Monday, June 27, 2011

בְּתֵאָבוֹן! (Be'tei'avon!)

Beh-teeya-von, is how you pronounce this Hebrew phrase.  It means healthy appetite which all growing teenagers, especially boys, have.  Mine is like out there in terms of appetite though he isn't at all obese. Thank God he truly has a "healthy" appetite.

I think I failed to mention that the he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder sometime in fourth grade, pretty late detection the doctor said.  I honestly thought he was just talkative as hell.  Come on--Manila to Baguio non-stop yakkity-yak save for when he was sleeping?  Once he was riding with my Dad and sister from Alabang to the Fort and they said that they would give him a prize if he stayed quiet from Bicutan (they were already there) to the Fort, which was roughly just 10 minutes away.  Needless to say, he didn't win the prize.  He was 6 years old then.

So I read about the disorder and found that food has got a lot to do with his hyperactivity.  I chanced upon this site and it got me thinking about what I was feeding the boy.  The first week was a complete nightmare because the phase took out most of the things he loved to eat like ice cream, chips, fruit juices and sausages. He was crying and begging and questioning me saying that it was child abuse what I was doing to him.  But then it really paid off because we found out his triggers which were mainly chips, sausages and sweets (of course).  So having known these, we limited his intake thereof. Of course I still have some chips and ice cream in the house.  But he doesn't consume these on a daily basis.  If I can make food from scratch (yes even some sausages), I'd make it.  The instant noodles you find in the house are part of our emergency stash (read--flooding and no way to get food) and not served as a meal replacement.  I know not all moms have the luxury of time as I do, but if you could squeeze it in--it's not going to take 2 hours.  Some times not even an hour.  And believe me, it costs so much less than it looks.  Processed foods are way more expensive than ones that you make with your own hands.  Spam? Not that he even likes it, but I can make 4 of something similar to that with one kilo of meat, sans the excess salt and preservatives.

Who knows if the diet is scientifically proven or if it has gone through a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study?  It has worked greatly for us.  And besides, I haven't encountered a paper saying that cutting down on food with extremely high sugar and preservatives is bad for you.  So what do you think?

My boy hasn't taken a single medication for the disorder in his entire life (all 13 of it) and I think he's functioning pretty well.  He isn't attending a special school either, just one with a good student-teacher ratio where he regularly receives academic achievement awards.  He is a happy boy and for that alone, I'd do this everyday for as long as he'll want me to.

Today's lunch:  Pan-Grilled Chops with Garlic and Rosemary, Israeli Couscous with Apricots and Almonds
לְחַיִּים! (Le'xayeem--Cheers!)

ps.  The boy came home and decided he did not like apricots anymore as they tasted like stale dried mangoes.  :-) 

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