Tips on Raising Healthy Kids from the Dad Behind GR’s Malamiah Juice Bar
Jermale Eddie has a photo album on his Facebook page labeled “Dad Life”.
When you talk to him, it’s clear that his three boys – Malachi, 7, Nehemiah, 5, and Josiah, 19 months – occupy a large piece of his heart.
Along with his wife Anissa Eddie, he’s the owner of Malamiah Juice Bar, located in Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market. As the founder of a company devoted to helping people incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into their day, it makes sense that Eddie places a heavy emphasis on health at home, both physically and spiritually.
The family helps their boys understand where their food comes from and why certain foods are better for their growing bodies than others. Fruits and veggies are offered at every meal and water is the drink of choice. There are always healthy snacks in the house and yes, sometimes those snacks are naturally homemade juices or smoothies.
“My kids love to make smoothies and juices. More than that, they love drinking them,” he said.
Nehemiah particularly enjoys the “green juice” that his mom likes, which is packed full of veggies.
“I don’t think it registers with him all the vegetables that are in there,” Eddie said.
Dad is the primary cook at home and the older boys sometimes use the opportunity to practice their interviewing skills. They love the television show “MasterChef Junior” and sometimes quiz Eddie as if he were a contestant. Some of his favorite dishes to prepare are perfect for summer – grilled salmon, kabobs, and corn and asparagus, also grilled.
Along with healthy bodies, Eddie and his wife work hard to ensure their boys have healthy hearts as well. The “Team Eddie” family values posted on their refrigerator are kindness, excellence and integrity.
“I want them to remember that I was always present. Even when I’m busy I’m present, I’m there for them and I want them to remember how I loved and showed love to mom and then also I want them to remember how I treated other people,” he said.
His advice for new dads is to be present from the very beginning. Surround yourself with positive dad role models, learn from them and ask lots of questions. Eddie also relies on prayer in his life to keep him grounded.
“You need to do that every few minutes,” he laughed.
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Photos courtesy of Jermale Eddie