Tag Archives: kid’s health

Activism Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

Food Revolution Day – What Is Your Role in Spreading the Word About Sustainable Food?

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Today is chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, and I just want to highlight the importance of creating your own Food Revolution where you live by making an effort to be aware of how the choices you make in the food you eat impacts your children’s health, your own health, and that of your community.

Our health and view of food has hit an all-time low, and it’s up to us – the individuals in our communities – to make positive changes wherever we can. This is not only important for us but for those who come after us, our children, and their children, and so on.

Here are some sobering statistics about the state of our children’s health:

  • —In the last 30 years childhood obesity has more than tripled!
  • —Approximately12.5 million children and adolescents are obese.
  • —25.8 million children & adults in the U.S. —8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
  • —In a classroom of 30 students 1 to 3 children have ADHD.
  • —1 in 88 children is autistic.
  • —Studies show nutrition makes a difference of over 20 IQ points—which is the difference between below average and average intelligence, and exceptionally bright.
When so much is riding on the choices we make about what we feed ourselves and our children, when disease numbers are showing nothing but an upward trend, and when we’ve done the same things over and over again – followed the advise of doctors, health experts, dietitians, the FDA and the USDA to no avail – something needs to change. 

How I’m spreading the word

Besides my work for clients in writing and health coaching, blogging, and posting information on social networks, I do local work too. Over the years I’ve organized various events and gatherings to encourage people to support their local sustainable food system and why this is so important.

This week I prepared and gave 2 Weston A. Price/Nourishing Our Children-style presentations to the 4th and 5th grade classes at a local school in my city – Rolling Hills Charter School. I was invited to come and speak because I have a friend whose daughter attends the school.

I was delighted to visit this small, intimate school nestled on the edge of our city and meet some of the amazing students and faculty who make up this community. I’ll be returning next fall to do similar presentations to the 6th – 8th grade classes since their school year is coming to an end next week and I’ve been very busy with projects this spring.

Because of this willingness and openness of this school to hear the presentation I gave and their positive attitude toward the message I brought, I have high hopes that one of the best ways to get the message of real food across in the school environment is through charter schools, where parents have more of a say in what goes on and the environment is very different than that of most public schools. My own son attends a fantastic charter school, Sage International Charter School, and I’m going to be talking with the principal soon about doing this presentation at our school.

What can YOU do? 

  • Get involved in your local community and in the schools your children attend. Help spread awareness and education about the consequences of the highly-processed foods we eat that negatively affect our health. Learn about the big difference a nutrient-dense diet can make in your child’s health, attitude, growth, development, academic and physical performance, and future.

 

 

 

Activism Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

The 10 Most Unhealthy “Health” Foods Marketed to Kids: Babble’s List

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Do your kids eat pre-packaged, processed foods? If so, they may not be getting the nutrition they need to support their growth and development.

Babble posted a fantastic article last week about the 10 most unhealthy “health” foods for kids. I’m elated to see mainstream web sites telling the truth about these products. Parents need to know this!

Parents are lied to by food companies about these products, and led to believe these are healthy foods for their children to eat. Labels are very deceptive. Maybe it says “all natural” or “organic“, “low calorie“, “low-sodium“, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for your child.

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Besides not having nutrients, most of these foods have chemicals, stabilizers, emulsifiers, preservatives, dyes, excitotoxins, and other additives to keep foods longer on the shelf and provide consistency in the way foods appear in the package, can, or box.

Here’s Babble’s list of 10 most unhealthy “health” foods marketed to kids:

  • Granola bars
  • Flavored organic yogurt
  • Apple juice
  • Rice milk
  • Fruit leather
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Turkey breast deli meat
  • Dried fruit
  • Rice cakes
  • Multi-grain cereal

Although the  foods which made this are a great start, there are thousands and thousand of others not on this list that are unhealthy too:

  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Food bars
  • Breads
  • Chips – even “organic”, “baked” and “no-trans fats” labeled
  • Pastas
  • Bagels
  • Low-fat dairy foods like milk, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheeses, spreadable cheeses, kefir, and others
  • Canned “meal” foods like Chef-Boyardee, soups, chilis, stews (yes, even most organic varieties)
  • Boxed cereals – which contain highly-processed, extruded grains
  • Frozen waffles, pancakes, muffins, biscuits, and other similar foods
  • Frozen pizzas, hot pockets, and meal entrees
  • Energy drinks
  • Spritzers
  • Juice
  • Nuts
  • Most deli meats – even the organic varieties have MSG or engineered flavorings – read the labels and you’ll see “natural flavors”, “celery root powder”, or “carageenan”

It’s time to put these food companies in their place and stop buying their toxic, unhealthy products. Children need nutrients, and they are not getting them from products sold by the food industry. The food industry, like many others, isn’t about making sure you get a quality product for your health. Their one purpose for existence is to make money. And very few of them are conscientious or ethical enough to produce a high-quality product that you would actually want to eat. They spend more of their budget on the marketing of the product than the actual product itself.

Children need nutrition in their food. They need fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that are whole and complete. That nutrition is simply absent from most foods marketed to kids, and also sadly, most food products in general, sold on the consumer market. These food are altered, subjected to high temperatures, deodorized, extruded, irradiated, come from genetically-modified sources, full of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones.

Low-calorie and low-fat foods are harmful, period. Most foods with this wording on the labels are modified and have sugar and/or chemicals added to them. Nature has it right, why should we second-guess it and think we know better?

The way to make sure your kids get the nutrition they need:

  • Avoid processed or packaged foods
  • Serve your children healthy fats and proteins every day to support their brains, endocrine, digestive, and immune health: grass-fed meats and poultry, eggs from hens on pasture, organ meats, bone broths, raw milk and other dairy from healthy cows on pasture (milk, butter, cream, yogurt, kefir), seafood, cod liver oil, olive oil, coconut and palm oil, and lard and tallow from healthy animals on pasture
  • As much as possible, make everything from scratch at home
  • Avoid buying conventional produce, grains, nuts, and legumes, choose organic and sustainable, and prepare them traditionally – with olive oil or coconut oil, cooked in butter, lard, or tallow, soaked, sprouted, or fermented/cultured. When foods are prepared traditionally, they are delicious and easier to digest.
  • Choose raw milk from healthy cows on pasture and make cultured dairy products from them
  • If you know your child is going somewhere with or without you and there will be foods served you don’t want him or her to eat, pack something in advance. Minimize sugary, processed treats and “food products” when your child goes places away from home by packing snacks or lunches when they go, having a reasonable limit on what they eat, and feeding them before you leave the house
  • Try fermented cod liver oil for superior nutritional support. FCLO contains natural Vitamins A & D that are not synthetic, and also Omega 3s and many other nutrients your child needs for brain health, digestive, and immune support. See sources for more information.

More information:

Deceptions in the food industry: low-fat foods

Deceptions in the food industry: whole grains

Deceptions in the food industry: low-sodium and no salt added

Healthy fats make healthy children

Healthy lunch ideas for kids:  how to pack a brown bag lunch

Deceptions in the food industry: all-natural

Meals for children restaurants and school lunches are lacking in nutrition

Turn main courses into nourishing school lunch meals in minutes!

 This post is part of Sarah The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Carnival