Fresh is best for children
Ten years ago, most of us never heard of celiac disease or gluten, unless we were bread bakers. Today, going gluten free is one of the most highly talked about nutritional trends.
Some people choose to be gluten free, however there are those for whom being gluten free is imperative: people with celiac disease.
At Slather Brand Foods we advocate improved nutrition in our schools’ lunchrooms and cafeterias.
In Portland, Maine, one school is doing just that.
“Scarborough is among the Maine school districts that are adjusting their cafeteria options for a growing number of students who don’t eat gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, barley and triticale.
In addition to foods that obviously are made with those grains, gluten can be in condiments, luncheon meats and vitamins that contain additives like thickeners and binding agents.” Read the article.
We say, “Bravo,” to the Scarborough school district.
One of the things I’m super passionate about is what we feed our children. As a former teacher who spent many years in the classroom and also as a mother, I have committed Slather Brand Foods to campaign for better meals in the school cafeteria and at home.
The recent United Kingdom study conducted by Kate Northstone, of the University of Bristol and published in published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reports that feeding children processed foods may lower their IQ.
“A diet high in processed food at the age of three was linked to a slightly lower IQ at the age of eight and a half, suggesting early eating habits have a long term impact.” [BBC report Healthy diet ‘boosts childhood IQ’] Read the news about the study.
What can you do to offer fresh foods to your children and help them develop healthy eating habits and the best minds? Here are my suggestions:
- Model healthy eating. Children who see you eat lots of fresh vegetables and fish will want to eat them too.
- Grow fresh vegetables. Children who help grow radishes, broccoli, spinach and other vegetables will be proud of and want to eat what they harvest.
- Serve colorful steamed soft, veggies or soft fruits, in finger sized bites for young children just learning to feed themselves. They are so proud that they can master this new skill. However, consult your pediatrician for expert advice on which veggies, fruits and meats to feed them and at what stages.
- Eat fresh or as close to fresh as you can. Avoid commercially canned produce. You might even “put up” like my momma did when I was growing up. Home preserving of food is better and you can do it. Respected blogger Heather Solos of HomeEc101.com is a great source of information on home preservation of foods.
- Plan your meals. When you plan your meals, you’ll feel less desperate and won’t as easily fall back on commercially processed foods. Again, my go to girl is Heather Solos who uses a plan and shop cycle.
Photo credit: flickr user wwworks