|Meet the Author: Don Colbert|
|Written by Production|
|Monday, 13 September 2010 11:41 AM America/New_York|
Dr. Don Colbert, author of the best-selling “Bible Cure” health series, turns his attention to children with this month’s release of Eat This and Live! for Kids (Siloam/Strang Book Group).
What prompted this new book?
The skyrocketing rate of obesity and obesity-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes among children are reaching epidemic proportions. As a result, today’s kids are the first generation in American history who are expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. We’re releasing this book in an effort to educate parents.
Who’s to blame for children’s poor health/nutrition?
The responsibility really lies solely with the parents—and I’m not talking about genetics; I’m talking about eating habits. ... Your family’s genetic history may “load the gun” and predispose your child toward obesity, but poor eating habits that are taught in the home are what will “pull the trigger.”
Is your book intended to be read with children or “for” them?
It’s not intended to be read to children. It’s written for parents and caregivers.
Is it really possible to make kids like vegetables?
The easiest way to make kids like vegetables and avoid cravings for sugary foods and junk foods is to simply avoid ever introducing these harmful foods to their diet in the first place. Now, I realize that most people reading this have already given their child a cookie, so I want you to know that it is possible to retrain your child’s taste buds to appreciate the flavor of healthy foods. It just takes patience, time and a little creativity. ... Preschoolers will eat just about anything if you make a game out of it, and one of the easiest ways to get elementary-aged kids to try new foods is to involve them in planning, buying and preparing the meal.
Is there a difference between boys and girls in their eating habits?
By and large, I would say that differences in eating habits between the sexes are minimal until the preteen and teen years. At that stage, girls are more likely to struggle with body image than boys and are more likely to attempt fad diets or develop an eating disorder as a result.
Do you advocate cutting out all fast foods and candy?
In an ideal world, yes. I encourage parents to clear all junk food and candy out of the house. Kids can’t snack on it if it isn’t there. ... But I am aware that there are times when busy lifestyles mean we have to make a trip to the drive-through. That’s why the book has an entire chapter that lists “Dr. Colbert Approved” restaurant menu items for kids. Restaurants, and especially fast foods, are still not my first choice, but if you have to swing by Chick-fil-A on the way to soccer practice, at least you’ll know what I consider to be the healthiest options available.
Is this kind of eating practical and possible for families with limited time and limited budgets?
I’ve done my best to keep this in mind, which is why the book includes tips for eating organic on a budget and time-saving tips such as healthy breakfasts you can cook in a slow cooker overnight so they’re ready and waiting before your family’s morning rush. When you consider the time and money you might have to spend should your child develop any of the illnesses related to poor diet, in the long run it’s going to be more cost- and time-sensitive to eat right in the first place.
What’s the VeggieTales connection you have developed?
I was thrilled to hear that the folks at Big Idea were interested in reaching kids with a message to eat healthier, and when I learned about their upcoming “Veggies Are Good for You” DVD series, I just knew it was a perfect fit with the message of Eat This and Live! for Kids.
Who is your favorite VeggieTales character and why?
I would have to say it’s Larry the Cucumber because I’ve had so much fun getting to know him during the radio and television promotions we’ve done together for the book.
What’s your favorite vegetable and how do you like it prepared?
Steamed broccoli is my favorite vegetable, and I especially like it with onions.
Do you have a guilty food pleasure?
Chocolate. But I make sure it’s organic, dark chocolate so it’s healthy.