Kids Are People, Too
Wasn’t that a cheesy 80s phrase? The saying is true. Yet, when it comes to food, we treat kids like they deserve less than adults. Like somehow, their growing bodies require less nutrition, vitamins, and minerals.
In other words, we accept the crap that’s on the kids menu. Why? Because it’s easy? Because that’s what we’ve taught kids they like, even at an early age?
If you’ve taught your kids crappy eating habits at a young age that’s on you. As Fooducate’s blog cites, “Eating habits are established as young as 12-24 months.”
No doubt you love your kids more than anything. Do them a favor, read this article on getting kids to eat veggies. Start better eating habits now.
The Most Common Kids’ Menu Items Are the Reasons to Avoid It
1. Hot Dogs
- Highly processed
- Contain nitrites and nitrates (suspected carcinogens)
- Most don’t contain real meat
- High in sodium
- Not a good source of fat
- Not a real food source
Check out my Leave the Extra Pounds at the Memorial Day Picnic for healthier hot dog ideas.
2. Chicken Tenders
- Many don’t contain real chicken
- Breaded (a refined carbohydrate that turns to sugar in the body)
3. Peanut Butter and Jelly (on white bread)
- White bread is a refined carbohydrate that turns to sugar in the body
- Most processed peanut butter and jelly products used contain sugar
4. Macaroni and Cheese
- Macaroni pasta is a refined carbohydrate that turns to sugar in the body
- The cheese is often a highly processed cheese product that’s not even real cheese
- Not a good fat source
- The best of all items, hamburgers are usually real meat. Just be sure high quality meat is served.
- Any white bun, however, is a refined carbohydrate that turns to sugar in the body
Kids Needs Veggies, Whole Grains and Real Meat Like Adults
For the most part, kids should eat smaller portions of what adults eat. There will be occasions where children don’t like the taste of certain spices that adults eat. When did we start throwing out the real food with the spice when it came to kids’ food?
If you choose to feed your kids highly processed foods that contain sugar and/or turn to sugar, don’t complain when they act hyper and out of control and then lose all their energy, become whiney and tired. That’s called a sugar spike, followed by a sugar crash. Their little bodies care for it less than yours does. What’s worse? You allowed it for them – they can’t make those decisions for themselves yet.
We develop eating habits from the time we start eating. Do your kids a favor. Teach them how to eat to support their health to feel great as early as possible. The older we get, the harder it is to change any bad habits we’ve acquired. Agreed?
Karen Kalin saysNovember 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm
I completely agree! When we went to Disney, for all of the kids menus, it was all of the above mentioned foods! My kid likes these but kept asking for salads, broccoli, sushi and other healthy things that were not fried. For a large organization that is so kid-friendly, they need to change their tune on kid-food! If fast food places are being pressured into offering healthy selections, why can’t Disney and other places? We need to change the idea that kids have a limited palate.
Angela saysDecember 7, 2011 at 10:30 am
That’s really interesting Karen. I think we have to start asking restaurants for better food for our kids to get them to change their menus. They’re under the impression the good-for-you food won’t sell. What a shame!
Thanks for your insight. Very helpful!