We have a very intimate relationship with food. We take food into our bodies and it actually becomes part of our living selves. That is why it is so hard to change eating habits and patterns. We each have an early history that goes back to the eating patterns that we were taught as children, i.e. the favorite foods we were given by our mothers or fathers. Children and later adults associate those foods with nurturing and love. Any attempt to change patterns of eating has to link into acknowledging that need to see the love and nurturing that comes from food.
There is also the mystique of presentation of food that great chefs and Madison Avenue capitalize on. That's why people love to go out to eat and that's why people young and old are captivated by the appearance of food. Any attempt to change eating habits must incorporate all of these concepts to come up with a new way of eating that pays homage to these concepts. The goal should be to acknowledge that indeed we do have an intimate relationship with food and a way of loving and honoring our body - this wonderful gift that God has given us -- is to honor it by only taking in the most pure and nourishing food because that food becomes the building blocks for the very structure of our body. Imagine how horrified a doting mother would be if she realized that the trans fats in those fast food french fries that she is feeding her toddler actually become incorporated into her child's brain cells! Seventy percent of the brain is fat - do you want to build it with foreign, chemically altered and processed fat or do you want to build it with fresh, pure, good fats? Fats are essential to building healthy brain cells. If the only available fat is junk fat, then that is what gets incorporated into your brain cells! It's no wonder we are having an epidemic of learning disorders, obesity and health problems in our children. In our time urgency world where both parents usually work, the preparation of food has been relegated to Madison Avenue who is happy to step in with "convenience foods" for us to eat. Restaurants, which are "family friendly" offer the same fast-food convenience in their kids' menus. Look at any kids' menu and it is filled with fried fast food.
If we try to change eating habits by just serving a healthy collection of the "right" foods without being mindful of the above concepts, then our eating prescription is doomed to fail. Like all health habits, it has to begin within the individual patient, by making him/her aware of the deep-seated primordial emotions behind food. It starts by having them see that we are our food. Would you build your dream home with cheap, rotting building materials?? Of course not, we are ever changing living bodies, which have the capacity to rebuild ourselves with strong, sturdy, healthy building materials, which make for a strong healthy person inside and out.
Does that mean that we just serve a person a sterile, healthy collection of the right foods and they should be happy? In the distant future, will we just be served cubes of pre-selected engineered foods that contain the correct composition of food we need to survive? I think not! No, we need to learn from Madison Avenue and restaurants and be mindful of the importance of presentation around our food. Eating habits can change when each person becomes aware of this intimate relationship that we have with the food we eat.