Lean Body Fat Wallet
Discover the Powerful Connection to Help You
Lose Weight, Dump Debt, and Save Money
By Danna Demetre and Ellie Kay
(Thomas Nelson – Dec. 10, 2013)
The Top Five Nutritional Roadblocks
for Young Children
Before you get too concerned about fine-tuning your child’s diet, be sure you are addressing the top five nutritional roadblocks for young children.
ROADBLOCK #1: TOO MUCH JUICE
Train your children from an early age to quench thirst with water. When juice is given, dilute it with water and limit it to six ounces per day. Rather than juice, whole fruits will provide fiber that slows the release of fruit sugar into the bloodstream.
ROADBLOCK #2: TOO MANY HYDROGENATED FATS
Hydrogenated fats, found in most margarine and processed foods, are known to limit nerve transmission and ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease. Pay attention to how many foods your family regularly eats that come in bags and boxes, because that is where you will find most of your troublesome foods. Try to increase both snack and mealtime foods that are found in the perimeter of your grocery store in the produce, dairy, and meat/poultry/fish sections. These are the foods that are closest to the way God made them originally!
ROADBLOCK #3: TOO MUCH SUGAR AND SODA
Children are naturally drawn to sweet tastes, so we need to be selective and wise as to just how much sugar they are ingesting. As noted above, using sweet flavors creatively and in combination with healthy foods is ideal. Too many parents think it is normal to provide candy, cookies, or treats to their children every day. If that is your habit, it will be theirs as well. We all enjoy a little sweet indulgence, and if kept to very small amounts, most children and adults don’t suffer negative results. But if dessert or candy is a daily part of your routine, it may grow into a bigger problem for your child later. In addition to being very high in sugar, soda is also high in phosphoric acid (bad for the bones) as well as tin and aluminum. However, offering your child diet sodas as an alternative is even scarier since non-caloric sweeteners such as NutraSweet have been shown to potentially cross the delicate blood-brain barrier and possibly impact cognitive function.2 Consider one soda a week as a healthy compromise for older children who are likely to be exposed to sugary drinks sometimes on a daily basis. Most people don’t realize that a moderate sugary treat can actually diminish immunity (by impacting white blood cell production) for several hours after ingestion.
ROADBLOCK #4: TOO LITTLE FIBER
Read the labels on your bread, cereal, and cracker packages. Look for good sources of fiber with listings of whole grains and minimal preservatives. For bread, try to find two to four grams of fiber per slice. For cereals, aim for four to six grams per serving. On the subject of cereal: do not cave in! Most children’s cereals are so low in fiber and high in sugar that it is like starting your child’s day with a bag of M&Ms. Buy one favorite sugary, sweet cereal and let your child have a small bowl once a week as dessert!
(pg. 193) ROADBLOCK #5: TOO LITTLE PROTEIN EARLY IN THE DAY
Good sources of protein at breakfast and lunch are essential for high energy and diminished sweet cravings (this goes for you also, parents). Eggs, protein shakes, and peanut butter on whole wheat toast are all great sources of protein that will get the whole family off to a healthy start. The protein you plan for dinner is less important than what you serve for breakfast and lunch. Get creative and find fun and healthy ways to increase protein early in the day. Nuts, string cheese, and chicken strips are great choices.
Taking Responsibility with Grace
It is essential that as parents we realize we are laying health and wealth foundations for our children that will impact them for a lifetime. If we get lazy and follow the path of least resistance by caving in every time they ask us to buy something or letting them eat unhealthy treats, they will inherit poor attitudes and habits that will impact their physical and financial wellness for decades. On the other hand, we don’t have to be overly legalistic either. Find the balance between excellent choices and intentional indulgences that celebrate a sustainable lifestyle your children can live with long term.
Healthy Messages to Grow Healthy Kids
What words do you use that influence how your kids think about food, money, and living a healthy and responsible lifestyle? Words have great power. Most of us can easily recite some of the negative messages we heard over and over as a child that haunt us for a lifetime if we don’t learn and practice techniques to erase and replace those statements. Many adults lament being told things like, “You’ll never amount to anything,” “You aren’t smart enough to go to college,” “You are lazy,” “You are messy,” and “You are unreliable.” As we’ve already learned, we believe what we are told and what we tell ourselves most often. So the words you choose to use with your children (in every area of their lives) matter.
As you determine to help your children grow healthy habits, choose to become mindful of the way you speak about spending, saving, eating, and exercise. By intentionally choosing specific statements that build up your child’s positive attitude, to instill strong messages that can serve them well for a lifetime.
Here are a few examples of strong, positive self-talk messages you may want to try at home:
• We are a family that plans ahead and chooses where we will spend our money intentionally so we can meet our bigger goals, such as vacations, college funds, and a better home for everyone to enjoy.
• Your allowance allows you to practice three uses of money that are all important: saving, giving, and spending.
• We choose to eat healthy foods that help us grow strong because our bodies work best when they are given the best fuel possible.
• We eat “ fun foods” in small amounts because too much makes us feel tired and is bad for our bodies.
1. Quoted in What Every Child Needs by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuy Kendall (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 122.
2. Joseph M. Mercola, D.O., “Aspertame: Safety Approved in 90 Nations, but Damages the Brain,” September 26, 2012, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/26/aspartame-causes-brain-damage.aspx.
Stayed tuned next Friday as we start to look at Chapter 7: Fat Cell Fat Sale
Disclosure: These book excerpts were sent to me to share with my audience by Nelson books. I was not compensated for sharing these other that receiving a copy of the book for review. Posts do contain my affiliate links.