The summer has flown by too quickly and now it’s time for kids to go back to school! Parents are stocking up on school supplies to prepare their children with all the necessary tools they need for class. One thing that is often overlooked during the hustle and bustle of getting our kids off to school in the morning is making a balanced and healthy breakfast. It doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of preparation to be healthy. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it literally means “breaking” the “fast” and therefore it is crucial to fuel properly in the morning or else you will literally be “running on fumes” (low energy, no fuel).
Food that is healthy does not have to take on the stereotype of “tasting like cardboard.” Many parents will feed their children a glass of juice (approximately 20-35 grams of sugar per 8 ounce glass) paired with a choice of convenient breakfast food (i.e. Pop tart, donut, croissant, cinnamon roll or sugary cereal such as Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch to name a few) which is a recipe for disaster. Many parents are unaware of the drastic effect that these foods have on blood sugar levels. These foods are packed with refined sugar and contain no nutritional value (i.e. fiber, vitamins or minerals). Excessive amounts of refined sugars are directly linked to weight gain, childhood obesity, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and acne.
Forbes stated that in 2012, Americans consumed about 130 pounds of sugar per year (equivalent to 765 grams of sugar or 191 teaspoons) and the number continues to rise. Americans consume 10 times more sugar than other food additives. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 teaspoons of sugar per day. The average adult consumes 22 teaspoons (88 grams) per day and the average child consumes 32 teaspoons (128 grams) per day. Sugar is highly addictive, so the more you have, the more you want. It is a vicious cycle that can be broken by making lifestyle behavior modifications and incorporating healthier foods and beverages on a regular basis.
There are so many healthy foods that children enjoy and believe to be delicious, but are not consumed often enough. It is just about being aware as a parent, doing your research and learning how to read a nutrition facts label. It is important to avoid all foods with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and partially or fully hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and foods high is saturated fats. These unhealthy fats (i.e. trans and saturated fats) contribute to increasing LDL (bad cholesterol), clogging arteries and increasing heart rated conditions.Read More...