Kids, especially younger ones, will eat mostly what’s available at home. That’s why it’s important to control the supply lines – the foods that you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks. Follow these basic guidelines:
Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine, aiming for the goal of 5 servings a day.
Make it easy for your child to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat. Other good snacks include yogurt, peanut butter and celery, or whole-grain crackers and cheese.
Serve lean meats and other good sources of protein, such as eggs and nuts.
Choose whole-grain breads and cereals so your child gets more fiber. (No Wonder Bread and Cocoa Pebbles.)
Limit fat intake by avoiding deep-fried foods and choosing healthier cooking methods such as broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming (bake chicken and pork chops).
Limit fast food and other low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don’t completely ban favorite snacks from your home. Instead, make them “once-in-a-while” foods, so your child doesn’t feel deprived. Limit sugary drinks, such as soda, Kool-Aid, Tang and other fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and milk instead.
Okay, women, I have to ask, “What are you feeding your families?” You are what you eat!!!!! Do you remember that old saying? Look at the food you are putting into your child’s mouth. French fries and chicken nuggets are saturated in grease. Grease and water do not mix right? Think of your blood like water. When grease is put into your system it doesn’t dissolve, it gets stuck on the walls of your arteries. That can lead to your heart causing your arteries to build up film and eventually clog, just like a pipe in the sink with too much grease in it. This causes heart attacks. You won’t put grease down your sink, why? It will clog the pipes right, but yet, you will put it in your body. As if there are no pipes to clog inside of you. What about your arteries? You need to think of them as pipes. The pipes down the sink you can replace, the ones in your chest you are stuck with for life.
I can’t front, I was raised on the same food as you but now I’m an adult. I looked around at my forefather’s and analyzed why they passed away: cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, sugar diabetes. It’s in my bloodline, so I have to be smarter. I have to take their mistakes as a learning experience and not pass those poor eating habits on to my child. Not saying I’m going to cut soul food out of my life but learn how to cook it a different way and have a variety of different foods.
Teach your children that salads can be a meal. I am amazed at the number of black people who honestly don’t eat salad. In fact, there are a lot out there that have never even had one. Also, why are we so quick to take a laxative instead of eating foods that are high in fiber that would keep us regular? We all know the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away. They say that because the skin from the apple scrapes the intestinal lining as it goes down in our system, pulling away any build-up and helping the colon to remove it from our system.
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between organic vs. non-organic foods?
Organic foods have no hormones, added antibiotics or synthetic additives. Organic foods typically contain the same amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals as non-organic foods. The foods that are organic contain fewer pesticides, fewer multi-drug resistant bacteria and no genetically modified organisms or foods. The producer has to have the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) verify their growing practices and approve all of their production methods. The only upside of eating non-organic is it’s cheaper. Everyone doesn’t understand whether you’re eating non-organic or organic, it is still majorly important to wash your fruits and veggies.
When I come home from the grocery store, I typically whip up a quick vinegar soak with 90% water and 10% white vinegar, then I soak my fruits and veggies in it. I stir them around and rub the skin gently. Then, I rinse them thoroughly. When I am washing strawberries and blueberries, I tend to let them soak longer and rub less, so I don’t damage the skin.
*I even wash the outside of a banana because you hold it with your bare hands.
What food related questions do you have? The answers may be featured in an upcoming blog post.