The Future of Our Health-Nutrition for Kids

The Future of Our Health – Nutrition for Kids

After presenting to a group of middle school students on the topic of nutrition this past week I got a taste of what it would be like to be a parent – tough. Chips, pop, chocolate bars, pizza… perogies… what else? Energy drinks, sugar infused yogurts, macaroni and cheese. What are the effects we should expect of consuming these foods loaded with preservatives, colorants, sugars, and excess sodium?

I took a look at the sugar content of a young girl’s “Strawberry Milk” - Thirty six (36) grams of sugar. That’s more than the typical 25 grams in a can of soda. This is the future of our health. This is the future of our children’s wellbeing. Are we killing our kids? What are the implications and what do we do about it?

Statistics Canada shows results from a 2007-2009 survey showcasing that a quarter of children and youth are now overweight or obese. Sedentary behavior rising coinciding with unhealthier choices in foods are contributing factors to this shift. The influx of sugar shows a strong correlation with not only mood swings and emotional behavior but also symptoms of ADHD in our children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show in their data from a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey that the consumption of added sugars is associated with the rise of “cardiovascular disease risk amongst adolescents, including adverse cholesterol concentrations.” Diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke are other risk factors associated with these junk food infused diets. On a more immediate note self-esteem and confidence are at stake including eating disorders and depression - not something to take lightly.

So where do we go from here? I’ve worked with many families, and it’s not easy getting the kids on board always. They have to want it too. But kids are smart and taking the approach of educating them is important. There’s no need to always be the parent forcing health food on the kids. Ask them what they like and do your best to “healthify” it. Some of the tips I’ve learned along the way from working with parents are:

  1. Get them involved and educated. Look up ingredients for yourself with some of their fave junk foods.
  2. Get them in the kitchen with you. Go on the journey together.
  3. Find alternative ingredients. They want pizza? Try a gluten free crust and fresh ingredients– see what they think. They like chocolate pudding. Make chocolate avocado pudding. They like chicken nuggets… make your own with fresh spices.
  4. Find out what they like and try new foods. Baked yams? Cucumbers? Hummus? Guacamole? What’s their favorite vegetable? Make sure they are getting some daily.
  5. Kids love smoothies. Put some greens in there and call it a green monster smoothie. (age dependent)
  6. Stay positive about the journey and try new approaches. But bottom line - stick with it! This is an ongoing journey.

We’re all in this together and need support from schools, parents, relatives, friends and of course the KIDS! The more collectively we come together the greater the impact. Communicate to the people within your circles your values on making positive changes and ask them to be a support. The future depends on it.  

About Me

Kristin Fraser is a speaker and consultant on natural health, including food preparation workshops and nutritional seminars. Offering you insightful information on leading a healthier, happier life.

 

The contents of this website are for information purposes only and are not meant for the purpose of medical diagnosis, treatment or prescribing of medicine for any disease, or any licensed or controlled act which may constitute the practice of medicine. All subjects on health matters are intended for general well-being.