By Cheryl Fagras
Most parents want what is best for their kids and feeding them a healthy diet should be a priority. So many unhealthy foods are marketed directly to children who have no idea the level of manipulation being used against them. Giant food, snack and candy corporations have our children in their sights, yet have zero concern for what these foods will do to their health. Obesity, type II diabetes, autoimmune, behavioral disorders, damaged immune systems, sleep problems, and many other health conditions can be directly linked back to what is fed to our unsuspecting children.
Here are some basic guidelines and tips on what to feed and not to feed your kids.
- Food labels in America are regulated to include “Nutritional Facts” in a bold big rectangle. There are no guarantees these facts are even accurate, but truly the most important part of the label is the ingredients. Food manufacturers know what people don’t want in their foods so they have clever ways around this. They are also not required to list any ingredients less than two percent of the contents. Thousands of ingredients can be hidden under “natural flavors” and other deceiving words. As one example, high fructose corn syrup is no longer seen on ingredients labels, but it never went away. Food producers were granted permission by the FDA to call it 12 different names. Other labeling issues include the USDA’s organic label. USDA is run by people in big food corporations and the certified organic label can be nothing more than a marketing scheme. Sometimes it really means the producers are putting out very clean products. Unless you know who and why they are selling these foods, caution is advised. Eating real food is a much better option.
- Beware of your child being socially pressured to belong to a food movement. Just because their friend is a vegetarian, vegan, keto, fruitarian etc. that may not be a nutritionally sound choice for them. Every child is different and eating a certain way to “fit in” is never a good idea. Parents need to lead the way in educating their children on what foods are right for their needs and why. Many new technologies are being used in the new virtual food industries. They claim these foods to be vegan or vegetarian, yet they are anything but nutritious. CRISPR and AI creating new DNA are just a few these technologies. Educate yourself so that you can educate your children.
Choose foods that have not be genetically manipulated or synthetically created that are regarded as a vegan/keto/vegetarian alternative.
- Try to retrain your brain to not use harmful foods or sweets as a “treat” or reward for your kids. So many parents traditionally will offer an ice cream cone or box of candy for that reward. It would be better to try and find new rewards like a favorite activity, playing a favorite board game or simply a bowl of fresh fruit. One has to wonder how so many harmful foods have been marketed or labeled as treats. Halloween is a great example of the term treat being used incorrectly. These “treats” are completely detrimental to your child’s health. Every October store shelves are filled with candy made with horrible sugars, artificial colorings, flavorings and a host of toxic ingredients. How could that be considered “a treat”? As parents we can do better in teaching our kids what a treat really is and isn’t.
- Whether it be fast food or a box of cereal, corporations are bribing our kids with toys or prizes tricking them into wanting that “happy meal”. Well, there is nothing “happy” or healthy about that meal or any of these other heavily marketed fake foods. Make no mistake about it, they are fake foods. Yes, their tummies will be full, but of what? There is zero nutrition in these so called “foods”. Colorful cereals, cookies and snacks are loaded with sugar, artificial chemicals and coloring as well as ingredients that are literally coated with pesticides. These ingredients have no place in their little growing bodies. These corporations spend billions trying to manipulate our kids via television, product placement in movies and now social media influencers. As parents we can stop it by simply hitting the off button or banishing these technologies to the level we can. We also need to educate our children on what “advertising really is” whether it be a commercial or an “influencer”.
We need to educate ourselves on what foods are nutritious in order to educate our kids. They deserve the best chance to live a lifetime of good health. Seek out foods that are grown locally, that are unsprayed with poisons, and provide balanced nutrition. Be an expert in what to feed or not to feed your kids.