Starting off the New Year with New Food Choices
New Food Choices
By now you have thought about your New Year’s Resolution and perhaps you tried it and failed. Maybe you are still thinking about it?
Why not consider a change in what you feed your children. Many parents look towards their children’s school to provide healthy meals. This is usually the worst thing a parent can do to help their children obtain a healthy diet.
Sadly, most schools seem to serve your basic frozen, chemical filled, highly processed, 30+ ingredient, extremely unhealthy lunches.
If you ever sit in an elementary school lunch area you will see what I mean. Often typical school lunches include: “chicken” nuggets, corn dogs, processed American cheese on white bread, pizza (sometimes served in plastic wrap), and many more displays of “food.” If these are not enough to get your stomach groaning, look at the side dishes: canned fruit in high fructose corn syrup, highly over cooked, canned vegetables, tater tots, Frozen Red #40 Popsicles and more. Only occasionally will you see fresh fruits or vegetables.
You have a right to fight your schools “nutrition” department. I put the word “nutrition” in quotes because according to www.dictionary.com, the word means: the act or process of nourishing. These types of foods are FAR from nourishing your children. Often the kids dislike this processed garbage and the trash cans are overflowing at the schools and the children’s stomachs are either empty or hurting from poor nutrition.
Some school districts are adding salad bars with fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, hard cooked eggs and other REAL food. This trend should be in all school districts across America!
What most American cafeterias are serving is not REAL food.
I am not just blaming the school cafeterias menus. Sitting in the lunch area will also enlighten you to a unique science experiment. Read labels on food. What is in the foods? Can you read the words? Are the ingredients about 6 inches long and full of odd, chemical sounding names? Does this seem to be a problem to you? Parents are feeding their children chemicals. Why? It is because these easy-to- grab-foods are sitting on the shelf at the grocery stores. So many parents think packaged foods are so easy to purchase and are convenient to just toss into a lunchbox. There ARE healthy alternatives, even in pre-packaged boxes. Parents have to READ THE LABELS.
Related: Clean up What You Eat
What item sounds better to you?
Kashi TLC Cereal Bars
Blackberry Filling (Pear Juice Concentrate, Evaporated Cane Juice, Molasses, Vegetable Glycerin, Blackberry Puree, Apple Powder, Rice Starch, Apple Fiber, Natural Flavors, Pectin, Citric Acid, Carob Bean Gum, Evaporated Salt, Sodium Citrate), Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame Flour (Whole: Oats, Hard Red Wheat [Graham Flour], Brown Rice, Rye, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Organic Whole Oats, Honey, Tapioca Syrup, Gum Arabic, Oat Fiber, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor.
Special K Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Cereal (Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Wheat Bran, Salt, Soluble Wheat Fiber, Malt Flavoring, Distilled Monoglycerides,Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin b1], Niacinamide, Riboflavin [Vitamin b2], Reduced Iron, Folic Acid), Sugar, Soluble Corn Fiber, Vegetable Oil (Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel, Palm and Soybean Oil with Tbhq for Freshness), Corn Syrup, Fructose, Dextrose, Wheat Flour, Contains Two Percent or Less of Sorbitol, Glycerin, Nonfat Milk, Raspberry Puree Concentrate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Whole Wheat, Soy Lecithin, Molasses, Wheat Gluten, Salt, Beet Juice Powder for Color, Wheat Germ, Citric Acid, Color Added, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin b6), Reduced Iron, Red 40, Blue 1, Bht (Preservative).
Notice that the second snack bar is loaded with words that do not mean food. They have preservatives. BHT and TBHQ cause serious concerns (see www.feingold.org). A variety of names for “sugar” listed many times, corn syrup, artificial colors, unhealthy oils, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors. Why do they use beet juice powder for color AND artificial colors? Which product has organic ingredients and more whole grains?
The first product is loaded with many healthy ingredients and whole grains. You won’t find anything artificial in their products.
You might ask what is wrong with artificial dyes and preservatives? To learn more information go to: www.feingold.org
This link will enlighten you to a world of illnesses, ailments, disorders, disabilities, syndromes and more caused by eating the WRONG foods and beverages. There is scientific proof that artificial foods, and chemicals found in foods and drinks, cause a myriad of digestive problems, skin problems, sleep problems, behavioral problems, mental and physical issues, headaches, bedwetting, learning issues, tantrums, and more.
Drugs are not always the answer. Food could be the issue and easy to fix. With online buying and more and more healthy-option stores and products in even a typical grocery store or Target or Walmart…..YOU the consumer have choices.
Parents… read the labels. Know what you are buying and eating and serving your family!
Why not this year the time you make a difference in your families food choices. Shop natural, chemical-free. Document how your child behaves after he or she ingests chemical-filled foods. Take them away and write down the new behaviors and above listed difficulties. Watch as you discover the new child within then share this information with your friends and other parents. The best way we can combat dangerous food is to educate and inform….one family at a time!
Stores will sell chemical-laden foods, if the consumers purchase them. If Americans stop buying unsafe foods and only purchase REAL food, manufacturers will get the message.
It is up to us, to make a change!
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
- Do You Struggle With Planning Healthy Meals for Your Family?
- A Fresh Start Changing the Way You and Your Family Eat
- Are you STUCK in survival mode?
- Benefits of Special Diets for Special Needs Children
- Healthy Eating Options for Fueling Your Child
- Natural Remedies for the Gut-Brain Connection
- The Gut-Brain Connection and Children with Special Needs
- Benefits of Fiber
- Eat Your Medicine
- Focus on Color
- Sugar Addiction
- Health & Nutrition Apps for Family Fun
- Life as We Grow It: Fitness as a Life Skill for Special Needs Populations
- Nutrition Myths Debunked
This post originally appeared on our January/February 2012 Magazine