What the heck do we feed our kids these days? Do I give them milk? How about sugar? is it off limits completely and is this unrealistic? Vegetarian- is that the way to go? Okay so here is my long two cents about what to feed the kids.
Okay Let’s Start With the Big One- Junk food
When we walk down those middle aisles of any grocery store, you can see that there are a lot of foods specifically targeting kids. Sugary cereals, cookies-lots of different kinds, ice cream, sodas, chips, baked goods, so much junk. Walk out of the grocery store and you can usually see the golden arches up the street or at least close by. Well I don’t think a clown should be the one to teach my kids or yours about what good food is all about and it sure does not look like something called the Happy Meal.
Unfortunately, it is no secret that diabetes type 2 and obesity are skyrocketing in kids and are being diagnosed at a younger and younger age.There must be a connection to what our kids are eating and these findings.
Most parents probably agree that basic foods like enough healthy protein and eating enough vegetables every day are important basics for our kids. However, the issue of what is nutritious for our little ones to eat is not easy or clear cut anymore. Our children are often involved in so many activities like baseball, swimming or ballet that there is not enough time for parents to make homemade meals anymore and so families are forced to eat out at fast food places where the food is mostly devoid of nutrients.
Something else that has become common place in our lives is that many children connect food with being rewarded. Early on we find ourselves rewarding our kids with birthday cakes and candy, going out to eat for some achievement or another and giving treats for a bedtime snack along with having a dessert like a brownie, after their healthy dinner. Have you heard yourself say to your little one – eat all your vegetables and you can have some ice-cream. I used to say just that.
So add up all the above factors and add a lunch to your child’s day, that is at least partially empty of nutrients, and you will find your kids are exhausted when they get home from school. They are too tired to go out and play and instead go on their computer, tablet or play on another of their electronic toys while eating a bag of chips and drinking a soda.
With your busy life and junk food everywhere around you and your children, what is a health conscious Mom to do? It is all so confusing too. I struggled with these exact same issues myself for years. ( I have 2 daughters). I will come back to discuss what I finally did about my children and their eating.