Doctor mom on Nutrition

Author: Julie Shatzel, MD

Being a physician and a mom sometimes feels like a brain splitting experience. A doctor mom has the same worries as any other mother, all the while the doctor brain is constantly rearing its own opinion. Mothers all share similar worries about their child’s safety, education and their nourishment. From my doctor mom’s perspective – nutrition is crucial. When it comes to nutrition, most moms would agree that food needs to be fresh, vitamin rich and organic if possible. Digging a little deeper for the evidence, I met and visited a few of the farms featured at our local farmer’s market.

Medicine is practiced as evidence based, and these visits demonstrated undeniable evidence of fresh, organic, and sustainably raised food being produced by our local family farms. My children have little concern regarding the evidence, but what they do know, is what their taste buds tell them. The difference between somewhat unfresh supermarket food and the farmer’s market fresh foods is stark enough to influence their appetites. “mommy, go to the farmers market this weekend and buy some fruit” is a plea I hear from my daughter if we go longer than a few weeks without a trip to the our local farmer’s market.

A sometimes unknown aspect to good nutrition, is the understanding that the type of food is just as important as the timing of food. Our bodies run best when we live according to our natural circadian rhythms. Research in this field continues to demonstrate the benefits to metabolism as well as other aspects to health; and so in our home late night eating is highly discouraged. The children eat plenty during the day, but by 7pm they understand that the home kitchen is completely closed. They seem to sleep better, and the evidence as well as their stature demonstrates it is not stunting their growth.

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