Some people live to eat while others eat to live. In a country like ours, which is ranked the 3rd fattest in the world, I would say we are living to eat! Is it because 90% of our grocery shelves are packed with so much sugar, sodium and fat? As a Health Coach, I would totally agree. These types of foods lack nutrients and so our bodies are malnourished, always reaching out for something more to eat after we have just eaten.
What we are eating was created for the times of the war, to keep the soldiers going; we had to find ways to make food that had a shelf life. But the war has finished years ago and we no longer should depend on packaged food but on the foods of nature. Today on average kids are being brought up on mostly processed foods. This is the first time in history that anyone has been brought up on foods that are deprived in nutrients causing one to eat repeatedly.
It goes something like this: Wake up – eat breakfast – have a snack – have a juice – eat lunch – have a juice – have another snack – and another snack – have a juice – have dinner – have a chocolate milk – have a snack before bed.
Eating this way has a toll on one’s body. Sending blood sugars on roller coaster rides, metabolisms to overwork then crash and not to mention it puts the brain out of focused.
It’s not rocket science to realize that the foods our kids are eating are the cause of the rise of ADHD, diabetes and obesity in our country. Not only these illnesses but daily ailments like rashes, mucus build up, infections, asthma, reflux, bowel syndromes, stomach pains, irritability, not able to focus, fatigue, anxiety and the list can go on.
As a mother, teacher and Health Coach, I made a list to give you of foods that I will NEVER EVER feed my kids:
1. Boxed Mac n cheese: This one is at the top of my list as this so called meal is a staple in most people’s homes. Why? Because it’s a childhood favorite, it’s easy to make and the kids will never refuse. This product is high in sodium, loaded with artificial dye, lacks nutrients and vitamins and has over 20 different additives and preservatives. Yes some that you won’t recognize or perhaps pronounce. *Did you know that the ingredients in a box Mac n Cheese whether its Kraft or Swiss are banned in the UK? We don’t have any laws yet in Trinidad and Tobago about the amount of additives allowed in food packages and so these products are brought in and allowed to be sold in our stores.
2. Vienna sausage: As a child, I remember my parents buying this for dinner. Not only did I eat it but also I remember quite well not being able to digest this product properly. Once I got to my teens, I decided that this product does not sit well in my stomach and I avoided it completely. Later I discovered what it is made out of and its one I will NEVER EVER feed my loved ones. * This product has Sodium nitrite and its closely related sodium nitrate are food preservatives used primarily in prepared meat and fish such as ham, bacon, hot dogs, corned beef (spam), luncheon meats, and smoked fish. They help the meat look nice and red instead of grayish. Unfortunately, when cooked or broken down in the stomach, nitrites form nitrosamines (also called N-Nitroso Compound), which can cause cancer in young children and pregnant women. This product is highly processed. If you’ll take a look at its ingredient list, you’ll discover new words to add to your vocabulary. Many of these ingredients are required to increase the shelf life of the product and improve the flavor that disappears when food is not fresh.
3. Any Colored Cereals like Trix, Fruity Cheerios or Fruit Loops: These sugary cereals are loaded with artificial dyes (red, yellow, blue). Children shouldn’t have more than 210 mg of the red dye in Trix, 113 mg of the yellow dye and 360 mg of the blue dye, according to the FDA. What’s more, in general, sugared colorful cereals tend to have one of the highest levels of dyes per serving, compared with popsicles and ice creams.
4. Gold Fish: Ingredients – Made with Smiles and Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour [Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Vegetable Oils (Canola, Sunflower and/or Soybean), Nonfat Milk (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol), Salt, Contains 2 Percent or Less of: Yeast, Leavening (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sugar, Spices and Onion Powder. *Wow – do you recognise all the names or even know what they are? What is reduced iron, you ask? Reduced Iron is the product of Rust that has been de-rusted by applying an electrical current and hydrogen to the rust. What about folic acid? The product of bacteria, Lactobacillus Casei, being treated with multiple acids until almost pure folic acid remains. Other ingredients are there for the shelf life, the crunchy flavours. But just imagine what our kids poor little bodies have to go through to digest these types of chemicals. Oh and I would definitely stay far from the coloured gold fish.
5.Gatorade: Many parents think that Gatorade is a healthy drink to give kids after their football or tennis match. Indeed, it says that it will help replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. But the study found that this product has 22.1 mg of artificial dyes in it per eight ounce serving. Not to mention the added sugars. There is really nothing natural about this product. The best drink to give any athlete is Coconut water to replenish the lost of electrolytes.
6.Skittles and M&M’s: When your kids “experience the rainbow,” they’re also gulping down a lot of artificial dye. One serving (a packet, which contains 61 pieces) of the candy has 33.3 mg of artificial dyes in it. But perhaps even more disturbing to parents is the 46 g of sugar that go along with that.
7. Fruit Juice and Soft Drinks: Look at the amount of sugars in these products. If you think giving your child juice is better than giving them a soft drink, I would rethink that drink again. Some juices have more sugar and more artificial dyes than the average soft drink. Both these products are one of the top reasons our county is now facing a crisis in diabetes rates. We are number 6th with the highest rate of diabetes in the world. To measure sugar content look at this chart I created to educate you. 4 grams = 1 tsp.
These are just a very few of the products that I will never buy for my kids. I have quite a few more local brands whose ingredient lists I would like to deconstruct – and will post soon!
I care about you and your health and I am working to help you grow Healthy Kids!