Teaching Health at Home

by: Annette M. Hall

Helping kids choose a healthy diet for themselves - without the tears, using the Eat Right for your Blood Type Diet.

We all know that too many treats can be bad for our children but it's difficult for loving parents to consistantly say no to those smiling faces. Consequently, obesity is a growing problem, not only for adults but increasingly for children. How can we painlessly help our children make good food choices for themselves, without making them feel deprived? We may have stumbled onto something quite by accident...

On a recent visit to the Grandparents house, we were amazed to find them doing extraordinarily well. Grandma, (now in her early 80's) even after numerous hip surgeries, was getting around like she was a young spring chicken. She was eager to relay to us the secret behind her miraculous transformation. Needless to say we were all ears.

They had been following Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo's book, Eat Right for Your Type, in fact, she made us promise (several times) to pick up a copy of the book before she would allow us to leave the house, which we dutifully did [Thank you Grandma].

We started reading the book immediately and while we don't agree with the good doctors historical philosophy of evolution, which he shares in the first chapter of the book, we do believe his reasoning and scientific data behind the premise for the book to be sound and reasonable.

Healthy Body Function

Our blood is the fundamental source of nourishment for our body, so it follows that eating the right kinds of foods for our specific blood type can actually help our blood to maintain the proper functions of our bodies' organs. The foods we eat play a vital role in keeping our immune system healthy and helps our body operate at maximum efficiency. We can all have that feeling of vitality, instead of having what Grandma referred to as "tired blood." Eat Right For Your Type made sense to us.

According to Dr. D'Adamo in his book, Eat Right For Your Type, those with "Type A" blood do poorly on high-protein diets but do very well on vegetable proteins, dairy products tend to produce copious amounts of mucous discharge in the sinuses (easily remedied with what my family calls "Phlegm Juice" and respiratory passages in the "Type A" person.

Type O's thrive on high-protein diets, and they are invigorated by intense physical activity. We found the information presented, not only fascinating but beneficial background that explained a great many mysteries to us. The diet doesn't require you to make drastic lifestyle changes as some diets do, you don't have to purchase special foods and you can make changes gradually, as you feel comfortable doing so. The closer you can stick to the diet, the better you will feel.

We found through reading Eat Right For Your Type that for the most part we either were naturally drawn to the food that were the best for our individual blood type and at the same we each seemed to crave those things, which actually fights against our blood.

For example:

My dear husband, Shawn is a "Type A", he is naturally drawn to salads and really loves to eat them. They are the food best suited for his blood type. At the same time, he has never liked sweet potatoes, something I love and have encouraged him to eat. We found out, he's not supposed to eat them at all. On the other hand, he loves tomatoes and for his blood type, they should be avoided. It wasn't easy for him to cut tomatoes out of his diet, so he made the change gradually. It's a choice he's found that he can live with.

Eat Right for your Type Challenges

We have had some definite challenges in attempting to stick with the diet, simply because we had already purchased many foods, which we should not eat and that we were not willing to just throw out. It's also been a challenge because while Shawn is a "Type A", I am a " Type O" and we thought our son was a "Type B ". Fortunately he is not a " Type AB", the most limited diet according to the author. So, it often seems like I am always cooking because we share little of the same dietary items.

Shawn has been happily eating plenty of fresh salads, my son who loves dairy products is having a rough time adjusting to doing without it because he's not supposed to have it. I have been dining on a luscious 4 oz. steak every afternoon and feeling as if I had died and gone to heaven. I have never felt so satisfied after a meal than I am after eating a small 4-6 oz. steak and I'm actually losing weight painlessly.

I had no idea that food could do so much for a person. We have been working at this diet for a little over a year now and for the most part, it's the easiest diet I've ever been on and at the same time the hardest. Let me explain...

When I eat the foods the book says I should be eating for my blood type, I feel great, like I could run a marathon. However, I love white bread, soft rolls and all kinds of baked goods but I'm not supposed to eat wheat flour and everything is made with wheat flour. I've noticed that I don't feel very well after eating anything containing wheat flour.

The book recommends eating sprouted breads, which I tried and I hate. I've learned that I can eat a little bit of sour dough bread and while technically it's not on my diet, it doesn't give me that sluggish feeling that I get when I eat wheat products and it doesn't cause my fibromyalgia and arthritis to act up.

Shopping Challenge

Phlegm Juice for "Type A"

In a small container

    - add 3 oz of water,
    - microwave 6 seconds,
    - remove from microwave,
    - add one T. lemon juice.
    - Drink

I once made the mistake of stopping at Subway for a 6" seafood sub, after all seafood is on my diet, it's good for me but oh, that wonderful sub bun that tasted so great going down, had me paying for it all night long. It will be a long time before I make that mistake again.

I've lost about sixty-five pounds since I began the diet, Shawn and our son have both lost four pounds respectively. My son was overjoyed, to see the diet was having a positive effect. We haven't even adhered strictly to the diet but we have been slowly adapting our eating habits and we've been paying attention to our bodies signals. So, even on those occasions when we "cheat", we go easy on those no, no, items and we still reap the benefits and are better off than we were in the past.

Child Makes Healthy Choices

Probably the best thing that has happened is that our son sees us making tough decisions on eating healthier and is starting to make better choices for himself. He will run and get the book when he wants to know if something is on his diet or not. We discuss our food choices openly and we help monitor each others food intake, in a loving, teasing manner. It has actually brought our family closer together, while at the same time helping us to eat a healthier diet.

So, while I realize this isn't your normal homeschool topic, I wanted to share our experience, in hopes that while we (homeschoolers) are teaching math, science and English, we don't forget health. The public schools are teaching health but they seem more concerned with teaching sex education and talking about drugs. I believe our children need to learn to make healthy food choices while they are young and it will serve them well their whole lives.

When we shop today, we check the labels; we try to limit our soy intake. We watch for food dyes, artificial sweeteners and unfortunately, I have to be on the look out for wheat flour lurking everywhere. As soon as I finish off this huge bin of white flour, I'm going shopping for some buckwheat flour. Wish me luck.

Home Blood Typing Kits

If you are like most folks, you probably have no idea what your children's blood type is, I know we certainly didn't. We called around and found out that we could have a blood test done at the local hospital for $40, with a doctors prescription. Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I wasn't going to give up with that answer. I pointed my browser to "home blood type kit" and discovered that they can be purchased online, complete with instructions for around $15.00. Then I ran across something, which I thought was neat — as it turns out it won't work on real blood but it's a wonderful teaching tool. It's an ABO-Rh Blood Typing Kit for students (Grades 5 - 12). Students can practice actual blood typing procedures to classify unknown samples of simulated blood and learn about Rh incompatibilities, blood smearing, blood cell counts and more. The kit is large enough for 40 students, at a price of $35.95, it's quite a deal.

We had no idea what my son's blood type is, so we ordered a blood test kit, just so that we were sure. After two false runs we ended up purchasing six EldonCard ABO/Rh Blood Typing Kits.

The kits were delivered in a very timely manner and arrived in perfect condition. Since we had no experience in typing blood, we took plenty of time to read the directions. It was very simple and easy to understand. The kits came with everything we needed and we had no trouble reading the results.

We did a blood test on our son and his grandfather together. Both turned out to be Type A, the entire test took about ten minutes, half of that time was spent waiting for the results to show. My son handled it like a champion.

Read the rest of the story - Making Healthy Choices

If you are concerned with the health of your family, I've added many links to my favorites on how to make natural soaps and cleansers, which would make another fun homeschooling project for the whole family.

Be sure to pick up your copy of Eat Right For Your Type and as always, Happy Homeschooling!

Fun Snacks for Kids

Updated: Decenber 29, 2008