It’s one of the many difficulties that comes with raising a child: getting them to eat healthy. With so many sweet, salty and most of the time unhealthy snacks out there, it’s hard to break the seal of not allowing your child a treat once in a while. But like many busy, stressed out parents, sometimes it is just easier for a quick, on the go snack that isn’t at all nutritious for little ones. It is my goal it to contribute to helping people make healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes, both for themselves and their families, including transitioning kids from an unhealthy diet to a healthy one.
Adults have a better understanding of why certain foods aren’t just harmful to your weight, but harmful to your health. Your kids won’t quite have that understanding, especially if they’ve been eating junk for a number of years. Older children (age 3 and older) who are used to eating sugary junk and fast food, will be a much harder sell than children just starting to eat whole foods. However, that task is not insurmountable.
There are plenty of healthy recipes on the Internet that cover everything from pizza, to pasta to cake. The trick is finding a recipe that is truly healthy, and not merely a little healthier than the restaurant or the bakery down the street. The trick is also knowing what to look for in the recipes.
Here are a few things you should avoid, and should not include in any healthy meal you’re preparing:
Sugar: It doesn’t matter if the sugar is straight up table sugar, or if it’s labeled “Organic Cane Sugar.” Sugar is sugar, and we need to stay away from it. However, there is a non-harmful, natural sweetener called stevia leaf extract powder. (I’d prefer you stay with organic stevia leaf extract power, but any is better than sugar).
Grain-based flour: Whether flour is just white flour or from whole-grains, grain-based flour is inflammatory, has no nutritional value, and is simply bad for you. Healthy substitutes include almond flour and coconut flour.
Artificial sweeteners: Like I mentioned with sugar, stick with stevia leaf extract powder to sweeten your dishes. Artificial sweeteners may not elevate your blood sugar like sugar does, but it kills the healthy bacteria in your stomach, and slows metabolism. Our health is based upon our stomach’s health, so if we’re messing that up by ingesting too many artificial sweeteners, than we’re putting ourselves and the ones that we love at risk.
Need some more help? Check out the Food Guide and Recipe Book, complete with 72 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with snack, appetizer and dessert recipes as well. The Food Guide will teach you the three phases of nutrition so that you can clean up your—and your kids’–nutrition, both at home and when you’re out.
Get your copy by visiting www.weightlossbypete.com/foodguiderecipes.
Pete Weintraub is a local permanent weight loss specialist. Visit www.weightlossbypete.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-659-0195 to learn more.