It's no secret that excessive sugar consumption can do some serious damage to your body. Not only can it increase your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, but consuming added-sugars can leave you hungry and reaching for more sweet snacks. Now that's a double whammy.
One Mom Decided To Go Against The Grain — Literally
A mother from Brisbane, Australia — Shan Cooper — has stuck to a strict, junk-free diet, and she has passed it on to her baby Grace. Baby Grace has never eaten sugar a day in her life, and this mom's choice to ban the sweet stuff from her child's life has made major headlines. This baby's daily menu is far from normal for most children.
This mom has been following the Paleo diet for five years, and her daughter Grace has been on it since she was born. To put it simply, the diet revolves around eating foods that "cavemen would scavenge for," as stated by Cooper. This means avoiding any salt, processed foods, legumes, cereal grains, dairy, and refined sugars. Anything that man could find during the Paleolithic Era is fair game — this equates to grass-fed meat, vegetables, fruit, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Grace Cooper — who is now two years old — looks like the average toddler. According to her mother, she is anything but ordinary when it comes to her clean bill of health throughout her entire young life. Her mother even insists that her immune system has been strengthened tremendously due to her lack of exposure to sugary substances.
Cooper claims that her young daughter has only been sick once, and it was just a minor cold. "She spends a lot of time around other kids who are sick all the time—who have snotty noses, coughs, colds—but she just doesn’t pick it up," Cooper stated. This mom is extremely passionate about maintaining a clean diet, and her career revolves around it.
Cooper is no stranger to the study of how a person's diet affects their overall wellbeing. She received a degree in agricultural science and she runs a website dedicated to clean eating, called "My Food Religion." She credits her daughter's strong immune system to her daily diet, which sounds like something off of a fancy vegan menu.
Once lunchtime rolls around, Grace gets to enjoy some organic roasted chicken with a side of vegetables. She gets to try a variety of healthy veggies, such as sweet potato, carrots, and steamed broccoli. If she gets a little hungry before dinner Cooper gives her a serving of fresh fruit — her favorites being strawberries and bananas.
Cooper really pulls out all the stops for her young daughter's dinner. Grace eats spaghetti Bolognese with organic beef — except there is a catch. No grains here — Cooper replaces traditional pasta with Zucchini Noodles. Cooper also breastfeeds her Grace twice a day, which offers immense nutritional benefits. It all seems so picture perfect, but what about when Grace is invited to a sugar-filled birthday party?
Cooper is aware that Grace will be exposed to less-than-ideal foods as she gets older, but she isn't sweating it. "I’m not going to not let her go to kids’ parties. She’ll be old enough to know she can choose whatever she wants to eat," Cooper stated. This mom just hopes her daughter will be able to make better choices, even if she has a couple slices of cake.
A highly-renowned dietician — Dr. Rosemary Stanton — has a different opinion on Grace's strict diet." It’s really not usually a good idea to put a child on such a restricted diet, particularly when there are no grounds for it," Stanton stated. "I’d certainly sound a note of caution [to other people considering following her]," Staton urges.
Cooper was taken aback by Stanton's skepticism. "Why eating real food is such a scandalous topic is just bizarre. If you want to feed your kid one of the most nutrient-void pieces of crap ever, knock your socks off," Cooper stated. Grace's health obviously backs her theories about "caveman" nutrition, but there are definitely alternatives to this strict lifestyle.
Although it is never recommended to deprive a child of certain foods, having a healthy balance of protein, fruits, vegetables, and the occasional sugary snack is optimal. Nutrition can be complicated, but eating healthy doesn't have to be a miserable experience.
The Cooper Family Is Not For Following The Beaten Path
Some parents take their children for fast food for a quick dinner, and Shan Cooper isn't here to judge. "I'm not going to internet troll you. You do the right thing you think for (your) kid," Cooper stated. It's all about a happy medium, wherever that may fall for you and your little ones.