We here at Dalton Learning Center & Academy have always desired to create a health-based platform wherein this institution might become a resource of knowledge to the surrounding community. Last year, we launched what would be our first annual health fair. We showcased various organizations and local businesses that reflected our holistic ideas and values. We hope to expand the wealth of services provided in our future health endeavors and deepen the discernment of that which is healthful or harmful for the mind, body, and spirit
We strongly believe that the proper consumption of fruits, vegetables, and grains can rightly prepare a child’s mind for learning. Therefore, Dalton has been purposeful about cutting out sugary, processed foods, and providing nutritious energy boosting. We encourage our parents to avoid giving their children sugar-dense meals in the morning, and to get into the practice of preparing gourmet dishes. We have been witnesses to the transformative power that a whole-foods, plant-based diet on the growth and development of young children. There are stories (whose roots find themselves here at Dalton) of children who were once classified as battling with ADHD, attention-deficiency, autism, and so much more. Those stories have turned into testimonies of renewed minds and restored behavior simply by a reexamination of a dietary lifestyle.
Dalton wants to help foster success for each of our students, and that starts with providing well-balanced, nutritious meals daily.
Providing a pure, whole-foods, plant-based diet to children in an environment saturated with overly processed and inorganic meal options is important to us here at Dalton Learning Center & Academy because it offers numerous benefits. This dietary approach ensures that children consume nutrient-dense foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promoting optimal growth and development. Whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, provide essential nutrients and fiber while being free from harmful additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients commonly found in processed foods. A plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, while supporting a healthy weight and boosting the immune system. Furthermore, a whole-foods, plant-based diet can cultivate positive eating habits, improve cognitive function, enhance energy levels, and instill a lifelong appreciation for nutritious food, setting children on a path towards lifelong health and well-being.
Consumption of vegetables and fruits plays a crucial role in preparing a child’s mind for learning. These natural foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support brain function and cognitive development. Nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits provide the brain with the necessary fuel to enhance focus, memory, and overall mental clarity. In stark contrast, highly processed foods and sugary treats can have detrimental effects on a child’s brain. These foods are often stripped of essential nutrients and loaded with unhealthy fats, refined sugars, artificial additives, and preservatives. Regular consumption of such foods can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, resulting in mood swings, lack of concentration, and reduced attention span, hindering the child’s ability to learn effectively. Moreover, the high sugar content in these foods has been associated with inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, which can impair cognitive function and memory. Research suggests that a diet rich in processed foods may even increase the risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children.
Scripture reveals to us that it was never God’s initial intention for man (or beast for that matter) to consume flesh. When we read the Creation Story in the Bible, we can clearly see the diet God instituted for His children in the beginning.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
– Genesis 1:29, 30
You might also find it interesting to note that when God delivered His people, the Israelites, out of Egypt and rained down food for them during their 40-year trek through the desert, His choice meal for His children was not meat; it was a grain of some sort. Manna. Something versatile enough that they could make porridge or bread out of. It was not until the Israelites complained about the fleshpots they had enjoyed while enslaved in Egypt that God sent quail for them to feed on. In His anger against their ingratitude, God sent such an abundance that the Israelites got sick from it.
Don’t mistake us! We are by no means saying that eating meat is a sin! Noooo! We are very aware that God instructed the remnant of humanity to eat meat after He cleansed the world with the great flood (Genesis 9:3). Afterall, there was no vegetation for people to consume for bodily sustenance – What was man supposed to eat? We also recognize that the priests were instructed by God to eat certain meats of the burnt offerings (Leviticus 6:26, 7:15-38). In the New Testament, Christ Himself ate fish when He walked among us (Luke 24:41-43) – He even fed it to thousands of people (Mark 6:35-44, 8:1-9)! For us to determine then that the consumption of meat is a sin would be for us to blasphemously determine that God is wrong and that (dare I say it…) we know better than the Creator! (GASP!)
Here’s what we are saying.
Our Heavenly Father outlined for us in careful detail the foods we ought to eat, and those we ought to refrain from. Everything that God made for us to consume, He made it good. However, because of man’s selfishness, greed, and discontentment, we have sullied the good things of God. The various meats that we often enjoy are usually corrupted through the concentrated animal feeding operations of industrial farming practices, the repetitive insertion of hormones and antibiotics in meat production, and the neglectful contamination of meat products with harmful bacteria (i.e.: Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, etc.). The lack of labeling-transparency further worsens the situation as we are left in the dark about the true safety of the foods being provided for us. With this in mind, we cannot in good conscience encourage the consumption of meats as it is no longer comes from the unadulterated animals that God so perfectly created in The Beginning.
Recognizing that our bodies are not our own but have been ransomed, or purchased, of God to be a temple unto Him wherein He should dwell, it is important for us to care for the body. We ought to be mindful about the various things we take in. Will eating this food pose a threat to the temple of God that is my body? However insidious, will consuming the items in this meal disrupt the natural functionality of my body? If the honest answer is Yes, then it is our duty to keep away from such things – whatever they might be.
Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.
-1st Corinthians 10:31
Figuratively speaking, the Bible admonishes us to “…consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” Proverbs 23:1-2, emphasis added. The same God that advised us to be ready to enter the Kingdom of God maimed and eyeless in an effort of avoiding sin, is the same God instructing us here in this passage to put a knife to our throat if we are unable to resist the temptation of unwholesome foods. God is telling His children, that if we tend to yield ourselves to those foods that we know are harmful to the body, it would be better for us to do whatever it takes to avoid the temptation. With a sound list prepared, send someone else to do your grocery shopping. Avoid the donut-filled breakroom by having lunch in your car or in your office. Make your friends and family aware of your desire to eat healthy before attending dinner parties so that clean options can be made available for you.
The Bible describes enemies of the cross of Christ as having their god in their belly (Philippians 3:18-19). Whoosh! Have mercy, Lord! Does this sound like a God who is disinterested in how we care for our bodies? Not at all! When we choose to put certain things into our body that we know work against God’s natural and healthful design and functionality, we are demonstrating where our faith lies – in our own wisdom, rather than His as the Creator God. Furthermore, we announce that God is not Lord over all aspects of our life.
When the ancient Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” he meant that food has the potential to be a powerful tool for healing and maintaining health. Hippocrates believed in the importance of proper nutrition and viewed food as a natural remedy for various ailments.
His statement emphasized the idea that the food we consume can have a profound impact on our overall well-being. By choosing nutritious and wholesome foods, individuals can support their body’s natural healing processes and promote optimal health. Hippocrates recognized that a healthy diet, consisting of fresh and unprocessed foods, could contribute to preventing disease and improving one’s physical and mental condition. In essence, this quote encourages the idea that food should not be seen solely as a source of pleasure or sustenance but also as a means of promoting and maintaining good health.
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