Food Rules from a Fourth Grader

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Today I am honored to introduce my very first Guest Blogger ever — my nine-year-old son, known to you all as The Boy.

He read the Young Reader’s Edition of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and wrote this post with only a minimal amount of help from me and my husband. We are very proud of him!

~ ChristineFood Rules from a Fourth Grader // Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

I read the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, where Michael Pollan becomes a food detective. He finds out where our food comes from.

What is the Omnivore’s Dilemma?

People are omnivores. We can eat anything, but we don’t always know what is good for us and what can kill us. For example, you could eat an amanita muscaria (a red mushroom with white speckles) which would kill you right away, or you could eat a lot of high fructose corn syrup and fast food and die slowly over time.

Our ancestors solved the omnivore’s dilemma thousands of years ago by teaching their kids what to eat and what not to eat. Now our parents don’t really know what is good to eat any more. The grocery store is full of food that they think is healthy, but that is actually full of ingredients that can kill us slowly over time. Lots of foods we think of as healthy—like cereal and granola bars and pink yogurt—really aren’t!

When my parents were kids, only about 5 percent of kids were considered fat. Now over 17 percent of kids are fat. Kids are getting type II diabetes, which is something only grown-ups used to get. Kids have food allergies, asthma, and ADHD.

Unless we start eating differently kids my age might not live to be as old as our grandparents are now!

Food Rules from a Fourth Grader // Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

6 Food Rules for Me and My Friends

1.   Never eat fast food. Fast food can come from McDonalds, but it could also be any food that is meant to be made quickly, like TV dinners or frozen waffles. It can also be in school lunches. Fast food is made with chemicals to prevent it from going bad. Those chemicals can make us sick, and the food doesn’t have very many nutrients anyway.

Make your own food.

2.   Don’t just rely on large businesses. The grocery store is an example of a large business that gets food from all over the world. Instead, buy food from small businesses—like the dairy, the bakery, and farmers you find at the farmers’ markets.

3.   Don’t eat anything with ingredients that you or your parent’s can’t pronounce, or when you or your parents don’t know what the ingredient does.

4.    Eat lots of different kinds of foods. Try new things, even if you don’t think you’ll like them. When you go to farmers’ markets, look for a new fruit or vegetable to eat. You can ask the farmer how to cook it, or just come home and Google a recipe.

5.    Learn to cook. Cooking isn’t hard, even though the makers of fast food try to tell you it is.

6.   Learn about food, and where it comes from. Read books like Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. Suggest that your parents read books like Real Food, by Nina Planck and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

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Food Rules from a Fourth Grader // Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

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The photos in this post were edited with PicMonkey.

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This post was FEATURED here:

Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #26

Green Thumb Thursday

And on Real Food Forager’s Sunday Snippets! And by Raia on Savoring Saturdays! And on Thank Goodness It’s Monday, by Nourishing Joy! And by Organic 4 Greenlivings for Real Food Fridays!

And here:

This post was shared with the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop, Tuesdays with a Twist, The Backyard Farming Connection, Hearth & Soul, and List-it Tuesdays. And Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday, Green Thumb Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, the Down Home Blog Hop, and the HomeAcre Hop.
And at Savoring Saturday, Simply Natural Saturdays, Nomday Monday, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Living Monday, and the Homestead Barn Hop. And Tasty Tuesday, the Tasty Tuesday Linkup at HBN, Fat Tuesday, VMG206: Brag About it, and the Gathering Spot. And Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, the Mountain Woman Rendezvous, Wellness Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, and Raising Homemakers.
And Simple Saturdays, Simple Life Sundays, Gratitude Sundays, Snickerdoodle Sundays, the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, the Heritage Homestead Hop, and Made by you Monday. And Fight Back Friday, Natural Family Friday, Freedom Fridays, and Real Food Fridays.
And Front Porch Fridays, Old-Fashioned Fridays, From the Farm Blog Hop, and Farmgirl Fridays.
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64 Responses to Food Rules from a Fourth Grader

  1. Jessica says:

    Way to go The Boy! You rock! I bet your mom and dad are so super proud of you. I know I am. I’ll be sharing this with all my readers. Maybe if the won’t listen to me, they’ll listen to you.

  2. Karen says:

    Awesome post! You are quite an inspiration my friend. Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I will be sure to share your post and look forward to hearing more from you!

  3. Amber Pixie says:

    *high five* You’re one smart cookie…and by that, I mean a locally-sourced, organic ingredient cookie made at home by someone you love. 😀

  4. Mike says:

    One of my favorite reads! Keep up the great work.

  5. Tom Briggs says:

    I think you are on the right trail…..keep asking questions and pushing for truth….It is our only hope against those very big businesses that make the food we all eat!

  6. That was very well written. Without the intro or pictures I would never have assumed you to be 9; rather much older. 🙂 I am going to share this because I think you did a great job summarizing and interpreting the book. 🙂 this is info people need to know.

  7. Very impressive. If only we could get him to teach that to about 30 million or so we could change our countries food system.

  8. Marla says:

    Out of the mouths of babes! Great post and so much truth to it. Great rules to follow. We teach our children and they will follow through their lives. Visiting from Tuesday With A Twist. Thanks for sharing this great post. Have a health happy day!

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  10. onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments! The Boy has been reading them and saying “thank you” as he is able. I think he learned a lot, and your support and kind words has made this a great experience for him! Thank you!
    ~ Christine

  11. Monika says:

    Great, love that he is interested in such important topic… Important, but not really popular with his age group! My husband is in the middle of reading this book and keeps on telling me what I should buy and what I shouldn’t buy… based on the book… well, it just sounds so much better from The Boy! 🙂 shhh don’t tell my husband!

  12. Hi Christine,
    As the old saying goes “From the mouths of babes…”! I am so happy to read this enlightening post by your nine year old son! What an inspiration this is for young and old alike. I am so delighted that you shared “Food Rules from a Fourth Grader” with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! This will make a powerful impact on all who read it! It is also a testament to your amazing parenting skills. I am happy and proud for you and your family!

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you, Deborah!
      When I saw that this was one of your featured posts it was pretty much all I could to to stop myself from running–literally–to the school to tell him! I have since regained control of myself, but reading this still made me a little weepy! 🙂
      ~ Christine

  13. Pingback: Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #26

  14. Miz Helen says:

    Congratulations to “The Boy”!! What a great project and a great first post, be proud!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. lisa M says:

    What a great post! It’s awesome that he’s interested in his nutrition like this!
    Thanks for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday blog hop. We hope you’ll be back this week!


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  18. Thank you so much, Boy, for posting this great review! I think its so important for kids to inspire each other and spread the word of healthy eating and living. We picked your article as our featured one for this week’s Green Thumb Thursday – congratulations! Be sure to have your mom grab the button and put it on your post! Hope to see you again soon with more great posts. Thanks, Christine, for having him share!

  19. lisa lynn says:

    Great job! Wise words from such a young writer 🙂 Thanks for sharing your post on The HomeAcre Hop! I hope you’ll stop by again today 🙂

  20. Andrea says:

    This is just awesome. I actually read both versions of this book, but I LOVE the young readers version for its clear explanations and diagrams. It makes it easy to look through with my boys when I want to explain something. GREAT book, GREAT post, and GREAT young man you’ve got there!

  21. Your 4th Grader has talent! Thanks for Sharing at Savoring Saturdays! I enjoyed reading your blog post, Boy. 🙂

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you! I agree–he’s pretty talented! 😉
      I’ll pass on your kind words to the Boy!
      ~ Christine

  22. Raia says:

    I love it, Christine! Good job raising him right. 😉 I’m going to feature it tonight on Savoring Saturdays. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  26. Dee says:

    I loved this post! We don’t eat fast food, and my youngest daughter was recently crushed to learn Happy Meals contain outfits for one of her favorite American Girl mini dolls. I’ll have her read this! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday. 🙂

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Thank you! The Boy will be thrilled to hear that young people are reading it too–and being helped by it! ~ Christine

  27. Awesome book review! And it is so true, we don’t always know whats actually healthy for us any more. Great tips! Tell your son A+! 🙂

  28. Janet Garman says:

    You did an awesome job explaining this dilemma to us. I wish more grownups had your insights into our food choices. Very good job on the blog post. Hope to see you write here again.

  29. I wasn’t aware that the Omnivore’s Dilemma came in a young readers version. Now I am educated! Congratulations on your son’s perfect summation of food rules we should all be living by. It has been an ongoing journey transitioning my hubby and teenage kids away from ” fast foods”.

    • onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers says:

      Yes! It’s actually a great read for young people and older people, too! It gives plenty of detail without being overwhelming. I would actually recommend this book as a great “first step” to becoming more educated about food! 🙂

  30. Marla says:

    Since I have already commented I will just say Thank You for sharing this great post on Real Food Fridays Blog Hop!

  31. Great tips and thank you BOTH for sharing this! I’m featuring it tonight on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday.

  32. Marla says:

    Just wanted to let you know I choose your great post as one of my featured articles on this weeks Real Food Fridays Blog Hop. Thanks for sharing with all of us and looking forward to all your future contributions that help make Real Food Fridays a great place to learn about real food. Have a healthy happy day!

  33. Pingback: Real Food Fridays #41 – A Organic And Healthy Lifestyle

  34. These are great suggestions in a very well-thought out, maturely-written post! I wish I had had this level of insight and understanding about food when I was nine!

  35. This is so cute, good for you. Thanks for sharing. Hello from Natural Living Monday!

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