Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Helping Kids To Eat Healthy

I've been obsessed with reading food labels ever since the kids came. I'm particular about ingredients such as artificial colour or flavours, hydrogenated oil, MSG and sugar. I try my very best not to get foods that contain any of these or too much of them. My stand on getting my kids to eat healthy is this - if they eat at home, they are going to have to eat healthy stuff I buy or cook for them. There are lots of opportunities to eat junk, especially when dining out. So, mommy's in control when we eat at home. Just the other day, while lining up to pay for groceries in Jusco, a mother was paying for hers in front of me. She had her son (I'd say about 10-12 years old) with her. I was rather appalled at what she was buying for her family - instant noodles, canned food, candies, sausages, frozen nuggets and a few other things which I wouldn't think of buying for the kids. Yes, they are what kids love to eat but there are healthier foods kids can learn to love as well. These are some of the foods I have issues with... 

fatty bacon1. Processed Meat - Ham, sausages and bacon. My kids only get to eat them when we dine out. He gets a healthier option at home - thinly sliced meat (the kind they use for shabu shabu). Marinade them with some soy sauce and pepper and there you have yourselves meat ala ham! He loves them in his sandwiches. I haven't figured out how to make healthier versions of sausages though - anyone care to share?

2. Peanut Butter -  Most peanut butter contain hydrogenated oil (found this article by Fitness Mantra helpful) which is downright hazardous to our health. I'd try to get those that do not have this in them or make my own. All you need is peanuts and a blender. You can also use almonds. Don't expect it to be a smooth spread like the bottled versions. But, you'd get used to it.

3. Margarine - We have switched to butter for the same reason. Read this if you want to make an informed choice about buying butter or margarine.

4. MSG - Don't everyone just love instant noodles? I love them too, for a quick, yummy fill. But I'd think twice about giving them to my kids. My son is 4 years old and he has never tasted instant noodles. How sad is that? Sad but good.

5. Carbonated drinks - If I have to give my son any carbonated drinks, it'd have to be 100 Plus. No colour, less sugar. I stay away from the rainbow coloured ones if I can.

6. Canned food - Lots of preservatives in them.

A cyber friend of mine mom said, goes by the saying "no food-less food". I guess that pretty much sums up what I TRY to achieve as well in helping my kids to eat healthy.
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