QA241 QUESTION: My question is about food and children. The children at the Center seem to dislike the type of food at the Center. In part we believe it to be rebellion. Can you comment on the nutritional needs of children and the resistance to eating those foods the adults believe to be good for them?
ANSWER: Yes. I will not go into the obvious extremes of the two positions of being over-compulsive about good food or of totally disregarding the importance of it. These are obviously two extremes. What I will say, however, about this specific topic is that the rebellion is a very strong element here. It is very often in the issues of food that demands, rebellion, neediness, compulsiveness, having and grabbing or in not taking in, and self-will is expressed.
That is not so surprising because the baby’s first pleasure is through the mouth. And that may then be extended and the rebellion may then also express through the mouth. It is important, though, that you realize there are some very fundamental food values. If a child is given free vent to only eat what it likes, the effects may not be immediately noticeable, for the energy system of a child is young and strong and resilient. But the effects come only much later in the physical body.
The effects may show in any organ whose resistance may be weakened, and that then years later creates a physical manifestation. Now, you will say that you learn that the physical manifestations cannot only be a result of other physical manifestations such as not eating the right food. There must be, further, the result of emotional attitudes. But this is exactly what we’re talking about here.
If a child – or an adult for that matter – perverts and pollutes his instinct that comes from a mental and emotional attitude that is distorted, then the desires do not correspond to the higher self or the truth of the physical organism. They correspond to the lower self and the untruth of the physical organism.
So simply because someone does not desire to eat something that is good for him, this does not mean that it should be forced. But it can be used as an education. And the children who are on the Path should work with this. Number one, there should be the consciousness raised in the child of the awareness of these processes – the awareness of the standards of healthy food, without exaggerating it.
But there are certain basic food values that God has grown in this earth sphere that are important for the entire organism. If that is not given to the system, sometime and somewhere the lack will be experienced without necessarily knowing why. A child can understand this.
The patient teaching and the teaching – not down, but in instruction – in communicating knowledge will help the child then to also see the emotional rebellion that may exist in liking and disliking certain foods. It is possible to create new taste buds. It is possible to transform your instinct about food. And that is part of the total growth of the personality like anything else.