Healthy Eating

Your Children and Sugar image

Your Children and Sugar

Your children and Sugar

Food for children is a constant battle.  Balancing the nutritional aspects of the US diet is not easy when the kids are being bombarded with images of sugar-coated nothings and fast food restaurant logos all over the place.  They are rewarded at school with candy.  Some areas they are allowed pop!  Most schools feed kids doughnuts, pizza and highly processed/refined foods.  They also give them juice and other drinks that are also high in sugar.  This is all within the food guided prepared by allopathic nutritionists.

Sugar is one of the worst addictive chemicals that we can put into our bodies.
It makes our bodies depend on the sugar.  This makes it cutting it down or out really difficult.  Sugar is everywhere either added or within the food itself.

Sugar is a simple carb that fuels every cell in your brain.  It gives the brain/body a rush because it turns into glucose in your bloodstream.  The problem is that this triggers a release of insulin to move that glucose into your blood stream and cells for energy.  Then you will experience a drop in blood sugar which leaves you tired more so, then you were before.

Unlike fruit or other good for you stuff, you are not receiving any health benefits like protein or fiber.  In order to get the sugar from fruit and veggies, your body has to work to break it down.  That means it takes far longer to get that sugar into the system and also enters more slowly and the body benefits from protein and fiber which also make our system work properly.

So, your body begins to crave more and more sweets to recapture that high.  Sugar activates the same regions in the brain that are “turned on” when someone uses COCAINE!!  As your body adapts to rely on the false sugar high, your addiction gets stronger and stronger.  Do not fool yourself with artificial sweeteners either.   They are a nasty all unto their own as well for a future discussion.

The US eats over twice the amount of sugar per day then they are supposed to.  Women need no more than 6 tsp. per day but most get around 19 tsp. or more.  A can of pop has 9 tsps or sugar or more depending upon size.  So, one can would tip you off the scale.  That does not include all the other sugars that creep into your diet without your knowledge.

Foods like French fries, bagels, breads, and pasta are highly refined starches and send your body far more sugar then a body needs.  So, we have to change our relationship with food.  By doing so, we also set good examples for our children who will start eating better.

Getting sugar out of the hands of our children can be a task.  But it is achievable.

To start, ban refined sugar from sight.  So, no more buying cookies or rice crispy treats and the like.  If it is not there, they will have to figure out something else to eat.

Buy glass jars, or steal some canning jars from your mother and put those on display in your pantry, fridge or on the counter.  Fill them with nuts, some dried fruit (not too much of these), fruit, chopped veggies, honey, and/or maple syrup.  Remove sugary drinks like juice, juice mixes, kool aid type powdered drinks and pop.

Instead put in some no added sugar beverages like herbal teas, carbonated waters with a piece of fruit added to it or pureed fruit.

Pack these items too for road trips so you are not tempted to stop on route and settle for gas station foods that are old and highly processed.

Here are some ideas:

Ants on a log.
-take a piece of celery, put natural peanut butter in it and put about 3 raisins only per slice.
You may use any nut butters or if you have a little one with allergies, tahini is wonderful and they will not know they are not eating peanut butter or eating peanut butter cookies that are home made.

Muddy Monkey
-take one soft tortilla, a nut butter, and a banana.
Put the butter on the tortilla and roll the banana within it.  If you so desire, there are also healthier options to “Nutella” out there that have far less sugar and you can also put that on to make a peanut butter, chocolate muddy monkey.

Fruit Leather

-take the fruit of your choice, about 1 3/4 cup once pureed

Water, lemon juice (if desired) spices such as cinnamon and/or nutmeg (optional)

Preheat your oven to 170 deg.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Puree any fruit of your choice removing seeds if it applies to the fruit of choice.
Puree until really fine.
Add spices as desired, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon etc.

Place the pureed fruit evenly on the pan.  Spread out really thin and even.

Bake for 4-6 hours turning the pan every hour.  This may be done sooner, mine takes 2 hrs.  Just check to see if the fruit is dry all over and especially in the middle of the pan.  You should be able to touch it.
Once dry.  Let cool in pan.  Do not remove the fruit from the parchment.
Take the parchment completely out of the pan.  Then cut the whole thing into 1-inch strips.  Roll them up.  Now they have a “fruit roll up” so to speak.

Apple Chips (other fruit too)

Preheat oven to 200 deg.
put racks in center.
Line baking sheets with parchment

Apple chips are great and tangy.  They are also super expensive.  If you have an apple tree this will help store some for longer periods of time and it will also be a great exchange for those who like a crunch.  IE like potato chips.

Hard apple of your choice 2-3 (I make far more!!)
¾ tsp cinnamon

Core apples if you want.  I do not.  The seeds fall out for the most part.
Cut very thinly with a mandolin or a sharp knife into 1/8 inch rounds.
Arrange apples (or pears) on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake 1 hour in the upper part of the oven. Then place them in the bottom for the second hour, hour and a half.

At that point, remove 1 chip and let stand for 2-3 mins to see if you like the crispness.  If you want crispier, add more time.  If not, turn the oven off LEAVING them in the oven while it cools for an additional hour.  If you feel you have over cooked them, then by all means remove them outright.
Can be used alone, as a topper for home made yogurt or ice cream.  Can last for a few weeks in a sealed glass container.

Home Made Popsicles

Do your kids waste fruit?  Do they never finish an apple?  Throw it in the freezer for a future treat.

When you have a good amount of fruit that you saved frozen, take it out.
IE: bananas, kiwi, cucumber, oranges, apples, pears, pomegranate, berries and much much more!
Thaw it and puree it with a food processor, blender, ricer or potato masher.
Mix it will a nut milk and if not sweet, add a bit of honey or maple syrup. You want it to be thin enough to spoon into a popsicle holder.
Pour into any type of mold and freeze.  Nothing like using what people once wasted on a nice treat for a hot day.

Claire Laporte

Foster Parent