The Cost of Poor Food Choices on Our Health

It’s back to school time and parents have returned to hectic, early morning schedules, not to mention tons of after-school activities. At times, it’s overwhelming to make sure everyone is headed in the right direction. As parents, we’re entrusted with the responsibility of helping our kids become the best they can be. This includes providing the greatest opportunity to establish good habits in order to maintain excellent health and development. Therefore, what we feed our kids becomes paramount. We are their first role models in all aspects of their lives, so what we provide for each meal is gold for their future.

At times it seems impossible to get kids fed and out the door, let alone provide a healthy well balanced meal. Companies like Oscar Mayer and Kraft who are owned by Philip Morris, realized the struggles of working parents and in the 1980s ingeniously developed Lunchables. They realized that by adding the right amount of sugar, fat, and salt to their processed, boxed products they would attract many harried parents and hungry kids. Lunchables provides a variety of options, from ham sandwiches to make-your-own “pizza.”  Almost all of these products exceed the daily allowance for salt, fat, and sugar. Some have up to 13 teaspoons of sugar and 1130 milligrams of sodium in one serving. Although these are quick options, I suggest they are not really “food” options.

Good Nutrition is Essential for Healthy Weight Management

Children need a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and protein to grow their brains, bones, and muscles. Fat cells start developing in infancy and then have a growth spurt in puberty. Puberty and adolescence is a tricky time in human development. What a child is exposed to at this time in their lives will have a significant impact on their adulthood. Good nutrition is essential for the prevention of disease later in life, and it’s the cornerstone of reaching the fullest in health potential and healthy weight management. Having products like Lunchables undermines all of this. The addiction to fat, salt, and sugar begins with the addition of products like these into the daily lives of children.

So if Lunchables are not an option, what are parents who are pulled in multiple direction to do? In our family, the crock pot has become our best friend. Every Sunday we cook chicken or turkey in the crock pot and we use it in sandwiches and salad for all three of our kids’ lunches throughout the week. We stock up on fruits, nuts, and yogurts. In the morning we all take our Isagenix protein shake on the go. It’s a complete meal with 23 grams of protein, probiotics, enzymes, and minerals. Also, anyone on a budget can find well-priced conventional and even organic produce at places like Trader Joe’s and Smart & Final. Encourage your kids to participate in daily activity. Replacing iPads, phones and computers with a book is a huge step in the right direction. Make these simple changes and watch your kids soar to great heights.