Healthy Food Facts for Kids – Simplicity is the Secret
Over the years of being a parent, my spouse and I have definitely figured out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to feeding hungry munchkins. When you have 5 children who usually want food every 2 hours all day long, choosing healthy fun combinations is important and can be delicious. Here are 5 healthy food facts for kids.
FACT NO. 1 – Frequency is Everything
If you are like we are, planning the night before what will be served for breakfast is a hole in one. I like going to bed at night knowing I have a plan, bowls and spoons out for everyone ahead of time. That way I know if more or less time is needed for breakfast the next morning before leaving the house for our day. If it’s poached eggs and toast with fruit, I might cut up the fruit the night before. If it’s Muesli and low sugar yogurt mixed in, less preparation is needed. Having some idea of what my munchkins are going to snack on all day long is also a priority of mine. Plan on giving them something wholesome about every 2 hours. If they say no, then lunch or dinner is around the corner. You can always hand them an apple or banana to ward off the gremlins.
FACT NO. 2 – Keep it Simple But Throw Your Microwave out the Window
Whole fruits, vegetables, home made bread with jam (both organic, if possible) used sparingly…more for flavor than overdoing it. You can make up the bread dough ahead of time, shape it and freeze it, then bake it later. With 5 munchkins in my house, we go through about 1 loaf a day and sometimes 2 if sandwiches are made more than once.
Why not the microwave?
I know not everyone understand that using the microwave changes the nutritional value of your food, but it does. The fact is that we live in a fast paced world, and microwaves are in about 90% of homes. Most people use it without a second thought. The way a microwave heats up your food is by producing microwaves from a magnetron inside of it. Those microwaves bounce around the inside of the oven and your food absorbs the energy, thus heating it up. In the process, the moisture in the food is water, made up of molecules that vibrate very rapidly causing friction and heat. Microwaves cause uneven cooking – ever noticed the outside edges of your chicken are more done than the inside. Couple that with the fact that microwaves are a low level of non-ionizing radiation and the physical changes to the food can be cancer causing over time. Just don’t use one; it’s not worth it. There are plenty of things in the environment that contribute to disease without voluntarily installing one or using one daily.
Microwaving milk and grains has been shown to form cancer causing substances through altering the components of proteins (amino acids).
Microwaved foods show decreased nutritional value by 60-90%, with drastic decreases in bioavailability of B complex vitamins, vitamin C and E, essential minerals and antioxidants. Most of this research was done in Russia back in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Their findings lead to banning them for a long time before they were back on the horizon for those who could afford them. It’s just one thing you don’t really need that is causing harm to you and yours and your food.
Your kiddos need every bit of nutrition that is in the food you give them for their growing bodies. Inquiring minds that are expanding need all the right vitamins,minerals and micro nutrients in a colorful array of food at their disposal. If you want to heat up water using a microwave, go ahead, but there are more energy saving ways to do that. Try a counter top water heater, or it’s more energy efficient to heat water on a gas stove top in a tea pot.
FACT NO. 3 – Raise Your Children To Be Epic Veggie Lovers
The younger they get a taste for fresh veggies, and with a daily routine of being offered vegetables, all of your munchkins will develop a favorite or two. Raw or steamed to preserve or release essential nutrients is the best way to give them these gems of nature.
FACT NO. 4 – Cut the Juice and Slice the Apples-
Processed fruit juice is no better than offering soda pop to your kiddos. Healthy food choices don’t include fruit juices, as all the fiber is processed out and it is like handing them a bag of sugar. Although studies seem to often discount problems with excessive energy and focus issues, my day to day observations of children on high sugar diets is very different.
Instead, offer a whole apple, or fresh or partially thawed berries without sugar on them. Put a few in a bowl and let them go. They will thank, you believe me.
Children learn to like and value what they are introduced to early and routinely. They eat more of what you expect them to eat and they are taught what is good for them through example, encouragement and the fact that they feel good eating that way. Once in a while when they do get more sugar than usually like at Halloween they often have stomach complaints and feel bad enough within 30 minutes to not want to do it again anytime soon. It also teaches them moderation with sweet things.
The way to keep them away from the dentist except for check ups is a low sugar diet, no soda pop (rarely) and good brushing and flossing habits. If they want a pop, choose your with real sugar not High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.
I always find it interesting that many dental offices still offer candy to kiddos after a visit as a reward for tolerating the visit. More and more are now offering little toys instead. I love that! Banks do the candy thing too going through the drive up window like they offer dog biscuits for your pet – so funny! My kids smile and say no thank you. They know they aren’t deprived of sweets and special treats, they are holding out for home made ones with wholesome ingredients as much as possible.
Always think whole food and you can’t go wrong.
FACT NO. 5 – Natural = healthy ? REALLY ?
My kids have heard me repeating it many times at home and while at the store that natural hardly means healthy. Labeling laws allow this word to be thrown about like it was something to be proud of. Nothing could be further from the truth. The word natural flavors- actually means chemically derived flavors; natural food should mean free from additives but that is often not the case. It also doesn’t necessarily mean it is free of food dyes and all of this means potential allergy problems – so it’s best to research the product first before partaking if possible.
The best way to frame your day with healthy food facts for kids is to stick with whole foods, homemade food and never leave home without a variety of fruits, nuts ( if not allergic) and vegetables with organic bread on hand for the journey. Organic beef jerky or lean organic turkey slices are favorites with my kids. This keeps my munchkins happy until the next meal, whether we are just running errands or on a trip down the road. See My Favorite Jerky Options Here http://amzn.to/2yDOVix
Happy Trails, Healthy Munchkins
Hope you enjoyed the read today.
Hug those munchkins and stay healthy and happy.
Dr. Leigh Gilburn
My website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This is at no extra cost to you.