So I was reading a Parenting Magazine recently (which I don’t normally do as the hypocrisy ….for things like “how to have healthy kids” articles next to articles about how to make sugary snacks for your kids…but that is for another blog) and came across an article that really struck a cord with me. It was called “RX for the Family Diet”. In the article it stated that of the TOP 25 CALORIE SOURCES that children are receiving, that the only vegetables listed in the top 25 were fries and chips, and the only fruit is fruit juice.
I mean really? I guess I am not that surprised… but how sad. I don’t even want to know what the other 22 “foods” are that kids are eating! How is it possible that there are all these articles and news shows and people talking and scratching their heads wondering why kids today are so sick when we don’t provide them what they need not to be sick? Everyday on the news there is a new story talking about rising ADD rates, cancer rates, obesity, diabetes, and other childhood diseases and problems. Doctors are trying to link everything to genetics instead of the environment…am I the only one that we aren’t looking at the obvious?
When did we stop caring as a country and as parents about the health of our children and making the right nutritional choices for their benefit? When did the “ease” of handing over Capri Suns, cookies, sugary cereal, and Chef Boy R Dee begin to override the concern for the long-term health of our children? Have we not been taught the benefits of healthy eating? Perhaps not. In fact, probably not in many cases! The medical community is certainly not helping in the preventative aspect. When was the last time your doctor discussed the cancer-fighting benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods? Have they ever mentioned what high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial colors, pesticides or GMOs (genetically modified ingredients) do to the body? Especially the developing bodies of children? During pregnancy to the fetus?
Do people not know what is in these foods and what they do to the human body? Perhaps there isn’t a broad knowledge about what is REALLY in the foods that children are eating…and they aren’t the same foods that we ate when we were kids! That Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Kraft, General Mills, and all these other frequented foods are different than they were 30 years ago. If you think it is just about counting calories or whole grains then think again! The world has changed and so has our food! Our job here at Organic Baby University is to educate, so let us give you a few examples of what is in your kid’s food and what it does to the body. Maybe this will lead to a small change that will benefit your child’s health for a lifetime! (Highlighted ingredients are of most concern…not ALL of them..we don’t have enough space to discuss all ingredients in these to avoid)
Dairy Queen Blizzard:
Just Milk, Cream, Sugar? No!
Contains Over 25 + Ingredients!
Milkfat and nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, whey, mono and diglycerides, artificial flavor, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, and vitamin A palmitate, Oreo Cookies (Chopped): Sugar, enriched wheat flour (contains niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2)), vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean oil), cocoa (processed with alkali), high fructose corn syrup, corn flour, whey (from milk), baking soda, salt, soy leithin (emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial flavor), chocolate
Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich-
Just Chicken, Flour, Buttermilk or Egg, Herbs and Spices? No!
Contains 48+ Ingredients- Full Ingredient List Here
100% natural whole breast fillet, seasoning (salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika), seasoned coater(enriched bleached flour, [malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine monoitrate, riboflavin, foic acid], sugar salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat mild, leavening [baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate], spice, soybean oil, color [paprika], milk wash (water, whole powdered egg and nonfat mild solids), peanut oil (fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and Dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added), pickles (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, contains less than 1% ofhte following: calcium chloride, alu, sodium benzoate potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, Yellow #5, blue 1), butter-flavored vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, palm kernel oil, lecithin, artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color).
Just Flour, water, eggs, tomatoes, herbs and spices? No!
Over 45 + Ingredients!
Water, Tomatoes (Water, Tomato Puree), Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and Folic Acid), Beef, Crackermeal (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and Folic Acid), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Soybean Oil, Salt, Carrots, Textured Soy Protein Concentrate (Soy Protein Concentrate and Caramel Coloring), Onions, Flavorings, Caramel Coloring, Potassium Chloride, Oleoresin Paprika, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Enzyme Modified Cheese [Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), and Annatto (Color)] and Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate. CONTAINS: MILK, SOY, WHEAT
Special K Cereal
Whole Grains, water? No!
RICE, WHEAT GLUTEN, SUGAR, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, DRIED WHEY, MALT FLAVORING, CALCIUM CASEINATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID AND VITAMIN B12.
Just Cheese and Flour? No!
Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Monoitrate, Riboflavin, and Frolic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Contains one or more of the following: corn, soybean, or sunflower oil), Whey, Salt, Cheddar Cheese, (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes). Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Maltodextrin, Disodium Phosphate, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk), Artificial Flavor, Monosodium Glutimate, Lactic Acid, Artificial Colors (Including Yellow 6), and Citric Acid
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
Just Cheese and wheat flour, water and eggs? No!
Wheat flour which contains B Vitamins, Niacin, thiamine, mono nitrate, folic acid, riboflavin, iron in the form of ferrous sulfate POWDER SAUCE: whey (milk protein), milk protein concentrate, milk, milk fat, cheese culture, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, yellow 5 , yellow 6, citric acid, lactic acid, and enzymes.
Just 100% Juice from Fruit? No!
Water, Sugar, Citric acid, Sucralose (Splenda Brand Sweetener), Natural flavor.
Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza-
Just Flour, Water, Egg, Tomato, Herbs and Spices, Meat? No! (50 + Ingredients!)
Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folic Acid) Water, Vegetable Oil (Soybean), Sugar, Salt, Yeast, Vital Wheat Gluten, Less than 1% Dough Conditioners [Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Whey, Enzyme (with Wheat Starch), Ascorbic Acid, L-cysteine, and Silicon Dioxide added as processing aid], Corn Meal (used in preparation). Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Modified Food Starch, Cellulose (Added To Prevent Caking), Nonfat Milk, Whey Protein Concentrate, Flavors, Sodium Propionate (Added as a Preservative). Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Sugar, Salt, Spices, Garlic, Soybean Oil, and Citric Acid, Pork and Beef, Salt, Spices, Dextrose, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Oleoresin of Paprika, Flavoring, Sodium Nitrite, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid
What just some of these ingredients do:
- MSG-linked to migraine headaches and balance difficulties, precipitate severe shortness of breath, asthma attacks and heart irregularities, cause disabling arthritis, and even serious depressions, not to mention behavioral problems in children. “This is a very toxic substance, particularly to the developing brain” At particular risk is the developing fetus.
- Soybean Oil-Likely GMO- 90% of Soy is GMO
- TBHQ- chemical preservative that is a form of butane, toxic to the kidney and bladder, consuming high doses (between 1 and 4 grams) of TBHQ can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and vomiting. There are also suggestions that it may lead to hyperactivity in children as well as asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis. It may also further aggravate ADHD symptoms and cause restlessness. Long term, high doses of TBHQ in laboratory animals have shown a tendency for them to develop cancerous precursors in their stomachs, as well as cause DNA damage to them. It is also suggested that it may be responsible for affecting estrogen levels in women. More here
- Dimethylpolysiloxane-a type of silicone (yes that’s a plastic)
- Polysorbate 80-linked to inflammation of stomach, considered a carcinogen in animal studies
- Yellow #5, Blue #1-(artificial colors)- Made from petrochemicals and linked to hyperactivity, organ damage, birth defects, cancer and more
- Conventional Milk- Likely contains hormones, antibiotics, possibly contains GMO hormone rGBH, pesticides
- Sugar-Could be GMO since sugar beets are now approved to be GMO (sugar beets are where most conventional sugar comes from), considered addictive by many experts, leads to a variety of diseases and disorders such as obesity, diabetes and more
- Corn Syrup-GMO corn is used to make corn syrup, a sugar, and it potentially affects behavior and health, linked to diseases and disorders as listed above
- Maltodextrin- Likely made from GMO corn- See GMO info
- Corn Meal etc- Likely made from GMO corn- See GMO info
- Sodium Nitrate- Added to meat as a “color fixer” to keep it from looking gross. Linked to pancreatic cancer, leukemia, diabetes and more
- BHA and BHT- BHT is banned in England because research shows it reacts with other ingested substances to cause the formation of carcinogens. BHA is listed as a carcinogen by the state of California because it causes cancer in humans. BHA has been banned in Japan because studies found it causes cancerous tumors in rats stomachs. Both BHA and BHT are toxic to the liver and kidneys. Human lymph nodes absorb these toxins. Learn more
- Artificial Flavor- A long list of chemicals linked to a variety of health issues. Learn more
- Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil-GMO, linked to a long list of health problems such as heart disease and cancer
- High Fructose Corn Syrup-GMO and has been tested to find detectable levels of mercury. Linked to obesity, liver damage, metabolic syndrome and more
- Corn Flour- Likely GMO- See GMO info
- Soy Lethicin- GMO- Likely GMO- See GMO info
So why are we wondering why people and children are so sick? These are just a FEW examples of what you will find in your everyday food they you eat and feed your children. ALL of the above likely have GMO ingredients since 72% of corn, 90% of soybeans and 90% of canola are now GMO, as well as artificial sweeteners, DHA in formula, and more. Unless the company is ACTIVELY trying to avoid GMOs, then your food will likely contain them. For more info about GMOs and their effects click here. To print off a GMO shopping guide to learn how to avoid GMOs while shopping, visit our checklists and guides page and click on the GMO Shopping Guide
The best advice we can give:
- Start REALLY READING the labels of the food you purchase.
- Avoid processed foods or foods that have more than 4 ingredients
- Realize that ingredients like canola, soy anything, corn anything, artificial sweeteners are genetically modified and have damaging effects that we don’t even fully understand yet
- Make you own food whenever you can…even if it is just popping a sweet potato in the oven and sprinkling it with cinnamon (kids LOVE sweet potatoes!)
- Learn super easy and quick recipes! You don’t have to be a chef or spend hours in the kitchen.
- Make meals in bulk and freeze!
- Buy organic where you can! You can avoid pesticides, artificial colors and flavors, GMOs, antibiotics, hormones and other ingredients without having to do ANYTHING else! Does this mean organic macaroni and cheese is good for you? No. But it is a heck of a lot better than conventional and the health consequences are lower!
Eating basic and healthy really is easy! Think of bananas, peaches and other fruit you just pick up and eat, organic yogurt, hide spinach in eggs, or other ideas. If you can’t decipher what kind of plant or animal it came from, then don’t eat it. It is actually quite easy to eat healthy (as I know a lot of reasons for unhealthy eating is convenience). Slice up sweet potatoes and bake. Carrots, and other veggies can be sliced and eaten raw, and the new baby cookers like Beaba Babycook allow you to just dump in fruits and/or veggies and steam and then turn the food over and puree! Voila! Takes just minutes! It doesn’t have to take tons of time and it can even save you money! Don’t wonder why kids are so sick…let’s do something about it!
To learn more about where these chemicals are found and how to avoid them visit http://www.organicbabyuniversity.com to watch fun, animated videos in their Organic Pregnancy Class and Organic Baby Class! They also have guides and checklists, safe product recommendations, exclusive coupons and more!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jennifer Hankey is the President of Organic Baby University. Organic Baby University is a site dedicated to teaching pregnant women and moms how and why to avoid the common, harmful chemicals in everyday products.
To learn more about where these chemicals are found and how to avoid them visit http://www.organicbabyuniversity.com to watch fun, animated videos in their Organic Pregnancy Class and Organic Baby Class! They also have guides and checklists, exclusive coupons and more!