Right now your family is in danger! They are constantly surrounded by weapons of mass destruction, in fact they are on almost every street corner in our country. I’m not talking about drugs and guns! I’m talking about donuts, cheeseburgers, gummies, and potato chips! Snacks!
“Our kids are living on a junk food diet” – Dr. Joel Furman
I recently spoke to a couple with four young children that were looking to fill their day with healthy, go-to, simple snacks, and wanted to share with you the same information that I shared with them! As my title implies, I’m gonna give you five snacks that your kids might resist and even be upset about, but they will thank you for eventually. But first, let me step on my soapbox and say a little more about these “Weapons of Mass Destruction” all around us.
Junk food is no longer just an American problem, it has quickly become a global problem. We see it on every street corner and even on television, with commercials advertising so many different types of junk foods! These foods look appealing (think of how many bright colors we see in the candy aisle) and are designed to taste good, but I want to share with you some facts about junk food and hopefully get you to see these foods in a different light.
Are you a junk food junkie?
Lets start with a proper definition of junk food. When I say junk food, I am referring to food that has little nutritional value but lots of calories. One of the biggest problems with junk food is that they have very low satiation values, which is a medical way to say that you don’t feel full after eating them. This of course leads to overeating. A great example here is a standard bag of potato chips How many times have you or someone you know sat down with a bag of chips and before you know it the bag is over half empty? That is low satiation value in action.
Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other more nutritious foods. It is quick, convenient, and doesn’t take time prepare. So it replaces healthier foods that take a little bit more time to prepare. Breakfast is a prime example here. Most of us, and especially those with kids, are in a hurry in the morning. So we save time with things like cereal, pop-tarts, and eggo waffles. We may save time, but we are also setting ourselves up for fatigue later in the day. I’ve talked about this issue specifically in a previous blog, so check it out here.
As I’m sure you probably know and have heard before, over consumption of junk food is a major contributor to the overall health problems of our nation and especially our kids, specifically childhood obesity. Before I share my top five snacks, let me tell you an effective way to cut down on your and your children’s desire for junk food. Ready for it?
Limit the amount of advertising you or they see on television!
Billions are spent on market research every year by companies that want to tap into your brain and make you want their product, and we are constantly being bombarded visually with commercials and ads displaying juicy cheeseburgers or snacks that magically turn your kids boredom into a fairy tale. Who doesn’t want those things? Now there are a couple ways you can do this. Obviously cutting tv time is the easiest way, but if you have a DVR where you can pause or record shows and skip commercials that is also an easy way.
And finally here are my top 5 snacks
- Fresh Fruit or Frozen Fruit – Nature’s candy! It is naturally sweet, helps keep you hydrated, and it will leave you feeling full and well nourished throughout the day.
- Raw Nuts – Excellent natural sources of the omega oils, proteins, and fiber that our bodies need.
- Dark Chocolate – Now this isn’t your Hershey’s dark chocolate, this is 70% or higher cacao. It is a powerful source of antioxidants, can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, and raises HDL cholesterol and prevents LDL from oxidizing. It also mixes excellently with raw nuts!
- Natural Peanut Butter – Click here to check out my Feeling Good Friday broadcast from a couple weeks ago for all the info on natural peanut butter!
- Natural low sugar protein bars. Read the labels and be selective and choose the bars with 10 or more grams of protein. These bars are a much healthier alternative to high sugar low protein candy bars.
I want you and your family to be as healthy and well nourished as possible this school year, and I would encourage you to do some research for yourself and find healthy snacks that you can make or buy for you and your family! If you have already ditched junk food, I’d love to hear about your experience, or if you disagree and think junk food isn’t that big of a deal, then leave a comment and lets start a dialogue!
Be sure to check out my Feeling Good Podcast episode 24 for more on this subject, and to tune in to my Feeling Good Friday every Friday during the noonday hour via Facebook Live. You can like the Carson Natural Facebook Page to get a notification of when we go live!