Feeding children can be difficult. Time is always a factor, and kids can be picky. Grocery stores offer a slew of quick, easy to prepare, meal options for children and families. Offering these convenience foods may seem easier than preparing a balanced meal, but these cheap pre-made meals and snacks come at price; you and your family’s health.
In the past15-25 years, incidence of conditions such as ADD/ADHD have increased by 400 percent, autism by 300 percent, allergies by 300 percent, asthma by 200 percent and ear infections by 135 percent. Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since1990. Over the past three decades childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S with one of six children clinically obese, and one out of three overweight. This is the first time in history that we are seeing so many children with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. These stats are concerning to anyone with a child. These illnesses have a relationship with our environment, activity levels, an improper diet as well as a host of other lifestyle factors. These facts are daunting but there is a way to keep your child from becoming a statistic. The answer is with proper diet, increased activity and education about healthy food choices.
The average child’s diet includes many foods that are processed and include ingredients that are foreign to the body. A mix of insecticides, herbicides, artificial colourings, artificial flavorings, hormones, steroids, and mass amounts of sugar are present in the foods that are being fed to children daily. Each of these potentially toxic ingredients has characteristic and negative effects on the body. The effects/consequences of your child ingesting these ingredients are listed in the table below.
|Insecticides||Liver, kidney, reproductive and hormonal system abnormalities|
|Herbicides||Eye, liver, kidney, spleen, intestinal problems, cardiovascular, reproductive and hormonal system damage; cancer|
|Artificial Colourings||Hyperactivity, brain damage, learning disorders, depression, asthma, skin irritation, hives|
|Artificial Flavorings||Hyperactivity, learning disorders, behavioural problems, lung and gastrointestinal damage|
|Artificial Sweeteners||Neurological and brain damage, depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue|
|Artificial Preservatives||Hyperactivity, neurological problems, cancer|
|Antibiotics||Gastrointestinal damage, immune weakness, immune disorders, allergies|
|Hormones||Growth and developmental problems, reproductive system damage, hormonal abnormalities, cancer|
|Steroids||Early onset puberty, hormonal system abnormalities, cancer|
|Mercury||Impaired neurological development, brain damage, mood and behavioral disorders, kidney and lung damage|
*all consequences/effects listed above are the results of formal scientific studies and research. Information on studies is readily available. If you’d like more information please contact Sarah directly.
This week’s article included important information on the effects of additive that may be hiding in your family’s food. I realize that some of this information is pretty anxiety provoking, but there’s good news. You can provide your family with nutrient rich foods, easily and without a fuss.
Here are a few steps to start this week off with some additive free eating.
- Focus on whole foods. Nature has made foods the way they are for a reason. They are full of macronutrients, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that act as a complete package to help restore the body.
- Read ingredients on anything packaged. If you can’t pronounce it, put it down. There are many sneaky words for MSG and sugar out there that they try to get in products without you knowing.
- Keep it simple. Celery or apples with almond butter. Rice cakes or veggies with hummus. Homemade trail mix with nuts and seeds from the bulk bins at your local grocery store.
Next week’s post will have plenty more information on how to make this transition easy for you and your kids. If you have any questions at all send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, here is a yummy healthy cookie recipe!
Chocolate Chip Chia Chickpea Cookies
(Flour Free. Gluten Free. Dairy Free)
1.5 cups organic chickpeas (you can soak dried chickpeas in advance and cook them, or just use one can chickpeas)
1/4 cup raw unpasteurized honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt (or himalayan rock salt)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup fair trade semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 F. Place all ingredients other than chocolate chips in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add chocolate chips, mix well. Spoon onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.