What is the typical American diet doing to us and to our children? See below for the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of key nutrients that our body needs. These were developed to help us keep our bodies running as well as possible, but our current culture in America has lead us to turn a blind eye from eating to nourish our bodies to just, well... eating.
The problem affects us all, but think about a child's development system and risk of illness when they are NOT getting the proper nutrients.
Most of us start off being careful when our children are infants. Carefully ensuring that their first baby food experience was of a vegetable as opposed to something sweet. So, deep down we know that when we get rushed and pop into fast food joints or warm up a microwave meal that our kids are most likely not eating as nutritiously as possible... and my goodness we ARE busy!!
The pressure on parents is crazy! But, as usual in life we have to choose to focus on the important things. Ensuring your child gets proper nutrition is one of the most important things we can do as parents... in fact it is a serious matter of life and death. Unfortunately we are surrounded by ads making detrimental foods seem appealing & even healthy. But come on... we KNOW better, right?
There are 4 main mistakes I want to point out when it comes to our children (and possibly our own) consumption:
1. First of all we eat too much animal protein. Notice the daily allowance for Protein is only 50 grams. Most Americans consume more than twice this amount. Excess animal protein contributes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and are exactly what kidney stones are made of.
2. Secondly, we get our calcium (shown as Ca - 1,000 mg) from the wrong source. Although cow's milk does have some calcium (300 mg per cup) it is also acidic (like all animal protein)... so the very calcium that your bones need to stay strong it uses to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Then once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so the surprising result of drinking cow's milk is an actual calcium deficit. Besides that, animal milk has been linked to prostate issues and pours way too much estrogen into our bodies. There are plenty of other delicious ways to get calcium: almond milk, cashew milk, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, sesame seeds, spinach, brazil nuts, green beans... and more! Cow's milk also contains casein which has been linked to our top killers; heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
3. Finally, we've got to STOP the sugar insanity! Have you ever tracked the amount of sugar that your kids (or maybe even you) consume? It's astonishing! According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons (men) and 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day (women). Children should have LESS THAN 25 grams a day. You know that Unicorn Frappuccino you bought at Starbucks? Well, a grande (16 oz) contains 59 g of sugar (more than 5 donuts), a can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar (almost 4 donuts), a 32 oz bottle of Gatorade contains 56 grams of sugar... and we haven't even started on FOOD yet!
As we all know by now, sugar feeds cancer cells... and we ALL have abnormal cells in our bodies which, when fed by sugar grow into cancer tumors!
In fact, there are three things cancer needs to live: refined sugar, lack of oxygen, and an acidic environment.
4. This brings me to my 4th point... teach your children to eat their veggies! ALL vegetables are alkaline in nature and they are also chock full of nutrients and hydration. The amazing thing about plants is that they have a very sophisticated defense system and when we consume whole plant foods our immune system takes in that sophisticated system in order to run smoothly and heal our bodies.
Simple changes can make the world of difference. In this current day and age, many children will not outlive their parents. CLICK HERE for an article by Dr. Linda Carney. NO MATTER the push-back it is vital to your child's life and quality of life to consume proper nutrition. Start by making the changes yourself and educating your children... they might surprise you!