Are We Helping Or Hurting Our Children?

12 10 2011

CDC reports that Obesity has Tripled Amongst Children

With obesity tripling amongst children over the last thirty years (according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC) it’s essential to take a cold, hard – and honest –  look at what we’re really doing to our bodies and that of our beloved children by what we feed them.

If you’re a parent then your number one priority is probably your children. The health of your kids is dependent on many things, but a diet filled with nutritious foods should top that list.  Are you feeding your children the healthiest possible foods to maintain their energy and health today as well as protect them from deadly, debilitating diseases down the road?

Fresh, Real, Local Food

When it comes to healthy eating there’s simply no substitute for fresh or real foods. The best option is finding foods in your local area. These are the apples grown on the orchard down the road from you, the raw milk the farmer a few miles away has for you on a daily or weekly basis, and the eggs from the chicken that came from the other end of the county a few days ago. These are fresh, real foods.

It’s also important to know what foods are in season. Purchasing local, in season foods ensure the freshest and best thing to put in your body. While you may be in certain habits when it comes to shopping for foods, I urge you to make the effort to evaluate these habits and make changes as needed.

Supporting Local Agriculture to Boost Your Family’s Health

One of the habits that most of us have out of perceived necessity is to shop at the grocery store or supermarket. I suggest you re-think this way of getting food to your table. While the grocery store is convenient, somewhat affordable, and easily accessible with its longer hours, the foods lining the shelves and even in the produce aisles leave a lot to be desired.

First the produce. Yes, fresh produce is what you want to have filling your cart and pantry at home in abundance. However, much of the produce you find in your supermarket is much further from fresh than you may think.

Today, grocery stores are required to label where their produce is from – so take a closer look. Pick up those bananas. Are they grown locally? How about that lettuce? Is it from down the street or literally thousands of miles away in a place like Chile?

The lettuce that comes to your table fresh (from your backyard or local farm) retains its valuable nutrients and is the best for you and your family. There’s simply no comparison. So even though you may be making food choices that seem to be healthy, now is the time to re-evaluate those choices.

This is a basic component of eating healthy. Eating foods that are fresh – not foods you and the rest of Americans perceive as healthy and fresh but foods that are truly fresh and therefore nutritious.

3 Tips for Healthy Snacks for Kids

If you want to insure that your children are healthy not just today but into tomorrow then it’s wise to pack their bellies full of healthy fresh foods. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies that are locally grown is the best way to enable them to get the variety of nutrients their bodies need on a daily basis.

Remember these kids are growing and in need of the best of the best. Their bodies not only have requirements for more of certain nutrients their bodies are more susceptible to dangerous toxins often found in transported, non-organic foods.

You can reach for healthy snacks and make them the ‘go to’ foods if you follow a few tips.

Keep fruits and vegetables cut and accessible.

Although it’s best to cut fruits and veggies right before you eat them it makes it easier to choose fresh fruits and vegetables if they’re cut and ready to go. Cut up a fruit salad at the beginning of the week, keep it in a sealed container and have your family snack from it during the week.

Substitute

Make an effort to substitute healthy, fresh foods for ones that are less so. For instance almond butter is loaded with nutrients and tastes very much like peanut butter. Substitute almond butter for peanut butter on celery, crackers, bananas, and even in a sandwich. Instead of ranch dip, put out a hummus.

Include everyone

Everyone likes to feel like they have a role to play, so include your kids wherever possible. Take them to the farmer’s market and let them pick out the fruits and veggies they want. In the kitchen, put them to work stirring, mixing and cutting (if they’re old enough) the foods they eat. Doing this will not only get them excited to eat more healthy today but give them the ability to be healthy the rest of their lives.

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