Monday, February 22

Mommy Q & A - Worst Foods 4 Kids

While I was out grocery shopping last week I was in the "healthy/organic" isle and I was grabbing some after school snacks and someone said "excuse me." They were just passing by and needed me to move my cart. After that happened I looked down the isle and noticed that hardly anyone is in this section. The chip and cookie isle always has traffic though. Why are so many parents making bad choices for their children. They are growing and intelligent children who need proper nutrition. I am not saying that kids should not have the occasional cooking, but that's just it.... OCCASIONAL! Our first born did not have chocolate nor carbonated drinks until she was a year old, but not even much if any. And it wasn't a choice, it was just common scene to us. With our second I think we might wait even longer. I mean, we don't drink many soft drinks nor chocolate that much, so why would we buy it for our kids?
This week, while I was shopping, as I entered the healthy/organic isle I said to myself I am going to get someone else to switch to organics. So I grabbed a box of Annie's cereal and I went to the cereal isle. I saw a mom with a child and I went up to them and said "Hi." I then introduced myself and said that I wanted to talk to more parents about what snack foods their children eat (i'm a blogger). She was happy to talk to me and said that they eat the "regular" stuff. I showed her the Annie's Homegrown cereal and told her that my daughter loves it, it's the only cereal she'll eat. I told her that if she was ever unsure, that she should just go for fruits and veggies or stop by my favorite isle. She was telling me a bit more about their eating habits and mentioned french fries! French Fries is one of my favorite enemey. How many kids do you know that don't know what a Happy Meal is? That reminded me of an email I got from Dr. Weil (newsletter) that talked about the Worst foods for Kids and French Fries was on that list. After I left the store I felt so good and I hope that she now serve her kids a bit more healthy snacks.

This brings me to this weeks question:

How Can I Improve My Child's Health?

Eliminate these foods. This is that newsletter I was telling that grocery mom about. I hope you enjoy it and tell other parents about the importance of health or just talk about how Dr. Weil says about the "Worst Foods for Kids."

One-third of all U.S. children are overweight or obese, according to the TeensHealth web page. The main cause is overeating, with little regard to the actual nutrition offered by the food. Changing eating habits is not easily done, but minor changes in the type of food consumed can quickly reduce the amount of calorie intake each day. Eliminating the worst foods is one way to improve kids' nutrition.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are high in fat and sodium and loaded with preservatives such as nitrates. The average dog has 464 calories with 32 percent of the daily fat, 15 percent of the cholesterol and 44 percent of the recommended daily sodium. This is balanced against the positive nutritional facts of 16 grams of protein and 8 percent of the daily dietary fiber. There are better alternatives for protein and fiber.

Soda

TeenHealth classifies sodas and energy drinks as "empty" calories that you don't need. The average soda has 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar in each 10-ounce can. Dr. Marjorie Fitch-Hilgenberg, assistant professor of dietetics at the University of Arkansas, states that soda should be treated as a dessert item, not the meal's beverage.

Sticky Candy

Candy is high in sugar, and sticky candy contributes to tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association.

Doughnuts

Doughnuts are in high calories and provide little nutritional value. Breakfast should provide nutrients to supply energy, but sugar pastries do little to provide such nutrients.

Prepackaged Lunch Kits

Registered dietitian Liz Weiss reports that lunch kits are high in fat, saturated fat and sodium and low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many of them contain half the daily allowance of saturated fat and all of the sodium necessary for the average adult.

Sugary Breakfast Cereals

Most non-vitamin fortified breakfast cereals have sugar, artificial flavors and coloring and little nutrition. The fiber and vitamins added during the cereal manufacturing can be supplied in better food choices, such as fruit.

Microwavable Prepackaged Dinners

These are convenient, but are high in fat, salt and preservatives. Not only are the dinners inadequate nutrition for growing children, they fail to teach children proper eating habits or how to prepare healthy meals. The average sodium content ranges from 700 to 1,800 milligrams for each dinner, an unhealthy amount for children to consume in one meal.

Juice Drinks

Juice is high in sugar content, calories and acid that destroys dental enamel. Dr. Fitch-Hilgenberg warns against drinking juices that are not 100 percent juice. Fruits are a healthier option since they also provide the necessary daily fiber and additional vitamins.

French Fries

French Fries are fatty and soaked in oil. The fat count for this food averages 18 percent of the daily fat requirement and 7 percent of sodium, with only a minimal amount of dietary fiber, protein and calcium.

Toaster Pastries

Pastries have the same bad effect as doughnuts: high sugar and low nutritional content. Also, many of them have preservatives that allow the product to be stored for a year or more.

Photo Courtesy of DrWeil.com

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