Dinner Diva: Children's Nutrition
This morning I was reading an article about unhealthy kids. The author of the article had interviewed a doctor named Fuhrman who said a couple of very provocative things. In the past 10 years, diabetes in children has doubled and in his practice and those of his colleagues, they are seeing the beginnings of heart disease occurring in children!
Researchers have further declared this generation of children is the first generation that will not outlive their parents. The article goes further to list some ways to step up nutrition for your kids because it's the lack of nutrition and the eating of harmful substances that's ruining our children's health, big time.
One of the biggest issues is eating fast food. You know I'm down on fast food for anyone, but it's especially harmful for children's growing bodies. Think about it; you're giving the lowest quality food to a growing body. This isn't exactly quality material for the body to develop and build from! You wouldn't put known poor quality gasoline in your car, yet we rationalize throwing absolute garbage food down our children's throats! Dr. Fuhrman says, "Fast food is for parents who don't care about their kids." WOW!! Now, before anyone gets all crazy on me and starts sending me email bombs, I didn't say that; Dr. Fuhrman did. But if you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you cannot ignore the FACTS. Fast food is full of cancer causing substances and will do nothing to build health. It's a quick fix, nothing more.
So let's fix this mess before our children are really in trouble! There are some simple things you can do to step up their nutrition and the quality of their eating. This is all commonsense stuff and stuff I've told you before, but let's list 5 things you can begin working on starting today.
1) Nix Sodas. Or at least save them for special occasions, only. There is 13-15 teaspoons of sugar in ONE can of soda! By not drinking soda and drinking water instead, you'll save their teeth, save their waistlines and save their health.
2) White Out. White flour is nutritionally void and is a useless food. Whole grain (make sure the label says 100%) is what you want and is what will give the necessary nutrients plus the fiber necessary for proper elimination.
3) Processed Meats. Nitrites are known carcinogens (an agent directly involved in the promotion of cancer or in the increase of its propagation) and live in processed meats. A diet heavy in hot dogs, baloney, cold cuts and bacon is a serious health threat.
4) Fruit Bowl. A good rule of thumb is to have a child eat a piece of fruit as a snack if he or she is hungry. Children do not get enough and are reaching for processed snack foods instead of something as easily identifiable as an apple or banana.
5) More Veggies. This one is hard. Most kids balk at eating veggies. But you cannot give up, you must persevere! It is imperative to eat vegetables!
You can implement all five of these important points, but if you're not doing these things yourself, you're wasting your time. YOU are the most important role model in your children's lives. Be the person you are striving to mold your child into being! The power of a good example can never be emphasized enough. You are the key to all of this...do not underestimate the powerful statement you make by eating healthfully yourself. I promise you this: if you do this and you gently lead by your example, you will turn your own health around as well.
For more dinner solutions, visit savingdinner.com Copyright 2008 Leanne Ely. Published with permission for this publication.