πŸ‘‰ What Not to Pack Your Kid For Lunch

My daughter was working in a camp for preschoolers this summer and mentioned that she couldn’t believe what most four- and five-year-olds were being given for lunch. So, my ears perked up and I asked her what she meant.

Here’s a sampling of the lunch items she mentioned, or as I affectionately call it “what NOT to pack your kid for lunch”……

  • Doritos & Goldfish came in at number one. I mean, does neon-orange, artificial food coloring raise any read flags for you at all??
  • Tied for 2nd place: Potato chips, Pretzels, Cookies and the generic all-inclusive “Candy.” If my parents ever packed me candy for lunch as a kid, I would have fallen out of my child sized cafeteria chair — as opposed to my current child-sized office chair.
  • Fruit snacks. Not a fruit. An entirely fake food. Fake food coloring. Massive amounts of sugar. Zero nutritional value. You might as well call it “Not a Fruit at all” Snack.
  • Cheese sticks (processed dairy with food coloring made from the milk of cows who are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics). Let’s dub this Stick of Estrogen and Penicillin.
  • Jelly on White Bread or the obfuscating Whole Grain Bread. So, sugar smeared over chemical and pesticide sprinkled processed wheat and preservatives. YUM!
  • Lunchables. Who BUYS THAT??? Processed meat. Processed white bread. Processed velveeta-like fake cheese “product.” And some processed wheat sticks. You might as well eat the plastic processed packaging it comes in. That might be less poisonous.

How about Drinks?

  • Fruit juice which by the way is basically soda without the carbonation. Apple, orange, cherry, fruit-punch, lemonade — all plain SUGAR.
  • Chocolate (sugar) milk.
  • Notably absent is water. After all, why SHOULDN’T a hydration beverage pack as much sugar as a candy bar or ice cream sandwich?

There is literally not ONE item on that list that’s an actual food. There is NOTHING that is giving growing kids the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, healthy protein or essential fats that they need. All you get here is calories, massive amounts of sugar, preservatives (which are chemicals that kill living things) and tons of pesticides (also kill living things). The level of sugar represented in these foods is mind boggling. And when kids eat a lot of sugar and snack constantly, they will experience serious highs and lows in their blood sugar levels that will cause any kid to be moody, inattentive, distracted, hyper and annoying.

I really felt like there was no hope.

The children of this nation are getting sicker and sicker. They are suffering with more obesity, autoimmune disease, diabetes, chronic pain syndromes, depression, anxiety, mental disorders, autism, asthma, eting disorders, ADHD and allergies than ever before.

There are SO many reasons for this but one of the biggest issues is related to what we are feeding are children and what we AREN’T feeding them.

I’m sending out a clarion call to my email list to forward this to anyone with children. Let’s call it Six Facts You Should Know About Food and Your Kid’s Health

πŸ‘‰ Six Facts You Should Know About Food and Your Kid’s Health  

As a nation our kids are getting sicker and sicker.

27% of U.S. children live with chronic health conditions. The state of health among U.S. children doesn’t live up to what we expect for a child living in one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

Chronic illnesses in children doubled from 12.8 percent in 1994 to 26.6 percent in 2006 according to a 2010 JAMA study. This disturbing trend confirms another Harvard study that found U.S. children were sicker today than their parent’s were. Below are the most common childhood chronic illnesses on the rise:

  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Heart Disease
  • Juvenile Diabetes
  • Obesity

Recent statistics from the National Cancer Institute show that Americans are not doing well regarding meeting minimal requirements for getting in a healthy diet. The NCI concluded that the food we eat lacks the vitamins, minerals and quality fats and protein needed to support healthy development and growth in children.

  • 3 out of 4 Americans don’t eat a single piece of fruit a day
  • 9 out of 10 do not consume the minimum recommended daily intake of vegetables
  • 96 percent don’t eat three servings or more of greens in a given week
  • 1 in 4 eat fast food every day
  • A third eat more packaged food than fresh food
  • 10 billion donuts are consumed in the US every year

So what should we as parents do?

Remember, who’s the boss. Your kids can’t go food shopping on their own. At least not until they are older with disposable income. They can’t buy crappy, unhealthy, processed food by themselves.

If it isn’t in your house, it won’t be in their mouths. Not at least until they are able to walk to Rite-Aid by themselves and use their allowance to buy Pringles and Gatorade like my son does. I might start a campaign to have that stuff behind the cash register counter, next to the cigarettes.

They eat what you give to them. Start looking at how much packaged food is part of their daily intake. If it comes from a box or a bag and doesn’t go bad within 1 week, it’s likely not “real” food and a growing kid should not be eating it, at least not daily.

Avoid snacking all day long. Kids need three meals a day. If they have to eat snacks then they are eating too much sugar with their regular meals or skipping their regular meals in exchange for dessert, which is what these snacks are.

Here are the top six recommendations to help your kids grow and thrive free of disease. You can train your children to develop a taste for actual food by not getting them used to eating only the fake sugar-laden, choc-full of chemicals food substitutes.

πŸ‘‰ Eat One-Ingredient Foods Only

So if you read more than one ingredient on a box or a bag, then put that back on the shelf. Chances are that most items with more than one ingredient are processed and full of chemicals and sugar.

Here are some one-ingredient food examples: Apples, carrots, chicken, eggs, lettuce, olives, fish, sweet potatoes. Get it?

πŸ‘‰ Get Rid of Sugar

Kids develop a taste for “white” food only (pasta, bread, bagels, chips, dairy products, sugar-added yogurts and cereals) because that’s what you give to them. Sugar and processed carbs are VERY ADDICTIVE. They also will narrow your kids taste preferences away from vegetables and even fruit.

πŸ‘‰ Ditch the Juice and Drink Water

Talk about a sugar rush. Drinks should be for hydration. But seriously — juice is soda without the carbonation. Would you give your kid a Coke for breakfast? Well that’s what orange juice is. So stop.

Water, seltzer, or unsweetened herbal teas. Throw in a splash of juice if you want for a tiny bit of flavor.

πŸ‘‰ Eat Food that Comes from the Ground

How many vegetables does your kid eat a day? Corn and potatoes don’t count by the way. If “none” is your answer, we have some work to do. The fiber in vegetables feeds your good bacteria and helps the body detox. Vegetable fiber also keeps your sugar level stable and give you tons of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Aim for 5-7 servings of veggies a day and 1 or 2 fruits. Notice it isn’t the other way around. Fruit can be pretty sugary, so focus on berries that are tasty but lower in sugar and higher in phytonutrients and fiber.

πŸ‘‰ Get Plenty of Healthy Fat and Avoid “Non-Fat” or “Low-Fat” Anything

You know what your brain is made of? Fat and cholesterol. You know what your kids should be eating a lot of? Healthy fat and cholesterol. Fat has gotten a bad rap because the food industry was interested in demonizing anything that wasn’t sugar or their addictive high fructose corn syrup. And the snacking industry loves to put sugar and HFC syrup in food because it is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE and makes you want MORE. That’s good for business. Bad for your health, but great for business!!

Healthy fats include: olives, olive oil, avocado oil, avocado, coconut oil, butter, ghee, nuts, nut butters, wild fatty fish. Be liberal with this stuff.

πŸ‘‰ Eat Organic and Lose The Pesticides

Check out the EWG Dirty Dozen list of top 12 fruits and veggies to buy organic. Also, it is seriously worth the money to invest in clean, grass-fed, responsibly-raised meat and chicken and wild fish. The conventional meat you buy is fed pesticide-coated grains, and are pumped with antibiotics that kill beneficial bacteria. Check out Butcher Box — a subscription delivery service that gets you better quality meat and fish at reduce prices.

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For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website www.drsadaty.com.  Hey, look! You are already here. 

Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendation, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!