Susie Rahaim: The toxic effects of feeding our children junk food

The state of our kid’s health is becoming a crisis in today’s society. Children are facing obesity at a staggering rate along with chronic illness and behavioral problems. We all need to wake up and make the connection between food and these diseases. This is not just a problem that comes from home and what we are feeding our kids, but from society’s influence. It’s becoming sickening how often kids today are bombarded with junk and toxic food and snacks. They don’t have the maturity and mind set yet to understand reading food labels or see the chemicals lurking inside.  All they know is it tastes good and they want it. It is not a surprise that more and more research is going into junk and processed foods and how addicting they are. Yes ADDICTING. Eating processed junk foods on a daily basis can cause your kid to become addicted and crave and want these foods again and again.  Some parents turn a blind eye because maybe they have a slim child and think because they are not overweight they are ok. WRONG! Realize that chronic sicknesses like colds, asthma, eczema, mood swings, acne, sleep problems, being under/overweight, irritable bowel and many behavioral problems stem from poor and nutrient deficient diets.

We need to always keep these words in mind when feeding our children

We need to always keep these words in mind when feeding our children

Why oh why are we still feeding and buying processed food products for our children (I can’t even say food because these products are fake and toxic)? Just this month Gatorade announced it would remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO), an emulsifier, due to numerous customer complaints after finding out the toxicity of the ingredient. This is an eye opener to all of us to read food labels. Did you even know this was in the drink ingredients or that you or your children have been drinking something that could cause neurological disorders and alter thyroid hormone? I understand we all have our struggles and our lives are busy but our kid’s health is paying the price. I want to send a wake up call to all moms, dads, teachers, and caregivers out there that WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT THIS!

It is not our children’s job to figure out healthy food choices. It is our job to set a good example.  For older kids who pick out their own snacks it’s up to you to teach them about good food choices and stock the house with healthy whole foods. You are packing the lunches, you are providing snacks, and you are doing the grocery shopping. It is not a ghost who has put the box of frosted flakes into your grocery cart! I have heard from many, “my child is extremely picky and will only eat certain things.”  Kids can be picky eaters but that is NO EXCUSE to only serve them junky snacks and fried chicken fingers. We need to try harder, get creative, and make time for cooking and prepping food.  Kids are flexible and will change if you lead by example and set the vibe for food, what’s cooking, and what to eat.

My girls at Pond Hill Farms in Michigan where we buy our fresh grass fed meat

My girls at Pond Hill Farms in Michigan where we buy our fresh grass fed meat

What is your go-to snack mid morning to give you an extra pep in your step?  Ok, many (me for sure) may have thought coffee and that’s ok for adults, but you probably did not think a bag of teddy grahams crackers did you? Or fruit snacks? Capri Sun drink? There is minimal to NO nutritional value in these products. The thing I often get so frustrated with is why do we think it is ok for our kids to eat it everyday? Their bodies are little and even more susceptible to the chemicals in these types of food. Treats are treats and we need to get back to making that distinction. These foods are not ok to eat everyday and your body and mind will pay for it.  This is something many doctors will not tell you when you come in with a chronic ailment.  LOOK AT YOUR CHILD’S DAILY DIET!  Many obese children are actually found to be malnourished; most likely because the fake processed foods they have been filling up on are actually not even really food at all and have no nutrients.  Yes, I am going to say it… feeding our kids this garbage on a daily basis is poisoning them slowly.

We all want our kids to be healthy, to ask for fruits and veggies (and actually enjoy them), to be fit and feel great, to breeze past winter colds and get out of the cycle of chronic illness. And, to understand why we eat REAL FOOD God gave us and avoid fake food.  We all want this for our kids! Am I right?  We need to stand together to diss the chips, fruit snacks, fast food, and graham cookies and cakes and insist on healthier options like apples, bananas, olives, carrots, cucumbers and celery plus many more.  I am asking you all PLEASE try to make this a priority at home, school, sports practice, play dates, etc. This is the right thing to do and teach! Your kids may be picky eaters but that does not mean they have to be unhealthy eaters.

To start here is a simple checklist you can do each day to help improve your child’s diet and get motivated.  Use your CMH bracelet as a helpful tool!

  1. Did my child eat at least 1-2 raw fruits and 3-4 raw veggies/greens (kids portions) today and then maybe more cooked?
  2. Did my child avoid processed chips, crackers, cookies, cakes today and swap out healthier choices such as raw sprouted nuts, seeds, homemade granola, or homemade popcorn?
  3. Did my child eat a healthy fat at each meal today?
  4. Did my child eat a protein serving at each meal today?
  5. Did my child drink only water today and avoid juice/pop? (exception would be homemade veggie or fruit juice made in a juicer in your home)
  6. Did my child take supplements today (I give my kids vitamin D, cod liver oil, multivitamin, and probiotic.)

If you can check all these off most days of the week you are giving your kids one of the best gifts you could give…The gift of good health.

Fitness and natural health blogger, Susie Rahaim, and her three girls

Fitness and natural health blogger, Susie Rahaim, and her three girls

We know processed junk and snacks are bad but its gotten to a point that most people are turning a blind eye and just excepting this. Our kids deserve better and we need to get back to the basics. Teaching about REAL, WHOLE, food grown from the earth and eaten as close to that state as possible.  Eating animals that were nurtured and allowed to live a life in their most natural state. We need to SAY NO to processed junk, fast food, and factory farmed animals (who actually produce much less nutritious meat). Start today to make the changes you need to in your home!

To contact Susie with questions or content suggestions, email sdrahaim@aol.com.

Comments

  1. Suzanne Croll says

    Thank you for taking the time to write this much needed article. My grand children eat so well and are so healthy. I am very proud of my daughter for doing all the things you talk about. Why do others think it’s hard to eat well? Keep up the good work!

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