Friday, October 3, 2008

What are we Feeding our Children?

I love my kids. I try to feed them what I think is healthy food. It's just too scary looking at all of the news reports about obese children or kids with juvenile diabetes. I don't want to take those chances!

One thing I don't do is give my kids soda to drink. They have drank soda, but it's only if we are somewhere with nothing else for them to drink, or when the Nana gives it to them (Yeah, I know, Nana!!!). We don't buy kids candy. We may get some chocolate every now and then, but we eat it in moderation (Unless mama has had a rough day...). We don't eat out much. Hardly any fast food (maybe once a month, less if we can avoid it.). My husband and I hate eating fast food, actually. I know, strong word, BUT we mean it! I make nearly all of our meals from scratch. So I know the sodium contents, the sugar contents, etc... (We also buy things like Unsweetened Applesauce, and No Salt Added Canned Veggies, when we can.) And I am by NO MEANS saying we eat like we need to be eating, but we do try.

In the mornings, when I get my kids up before school, I will either make them something like Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries, Eggs, Cheese & Sausage, French Toast... we do this like 2-3 times a week. The rest of the time they get cereal. I will pair their cereal with O.J., with Yogurt, Apple Juice, etc... Our cereal choices are as follows: Cheerios, Honeynut Cheerios, Life, Rice Krispies, Special K with Strawberries.... And if we get a cereal that may have a little more sugar in it (but was nearly free!) then we mix it with something with a lot less sugar, like one of the above cereals. So they really think they are getting a treat! Less sugar cereal was a must with my husband from the beginning. I, on the other hand would buy myself the "Sugar- FULL" cereal, until of course I started having bloodsugar issues. (hmmmm.....)

I just came across a report by Reuter's that talked about the sugar content in cereals. They said there are a lot of US cereals that are more than HALF SUGAR! There are 11 popular cereals that have as much sugar as a glazed doughnut.

This Reuter's Report said, "Post Golden Crisp made by Kraft Foods Inc and Kellogg's Honey Smacks are more than 50 percent sugar by weight, the group said, while nine brands are at least 40 percent sugar. Honey Smacks has 15 grams of sugar and just one gram of fiber per serving while Kellogg's Corn Pops has 12 grams of sugar and no fiber."

They also said, "The most healthful brands are Cheerios with three grams of fiber per serving and one gram of sugar, Kix and Honey Nut Cheerios, all made by General Mills, and Life, made by Pepsico Inc's Quaker Oats unit."

They also said that kids who poured their own bowls, tended to pour 50-65% more that the suggested serving size. Which means that much more sugar!

So what can we do? The report says, "Be sure to read the product labels, and choose cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar and sodium," Gayle Williams, deputy editor of Consumer Reports Health, said in a statement."

They also said, and I think most of us already know, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, check out the cereal in your cupboard. Our Cheerios box says it has 1 gram of Sugar, 3 grams of Fiber and 190 mg of Sodium. I also have ( a sale item) GM Mickey Mouse ClubHouse Berry Crunch. It says on the box it is a good source of Whole Grain, but it has 9 grams of sugar, 2 grams of Fiber, and 180mg of Sodium. The sugars are a little high, but the rest sounds OK. Mixed in another cereal, it will still be a treat.

So, do your kids a favor, watch their sugar intake!!! You don't want them to have to deal with Diabetes, obesity or a whole range of Autoimmune diseases (which your Autoimmune System CAN be affected by the ups and downs that your bloodsugar DOES DO when you eat high amounts of sugar!).

Your children will thank you someday!


Bovee Brigade said...

What a good post! Our family enjoys cinnamon shredded wheat. It does have 12 grams of sugar (which I didn't notice until now) but it also has 6 grams of fiber. That's what I generally look for in a cereal, high fiber. We eat mostly that and oatmeal or eggs and toast. But lately, I've been eating whatever sounds good. :)

Megan said...

I better not comment...we don't do a good job in this area!!!

Luckily Cheerios and honey nut cheerios have been on sale so much we have a lot of those!!

Also I bought Nutri grain bars thinking they should be good (Shad loves these for breakfast) but I just looked and it has 13 sugars, 1fiber, and 120 sodium. Thats worse than most cereals. Anyway now I'll have to start looking!!

Sarah said...

If any of you give your kids yogurt, check out the nutritional info on that... I was extremely shocked and dissapointed when I looked at the info. I have been buying the boys "kids" yogurt, on sale. It has more sugars that the worst cereals and there is less than 1 gram of fiber.... very dissapointing. I will have to do some researching in this department!

Genesa said...

Good post Sarah, lot's to think about! It's important to do, but not always easy! I know most yogurts have high fructose corn yrup which makes no sense!