With another school year right around the corner, we wanted to share an article from Dr. Royal Lee addressing nutritional deficiencies in children with some of our own helpful tips to prevent deficiencies and encourage good health year-round!
Adapted from: The Pen of Dr. Royal Lee
Children are the future of this world, yet the health of these younger generations are in great danger.
Parents should focus on nurturing their children by providing an environment with nutritious food, healthy relationships and plenty of activity and movement outdoors. Research suggests the lack of proper nutrition has resulted in diseases.
The best way to care for your children is to lead by example. Such as creating healthy habits, eating nutritiously and maintaining a positive attitude. In order for your children to be healthy, you must be too! Even though most of us understand how to eat nutritiously, parents are still allowing their children to consume processed food items. Unfortunately, big companies have utilized marketing to suggest they know best on how to feed your children. The reality is they trick most of us into buying packaged foods with nutrition claims.
The results of poor eating habits are unfortunately serious and pose great risk for the future of these generations. This includes obesity, cardiovascular disease, learning disabilities and behavior issues.
The information can be confusing and might leave you wondering what is the right thing to do. We are here to help and guide you on how to properly nourish your children! Take a look at some of the tips below.
Tips to Nourish Your Children
Eliminate All Processed Foods.
Leave out all food items with preservatives, food colors and chemicals. With all of the different snack foods lining the shelves of grocery stores, it can be tempting to pick up something quick that the kids will like. Stick to whole foods and healthy snacks like nuts, veggie sticks or berries.
Read the ingredients list.
We get it. Sometimes we don’t have time to cook and prepare every single meal and snack for our kids – especially when packing lunches during the school year! That said, when shopping for packaged goods, get in the habit of looking at the ingredient list first. There are two goals when shopping for packaged goods: the ingredient list should be minimal (aim for 5-7 ingredients) and the ingredients should be made from real, whole foods.
Genetically modified foods contain glyphosate. This harmful pesticide is toxic to the body – it is an endocrine, immune and gut disrupter. Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to avoid GMOs completely. Try to do your best and purchase organic foods when you can.
Consume 5-9 Servings of Vegetables Daily.
Kiddos are notorious for skipping out on vegetables. Try your best to incorporate veggies that your children will enjoy. You could try spiralized zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or even blended greens in a smoothie or pancake mix. Roasting and sautéing with sea salt is an easy and delicious way to eat more plant based foods.
Incorporate Healthy Fats with Snacks and Meals.
Fat is important for brain development and health in adults and children, not to mention, it provides energy and will keep your kids feeling satiated. Be sure to add healthy fats to meals. Include things like nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, olives and full fat coconut milk.
Eliminate Juice and other Sugar Sweetened Beverages.
Many kids and adolescents drink soda, juice or energy drinks. In fact, the amount of calories consumed from sugar sweetened beverages are higher than total calories from meals for some kids! Sugar sneaks into the diet easily. Just an eight ounce glass of grape juice contains over 30 grams of sugar. In a day, it’s suggested that kids should not consume more than 12 – 25 grams of sugar, nevermind more than 25 grams of sugar in one serving! Instead, try infusing filtered water with freshly squeezed citrus or give your kids sparkling and mineral water. A few ounces of coconut water on occasion can be tastier and a good way to stay hydrated as well!