When clean-eating means kids cut out solid food altogether, has it gone too far? Bern Morely says yes.
The other morning at a café, I overheard a disturbing conversation between two women. One was discussing (loudly) with her friend how she and her 8-year-old daughter had the most amazing “deconstructed burger with chickpeas and dukkah kale” for dinner the night before. Right before she went on to casually slip in that they were now both about to embark on a three-day ‘juice cleanse’ together. You know “some mother/daughter time”.
What, in the what?
I mean, I’ve had a deconstructed hamburger before but it wasn’t on purpose. And WHAT is dukkah kale? And WHO the hell puts their eight-year-old on a juice cleanse?
I understand clean eating, I really do and I admire people who make this lifestyle choice. When they are ADULTS. Kids involved in juice cleanses though, well, really, that’s just, ermm, what’s the word I’m searching for here? Stupid. That’s right, it’s STUPID.
Sandra Davella, a 44-year-old banker has come under fire for not only allowing her six-year-old daughter, Sofia, to partake in juice cleanses but also using them to supplement and at times, replace actual meals.
Junior juicers like Sofia are taking a cue from their health-conscious parents, and getting in on the act themselves — starting with juices and raw foods and graduating to modified cleanses, all in the name of cleaner living, if not weight management.
In Sofia’s case, she supplements her juice-drinking with favourite foods such as dumplings, sauteed kale and edamame — not to mention the occasional slice of pizza.
"She still needs the food — she’s six years old,” says Sandra.
"But you can’t argue with the digestive benefits, adds Mum. “If I’m doing a three-day cleanse and I order for her, she goes [to the bathroom] every day.”
Hey lady, my kid “goes to the toilet” multiple times a day and there isn’t a piece of kale or edamame in sight. Wait, what the hell is edamame?
Plus, let’s just all take a minute to reflect on this particular sentence “She still needs the food — she’s six years old."
One crazy step further and you’ll find the Californian based company Dherbs.com, selling a cleanse specifically targeted at children due to the 'Toxicity of many mother’s wombs’. For the bargain price of just $99, you can purchase a liquid extract that paired with a raw diet, promises to nourish and cleanse everything from the lungs and liver, to the colon and the adrenal glands. This product is specifically aimed at children aged 2 – 12. That $99 buys you two weeks' worth.
I’m not saying kids shouldn’t be drinking juice. I’m saying it shouldn’t be replacing meals. And it should NOT be being used a weight loss kick-starter. This view however, is not shared by Stephanie Walczak, founder of Rawpothecary, a health food company based in New York City.