When it comes to our children, we all want nothing but the best. But sometimes our busy lives get in the way, and convenience prevails. There are steps we can all take to improve the way our kids eat, while not sacrificing extra time, or money.
1. Deli Meats: Bologna, honey ham, and other cold-cuts are flush with salt, as well as nitrates, a preservative linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Instead: Shredded Chicken, turkey, or beef. Buying meat from your butcher is very inexpensive and simple to cook. Season to your liking, cut or shred and stick in the fridge for use during the week. Imagine the possibilities.
2. Twinkies: I know, I know, they are back, and you have probably already indulged. But, is it any surprise that they are incredibly bad for you? They are basically trans-fat delivery systems. This goes for virtually all industrial “snack cakes”.
Instead: Anything else!! Try making your own cookies or cakes with natural ingredients, or send them to school with some berries or grapes.
3. Cold Cereal: “10 Vitamins and Minerals!!” … Ya, right! Sure, there may be a tidbit of nutritional value, but it is dwarfed by the sugars, preservatives and other processed ingredients.
Instead: Oatmeal. Pick something high in fiber and low in sugar. Then, add fruit, honey or natural-maple syrup to flavor to your young one’s liking. Inviting them to design their own hodge-podge of a breakfast bowl is a great way to start the day of with some laughs.
4. Juice Boxes: Sugar, sugar, sugar. With virtually zero nutritional value, these may have a taste the kids want, but nothing they need.
Instead: There is an abundance of better beverage options out there, to keep your kids sweet tooth tamed. Homemade fruit juices are your best bet. Go ahead involve the kids. Have them blend together their favorite fruits, while you sneak in undetectable veggies. Sinister and delicious.
5. Happy Meals: Surprise!! Fat. Salt. Calories. A standard kid’s meal can contain around 650 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat, 75 grams of carbohydrates, and 1000 mg of salt.
Instead: Eat at home, when you can. Whether you are making sandwiches, burgers or homemade chicken nuggets, by making it yourself, you control what you put in.
These are just a few things you can do to improve your child’s energy, focus and overall health. Use these as opportunities to involve your kids in the process of creating new and delicious delights.
What changes have you made? Share with us below.