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We HAVE to do better when it comes to our Kids

This is going to be a rant. Everyone is so focused on doing things in “moderation.” The problem is, moderation is becoming consistent and the snacks we are giving our kids is at this point, unacceptable due to the frequency it is happening.

Everything doesn’t have to be a f****** treat. Sugar and processed food is everywhere.

Let me give you some examples of what has recently happened in our household and my blood pressure skyrocketed.

Recently, after a soccer game, one of the parents was kind enough to bring post game snacks and “drinks” for the kids. As I made my way over, I cringed. This was a Saturday afternoon. The drink was Gatorade and the snacks were Goldfish and Cheetos. I looked over to my wife with a glare, she knew my eyes said it all. I wasn’t going to pick a fight or start anything right there, but of course we had a discussion at home with how things need to get better.

On Saturday evening, we headed to a friend's house for dinner with a few other friends. Sitting on top of the counter were cookies. Once again, I wasn’t going to cause a fuss in public and we allowed both kiddos to have a cookie (pretty sure it was more than one since we weren’t in the kitchen with them the entire time).

On Sunday morning, we had another event for school at a local farm for a hayride. What do they have there? Donuts. Now, we didn’t buy any, but after being there for 3 hours, many other parents had them for their kids. Of course, my boys see them and the parents offer them to my kids. Once again, I didn’t want to cause a scene (well, I kind of did, but just paused and took some deep breaths). Now, we are getting into Sunday afternoon and I know in the back of my head that the following Tuesday was going to be a party at school. We all know the amount of sugar and processed foods that were there.

From my Saturday to Tuesday, there were 4 celebrations that led to 4 opportunities for just junk “food.” Honestly, it isn’t even food and I’m going to point out the labels below. These 4 opportunities aren’t just “special occasions” or moderation. This basically become consistent. Think about it from an adult perspective. You are really good Monday-Wednesday. Maybe you avoid alcohol then and make good decisions. Once Thursday rolls around, happy hour starts, then another social event or party on Friday and Saturday. We get to Sunday and football is on so a couple of beers then. This is NO LONGER moderation. This is consistency. You aren’t going to hit your health and fitness goals going in this direction. You can do the math yourself.

But, we need to do better as parents. Everything is a celebration around food. I love food (I’m talking about nutrient dense, properly prepared real food). I love cooking and trying new things.

But, the problem is this isn’t even food that we are feeding our kids. It is sugar, dyes, and chemicals. It is also happening too frequently with every birthday celebration, holiday, school party, a weekend with friends, and after sporting events. (What else am I missing). It has got to SLOW THE F*** DOWN. Parents, we need to do better. There are still ways to celebrate with good food (even food that has some sugar in it) without harming our kids' health over and over again.

Take a look at the food labels below.

Let me tell you what I don’t like about the Cheetos.

  • Vegetable oils, sunflower oil, canola oil: Not good, leads to inflammation in the body which can then lead to heart disease.

  • Yellow 6: A chemical/dye that causes cancer and increases symptoms of ADHD. It is a known carcinogen. These artificial dyes can also lead to allergies and asthma. You will also find these in other packaged snacks, chips, cheeses, puddings, sweets, ice cream, cereal, Jell-o, Starbursts.

Let me tell you what I don’t like about Gatorade:

  • There are 34 grams of sugar in a bottle. How many bottles does your child consume during and after a game? It also only has sodium and potassium for its electrolytes. What about magnesium? Calcium?

  • It also has Red 40 and other chemicals/dyes depending on what the color is (see above on why this is a problem).

The original Gatorade recipe was water, sodium, sugar, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice. It was also sold in a glass bottle instead of the plastic bottles that it is in today. (Another rant for another day).

The best part is, you can make Gatorade yourself OR there are other products out there that are better for overall health and performance.

When it comes to kids and young athletes, I will always focus on health and performance together to help them. I know that for many nutritionists or dietitians out there their entire careers are based on performance for athletes and can often be at the expense of their health. I’m not willing to compromise.

As parents, we have to do better as a unit to support the health and well-being of our children. 19.7% of our children in the United States are considered obese. The problem with all of this becomes the increased risk of type 2 diabetes, increased risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, etc. This is a PROBLEM. No one wants to see children suffer any disease. Our environment, the toxins we spray on our grass and on our food. This is a major problem.

We have to do better for our kids and their future selves!

I am happy to come talk to any sports team, school class, work team, parent group to help educate and give support and suggestions for how to be better.

I am opening up slots now for 2024. If you want to talk more, respond to this email and I’m happy to help!

Let’s make these kids healthier!


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