In the spirit of the next generation of the SweatNET family coming May 2020, (if you missed it, Grace is pregnant and we couldn’t be happier for her!!) we wanted to talk about how to fuel healthy kiddos in our society riddled with processed foods, sugar and fast food.
Ever notice that many kids consume diets that consist of about 4 major food groups: pizza, tacos, spaghetti and chicken nuggets? As a society we have accepted that most kids just don’t like fruits and vegetables and because they are young and resilient, they can certainly survive on this diet of pizza, tacos, spaghetti and chicken nuggets. Well yes, they can certainly survive on these foods but don’t we want our kids to thrive? To live long healthy lives? Live lives free of disease? If you are a mother, I’m assuming you’re shaking your head yes. Unfortunately right now, this isn’t the case for a lot of children.
50% of children are suffering from at least one chronic condition.
1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism.
1 in every 11 children are diagnosed with asthma.
1 in every 5 children are obese.
We don’t share this to scare you but rather to help shed light on the fact that kids maybe aren’t as resilient as we thought and that possibly their 4 food group palates has something to do with the rise in chronic illness in our future generations. To ensure the health and wellbeing of your kiddos or future kiddos, consider the following:
- Avoid foods marketed towards kids. It is easy to get swept up into the idea that foods marketed to kids are the only foods kids can eat. Think about the foods predominantly marketed towards children: poptarts, cereal, cookies, crackers, candy etc. These foods contain very little nutritional value for our growing and developing future generation.
- Be persistent when it comes to fruits and veggies. We hear frequently “My kids just don’t like fruits and vegetables.” The tough truth is, the only way to acquire a taste for a food is to simply eat it. Repeatedly. Research even shows that a child must be offered a new food 10-15 times before they acquire a taste for it. Don’t forget to be a good example for your children by eating fruits and vegetables yourself.
- Stick to REAL foods. Of course fruits and veggies are vital, but the rest of your child’s diet should come from whole, real foods. Many children are deficient in vitamins and minerals because they are lacking the nutrients found in REAL, non-processed foods. Foods they should be eating more of include good quality meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes and of course those fruits and veggies.
- MORE WATER. Fruit juice unfortunately has received a reputation for being an acceptable, healthy drink for kids. Bad news… fruit juice is straight sugar. When fruit juice is made, the fiber from the fruit is extracted completely and what is left is a sugary beverage that spikes the blood sugar of our kiddos just as a soda does. Instead opt for WATER, unsweetened almond or coconut milk, oat milk or cold pressed juice found in the produce section of the grocery store or at your local juice shop.
Overall, we care. We care about the next generation and want to help improve these astounding rates of chronic illness plaguing our children. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out with any questions. We will not ever turn down the opportunity to help a SweatNET member or their kiddos!