Fall is a great time to think about our families’ health. Kids go back to school (or for those of us homeschool parents, we “host” the kids at “school”, some of us settle into a new routine, the weather gets cooler and the leaves change into beautiful shades of red, gold, and purple. We want to protect our children when they are out and about -- so we get out the snacks, water bottles, and helmets J. While those items are vital for the health of our children and us, the rest of the items in our snack and sports bags may be poisoning our children. Below are the 3 food products that should be avoided:
- Artificial color. According to the FDA, Artificial food coloring is derived from coal tar and petroleum. Look at the back of the box of freezies, bomb pops, soda cans, and candy bags. Artificial color (yellow #5, red #40, etc.) are harmful for your child's brain. A 2009 study from Colombia University found that eliminating artificial color from the diet of children with ADD and ADHD significantly improved behavior and lessened the dose of prescription medication needed by 40%.
Instead, look for: Foods that are colored naturally. Make your own strawberry milk by blending organic whole milk, strawberries and raw honey. Make your own Popsicles by freezing 100% fruit juice. Go for pure chocolate instead of artificially colored candy. Remove artificial color from your child's diet and watch their behavior improve IMMEDIATELY.
2. Processed, added, and artificial sugar. Sugar is the #1 inflammatory agent in the American diet right now. I'm not talking about fruit or dairy sugars found NATURALLY, I'm talking about processed and artificial sugars found in packaged and processed foods, ice cream, candy, soda, muffins, and sugary sports drinks. On their own, one small healthy treat per day is fine, but when children are offered sugar after breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert and after soccer, dance, church, and academic achievements, the result is nothing less than poison. The rate of child obesity and diabetes is rising by the day. Do you know what the #1 cause of this is? If you guessed added and processed sugar, you are correct. Sugar is not a "treat" for kids. Sugar is as addictive as crack and it is as dangerous as poison.
Look for instead: NO ADDED SUGAR. Sweeten your smoothies, baked goods, oatmeal, and lemonade with real maple syrup, raw honey and/or sucanat. Even most Stevia (sugar alternative) is processed with alcohol and has a host of effects (including headache and nausea). Plain yogurt with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of real maple syrup is divine! Frozen grapes, bananas, and blueberries in a bowl is a delicious alternative to ice cream. Watermelon- need I say more? Real, raw cocoa mixed with coconut oil and raw cashews makes for an excellent crunch for the chocoholic (like myself). You or your family may protest a reduction in sugar, but think of sugar like a drug; by reducing the intake, you are protecting everyones’ health.
3. Hot dogs. Well, actually all processed meat including Fast Food, burgers, chicken, and all fried meat. Nitrites, nitrates, hormones, and antibiotics are pumped into our meat to make it huge, "healthy," and preserved for an unnaturally long time. Summer and fall BBQ's are a favorite past time for my family and me, but the meat often served should be thrown into the fire instead of consumed. I'm not exaggerating. Non-food (Fast Food) and processed food (chemical-laden hot dogs and chicken breasts) clog our guts, causing rotting bacteria to form and give us tummy aches (and many other digestive diseases).
Look for instead: Hormone-free, nitrite-free, and antibiotic-free meat. Organic, grass-fed beef is the best, free-range chickens, and wild-caught fish will nourish your family rather than poison them. Teach your children to like grilled veggies and make them the main course (fresh spices can make even the plainest veggies exciting)!
If you are not aware of how food affects the health of your children or yourself, eliminate these three food products for two weeks and see if you notice any positive changes in behavior (after they/you get over the shock of addiction). Nutrition one of the most important factors in health. Food is medicine. Set your family up for a lifetime of excellent health by the choices you make.
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
© 2016 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.