Tag Archives: children’s nutrition

Thinking Thursday

A little fun fact sharing Thursday to bring you just a few reminders to think about while you are shopping.  Some things to you might will want to open your eyes to.

Did you know:
  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheesedoubles your daily limit of deadly trans fats. (Which should be zero). It also contains yellow food colourings # 5 & #6 that have been linked to behavioral problems in children.

    Sure you want to tell them?

Did you know:
  • Lunchables the nachos/cheese dip and juice version hits your little one with 890mg of sodium, 21 grams of fat AND 25 grams of sugar. I know you want your little one to excel in science but not this kind of franken-food. Preservatives, fillers, sugar, bad oils…should I go on?
Did you know:
  • Appleshave quercetin, which is an antioxidant that regulates blood sugar. They also average about 5 grams of fiber AND they are portable! (had to throw a healthy one in just to make sure you’re paying attention!)

    An apple a day…

Did you know:
  • Nutella…oh beloved Nutella, why must you be so evil?? For 2tbsp you get 20 grams of sugar (OMG) and 11 grams of fat. The first couple of ingredients are sugar and palm oil. We all knew this one was bad…hello, it’s chocolate spread!! The deceptive marketing about the health benefits is just that….deceptive.

    Just say no to Nutella

Did you know:
  • Smartfood, well the name implies that you are making a good food choice…nope, trash this. 11 grams of fat, 330mg of sodium and almost 200 calories is not smartfood…it’s fat-food.

    Not so smart

Did you know:

  • Red bell peppers(had to add another healthy in) have 2x the vitamin C and 10x the vitamin A compared to the green pepper, which by the way is also incredibly healthy and beneficial.  Versatile, sweet, crunchy and not processed.

    This should ring a healthy bell

Did you know:
  • Overweight people are 50% more likely to develop heart disease?
Take away messages…
  1. Eat real food.
  2. If you are eating packaged/processed food, for the love of… please read the frickin’ label.
  3. Stop poisoning your kids…quick & easy usually means garbage in a package.


Don’t quit on your kids health!

Does it start in childhood…giving up, not trying, quitting? and does this lead to our adult behaviors??

When did we become so wishy-washy?  When did we let the children rule the roost….the tail wagging the dog?

Childhood obesity is a topic near and dear to my heart because I lived it. When I see overweight kids and hear their parents blame outside factors, it gets me seeing red.

A book came out in the spring called Bringing Up Bebe. A story of an American family who moved to France and the essence of the book is that there are less overweight kids in France because they eat better.

The book touches on parenting. The writer says that French parents don’t give in to buying chicken nuggets or fishy crackers because that is all the child will eat. Families eat real food that is prepared not handed out of a window to you in your car via a paper bag.

Children are given the same meal as the parents and that is that. There’s no ‘restaurant approach’.  1 meal, 1 choice.   The author also highlights that vegetables are served as the first part of the meal to ensure that everyone eats their vegetables. This is not a new trend in France. This is the way it has been happening for years. This is how these French parents were raised and are raising their kids the same way.

Now, I know a lot of you are saying, oh but they eat all of that butter, cream and other decadent foods….perhaps.  These kids have clean palates, they experience and know what real food tastes like. Whereas, over here these kids are raised on rainbow fishy crackers, processed mystery meat, and sugar.  Their palates are coated in chemicals, they have no idea what real food tastes like.  The kids in France don’t tote around bags of over processed crackers or bags of gummy snacks or endless amounts of juice out of a box that really isn’t juice.

*Spoiler Alert.  Real food, unprocessed food is filling and satisfying.  TAAA-DAAA!!! Shocker, I know, actually, you know it too! When you eat a real meal that isn’t full of chemicals or additives you rave about what a great meal it was.

Here’s my question after looking into this book…are kids of today and kids of tomorrow being raised to be quitters?

Here is a very typical dialogue that goes on each and everyday:
Mom: Eat your broccoli
Kid: No, I don’t like it, I only like chicken nuggets.
Mom: OK, I will make you some chicken nuggets.

Both are quitters.  The major difference is the child doesn’t know any better and the Mom doesn’t want her poor little manipulative angel to starve.

We-parents/caregivers are teaching our kids to give up and to not try.  You can’t blame it on society.  These life lessons are learned at home.

When did we give up the ability to TRY?

I have blogged about this before and I will ask again, do you think your kids will magically start eating broccoli when they are 25?  Heck no! Why would they?

Well, they might when they wake up with diabetes or are 100lbs overweight and SURPRISE you as their parent had a role to play in that. So you think you have ‘Mom guilt’ now for taking an hour to exercise, think how you will feel when your child is overweight as a youngster and is STILL overweight and sickly as an adult and you know that you played a role in that!

I think we have become a society of quitters – ouch, that was a strong one!

I see it each and everyday.  People come to me for personal training or come to boot camp and THEY QUIT because it is tough.  Getting fat and out of shape is super easy.

Eat crap + sit on the couch + watch mind numbing shows = fat!

Squats, lunges, push ups require effort and it takes more effort if you are carrying extra weight and so many people quit.  Everyone wants easy but easy is lazy. I can say all of this because I have lived it and I know.

It’s time to toughen up.

Toughen up as a parent – toughen up as a person and be healthy already.

Do you let yor kids eat this?

For me food is food. Actual, real food.  I admit, I am a supporter of “Green face” eating. Green face means that your food is grown or it has a face.  Don’t get hung up on the face part.

Lean sources of protein and an array of veggies.

That is the opposite of faux food.  That is the “food” that is all manufactured food.  It’s been created food.  It comes in many wonderful colours, has wonderful sounding names and generally has an incredible marketing budget behind it so that you’ll be more likely to buy it based on “pretty”.

One of the faux foods that tops my list is cereal. If there is a cartoon on the box, it is a red alert not to eat it!!

Food manufacturers are trying to lure parents in by saying that these sugary concoctions to start your day are “better” because they are now made with whole grains. Ummm, not really.  The great thing about labeling laws is that  you can say things (over inflate) that only need to be part true.  In that sugary bowl of mess, you might get 1 gram of fiber. Having an apple will get you a minimum of 4 grams of fiber.

Not so lucky are ya

Lucky Charms are on my hit list today. If you are feeding this “cereal” to your kids, you will be “lucky” if they don’t end up with a weight problem.
Let’s keep this real shall we.

It’s a bowl of candy you are serving to your kids. Brightly coloured marshmallows–that’s candy.

You jack your kids blood sugar sky-high first thing in the morning, so they crash at school.  Then they start looking for another hit of sugar to keep the high going #addict.

So, let’s go over what are in these brightly coloured sugar bombs. Yellow dye #5 & 6.  That sounds yummy…yellow dye. Studies have indicated that Yellow 5&6 as potential causes of behavioural problems and hyperactivity. Add that to the spike in blood sugar and it’s no wonder why ADHD is being misdiagnosed.

Here’s another tasty ingredient that is in your not so lucky charms.  Trisodium Phospate. This delish add-in is found in many toilet bowl cleaners….oh yes, toilet cleaner!  Maybe appropriate if your child has a potty mouth, but…

Now I know a lot of people will be calling me a fear monger……the truth hurts. If you want to stay in denial, well, so be it.  But, these manufactured foods are toxic and dangerous and consumption year after year will add up.

If you are investing money into your children’s future with academics, sports, RESP’s, then why, WHY, would you knowingly feed them garbage?

Take the time to make food, good food.  Healthy eating habits will last a life-time…do everything you can to make it a long life.

Healthy food choices

Well, it’s the middle of August and BTS is just around the corner.  BTS? (Back to school).

I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but I know in mine the school lunches are a mixed bag or love and hate.  I love putting great healthy meals together for them…I hate doing it day in and day out, times 3 children.  You start to lose options after October and it feels like you’re putting the same things in every day.

So, to help prepare you for the inevitable, “Mom, I don’t like that, or why can’t I have those?” I thought I would offer some options and what we do in our house to give you some help in good choices for your little ones.

Oh, and I know the pre-packaged, prepared with preservatives, probably not real food options are real easy and save time, but try to avoid these for obvious reasons.

Fruit cocktail in heavy syrup or Fruit?

Choose Fruit

Why: Fruit is nature’s candy! It is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Fruit is an essential part of any healthy diet. However, any fruit canned in syrup adds sugar that you don’t need or want + I don’t think it even tastes like fruit once you destroy it. A ½ cup serving of syrupy fruit cocktail contains 24g of carbohydrate and 23g of sugar. (Think of the teachers for goodness sake…20 kids times 23 grams of sugar = ARGHH)

Craisins, raisins or other dried fruit?

Choose Raisins

Why: Craisins, while sounding exotic and daring, are just sugar-coated dried cranberries and sunflower oil(crazy!). Need I say more?   As far as dried fruit goes, raisins are about the best.  Just like regular fruit as far as nutrition goes, but punched into a tiny little container.  Other dried fruit options are numerous, but beware honey or sugar-coated.  Secret tip…frozen green grapes!! Awesomeness

Pasta Salad or egg salad

Choose: Egg Salad

Why: Pasta salad, even healthier option pasta, is still just carbohydrates (sugar) which will just get stored as fat. Eggs are a good combination of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and if you use Olive Oil Mayo, you get a healthy fat! Egg salad is quick & easy to make.

More next week to help you prepare!!


Food Friday…Chicken and Pancakes

I am excited about the opening of the Smurfs Adventure today!!  Bringing back the childhood memories.  And on that note, here is a Blue recipe to start your day!  Too late for breakie now? No worries, this will make a great Saturday morning starter.

The second recipe is one that my kids ask for at least twice a week. They love it!!  If there are any leftovers, they can be used the next day for lunch in a sandwich or a salad! (See, make a little extra food at night and you have already started your next day plans right.)

Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free oats-would be better)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Put rolled oats in food processor and blend oatmeal to a fine powder.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except blueberries, into food processor and blend until batter forms (about 10 seconds).
  3. Heat skillet, pour batter into a hot skillet, making 4 pancakes and add your blueberries.
  4. Cook until lightly brown and then flip over and cook the other side until lightly brown.
  5. To make them Smurf-tastic mix the blueberries into all of the ingredients and blend!

Balsamic Chicken

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth(low sodium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (garlic lover over here, I used 3-4 cloves instead)
  1. On hard surface with meat mallet or similar flattening utensil, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Press lemon-pepper seasoning evenly on both sides of chicken.
  3. In large fry pan, place oil and heat to medium temperature. Add chicken and cook, turning once, about 7 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. I covered it while cooking and thus only had to cook it for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken to warm serving platter; keep warm.
  4. In medium bowl, mix together vinegar, broth and garlic; add to fry pan. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping up brown meat bits, about 2-5 minutes or until mixture is reduced and syrupy.
  5. Place chicken back into the mixture or pour mixture over chicken and serve.

Parenting 1 – 0 – Dumb

So, I’m in my favourite city in the world at a conference.  I’m lucky enough that my family was able to come with me so in the evening the other night we go to one of the best restaurants in the area.

Now this restaurant isn’t the best because it has the finest cuts of meat, or savory side dishes.  It doesn’t have an extensive wine list or even desserts that would make Betty Crocker jealous.  This restaurant is one of the best because it has a simple philosophy.  Goodness from the garden to you.

You walk in and are greeted by a 55 foot long salad and vegetable bar.  Four salads that are made like Crunchy Island Pineapple or Spinach and then an array of different greens, vegetables, dressings, oils, toppings, then more cold salads like tuna, or broccoli.

The next choice on the menu is one of six home-made soups with all fresh ingredients like the vegetable medley, turkey and lentil chili, cauliflower or chicken noodle with thumb size chunks of chicken in an almost clear broth!

Baked sweet potatoes, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, a couple of hand-made pasta choices to top it all off.  It is nothing short of spectacular for anyone looking for wholesome goodness, fresh food and no preservatives, additives, artificial colouring or flavours.

And the price…LOL…feeding a family of five for under 40 bucks!!

But, the real reason why I am telling you this is because the other night when we were there a family of four sat near us with two young children who were less than ‘well behaved’.  You might call them freakin’ horrible!!

Mom and dad seemed a little oblivious to their little devils.  And what did our star parents choose to satisfy their arc angels in training while surrounded by the finest God and farmers have to offer?? Mc Friggin Donalds!! That’s right two Miserable Meals for the Brother’s Grimm.

Now I’m not about to begin to tell someone how to parent, or tell a restaurant that maybe they shouldn’t allow someone to bring another restaurants meals in their building.  (I was going to say competition, but that’s like saying I’m competition for Michael Phipps in swimming.)

I wanted to grab the parents and shake them and say, “What are you doing bringing that crap in here and why would you feed it to your children when there is a buffet of incredible colours, flavours and tastes just waiting to be consumed?”

I’m so happy that my children will eat so many different vegetables.  No, it’s not their first choice to grab a broccoli tree, green pepper ring or a carrot stick, but I know that I can take them to a restaurant like this and they will eat well, fill up and not complain that there isn’t anything to eat.

We let them know from a very early age that vegetables were a big part of their diet and they in turn have responded by including four or five varieties in their top ten foods to eat at any given time.

This isn’t the first time that we have seen this kind of thing from parents in restaurants, at least this set didn’t pull out the dvd player to entrance the little darlings, and I know it won’t be the last.

But it makes me wonder, does the over prepared, processed and stabilized ‘food’ that some children consume have any parallels to their behaviour?  OK, truth is it doesn’t make me wonder at all…I know it has a lot to do with it.  Parents that allow their children to drink pop at breakfast, eat sugar for lunch and follow it all up with a healthy fixin of crap for supper are bound to have children that may require a little extra room.

That isn’t to say that children that are fed perfect diets won’t be highly active and bouncing off the walls from time to time, but it’s a whole different type of energy that’s causing that jolt.

Don’t be that parent.  Give your children every possible advantage as their young bodies grow and mature.  Give them great food choices that nourish and build.  Be that parent.

Are you a parent…or a push-over?

I will start this post by saying that if you aren’t up for a dose of truth and reality then you should probably close this page now and not read any further.

I was on vacation last week with my family and I have to tell you about our experience at a restaurant one night when we were out for dinner.  Actually there were two incidents that happened that night that left me stunned and enraged.

First, there was a family seated at the table next to us and the kids were wild!  Screaming, running around standing on their chairs, feet on the table…it was madness.  Now, as a parent I do understand that eating out can be a challenge…but that’s where parenting comes in to play.

As a parent it is your job to teach right from wrong…at the very least maybe give a good healthy, “Stop it!”  As these kids were getting more and more out of control the mom, who up to this point was doing her best to completely ignore her children, pulled out a portable dvd player from her purse and plopped it in front of these kids to quiet them.  The food hadn’t even hit the table yet!  From there they went into a trance.  The food came but they didn’t eat or drink and barely blinked.

I am guessing that it is likely a part of their normal routine–plop the kids in front of the magic baby sitter (aka TV) to eat a meal.  Who carries a portable dvd in their purse???  What has this family taught their kids?

Responsible parenting is tough.  It’s pretty much the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done.

The second incident that night stared a family that came into the restaurant with their little darlings in tow and in hand, a big bag from a fast food restaurant that starts with Mc.  OMG, really?

You are going to eat at a great restaurant with an incredible variety of healthy options but, you are bringing in junk food for the kids, how absolutely awful.  I listened as the mother explained to the waiter that the kids just wouldn’t eat anything but that faux food. My thought…wow, you have failed as a parent.  (My husband even took the opportunity to Tweet out the #fail).  You have taught them that it is ok not to eat healthy food.  You have laid the foundation for a lifetime of excuses, bad habits, potential health problems…way to go.

Again, parenting is tough and yes there will be times that kids don’t want to eat but if you give them fries, pop (soda for my American friends) and fried food as the alternative you are giving them a death sentence.  How are you going to feel when you child is diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes?  How are you going to help you kids cope when they become obese?  What favours are you doing for them by going to the drive thru for those fries??

It’s lazy.  Yup, I said it.  You aren’t up for the potential melt down?  You want to let the little ones control the menu options? Just spineless enough to let them get what they want as opposed to what they need? Toughen up as the parent, its a life or death matter.  Trust me, as a former obese kid/teen it was awful and it still stays with me.

I get emails and comments from people each and everyday from clients and friends telling me, “I don’t like that healthy food”, “salad is boring”, “just a little cheat is OK right?”   I could write a book on lame excuses.

So is it exciting and fulfilling to be overweight or unhappy with how you look/feel?  How fabulous do you feel when you can’t fit into your pants?  When you are huffing and puffing because you had to walk a flight of stairs, is that exciting?  Suffering from lower body joint pain because the stress your knees, hips and ankles are under supporting extra weight….that has to be a good time, right???

You have to eat real food and you have to take that 10 minutes to make it.  Is that so overwhelming???  puh-lease???

Excuses for not eating properly will give you obesity, knee pain, back pain, health issues (diabetes, high cholesterol, and on and on).

So when you eat that sleeve of cookies or have that cake or drive thru for your dinner think about it.  What are you doing? Why would you self inflict this on yourself or your family?

What do you want to teach your children?  That it’s ok to eat like crap?  It’s ok to ignore your kids and let the electronics watch over them?  Don’t make healthy choices…make convenient ones?

Or do you want to teach your children healthy choices for life.  That you care enough for them to make tough choices for their benefit.  That they are the most important people on earth and you want them to be great adults?  Remember, you are not raising children, you are creating responsible adults.

Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts.  Even, add some of your strategies for healthier kids, parenting skills, tips and tricks.  Love to know what you think!