solid foods, she went with the normal flow - cereals, biscuits, packaged juices, sausages, fries, ketchup and so on. It was what every millennial mom did and she wanted to be cool too even though it hurt her finances, and in the future would affect her kids’ health for worse. Different instances made her start to ask the simple and powerful question, WHY, when it came to feeding her kids, especially after her own phenomenal weight loss journey, dropping 30kg in about 4 months. As she bravely embraced the answers, she radically changed things for everyone at home from the kitchen. Eziaha is also the Executive Producer of the Documentary, SAVE OUR CHILDREN which can be found on her YouTube Channel ‘Your Best life with Eziaha’ and the Author of the soon-to-be-released book “Wellness Champions”, which she has co-authored with her two sons. You can connect with Eziaha at www.coache.ng and follow her on Instagram @coachenation

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