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.
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?
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