Children’s Nutrition and Health

Today’s children are overfed and undernourished.

Children, for the most part, do not eat well. They commonly choose foods that are high in fats, sugars, and salt that have little, real nutritional value. The top choices among kids are hot dogs, chicken nuggets, French fries, pancakes, pizza, cookies and ice cream.

While you may agree that this doesn’t sound like an optimal menu conducive to good health for growing children, it’s often all that the little people will eat. This type of menu creates a domino effect that results in 97% of children suffering from some form of malnutrition.

Did you know that one in three children ages 2 to 19 is obese or overweight? That’s triple the rate of just a generation ago. Many of today’s children suffer from high blood pressure. Diabetes in children has increased by 21% in the last 10 years. All are the result of poor nutrition.

Additionally, three out of four children are not getting 60 minutes of exercise each day. The result? Childhood obesity.

As of last year, health costs are $14 billion a year and rising. To help combat the trend a proper diet is necessary. When children don’t like nutritious vegetables, fruits or proteins, supplements can help. Nutritional supplements can replace some of the vitamins and minerals missing in your children’s and grandchildren’s diets. Make sure to choose supplements that are safe and effective.

This article will further explain some guidelines and strategies for assuring that your child is well fed and healthy. www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-nutrition-for-kids

The Better-for-You Snack

Blueberry Vanilla Nut & Fruit Clusters
OMG! More blueberry goodness! Bite after bite, I find Simply Fit Nut & Fruit Clusters simply delicious snacking—and simply better for me. A satisfying, nutty crunch with the soft sweetness of just-picked blueberries, warm hints of vanilla, and sparkles of Himalayan pink salt. 

The clusters contain ten irresistible ingredients: blueberries, currants, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, Himalayan pink salt, crisp rice, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, natural vanilla and no artificial anything! The only proble I’ve found is once I start, I can’t stop eating them!

Blueberry power to attain my goals

This is a healthy snacking secret. When I want something delicious, filling and refreshing for my 3:00 p.m. snack, I reach for Blueberry Attain with revolutionary, natural CraveBlocker®. This simple shake helps stop cravings at both critical sources, putting me back in control. I have been able to manage and lose weight without feeling irritable or hungry all the time—and I don’t deprive myself of the nutrition I need. Controlling my cravings is an essential part of losingand keeping  weight off for good. Since it is blueberry month, I blended in a few fresh blueberrys for an added jolt of antioxidants.

Blueberry breakfast special

My Blueberry breakfast special is Blueberry Simply Fit Granola.

We like it because it is simply wholesome granola. There is no artificial flavoring, color or ingredients. It’s baked and every bite is filled with crisp, old-fashioned goodness. It has whole oats, fiber, protein, and ALA omega-3s from flax to create lasting satisfaction. We love it we even added a few fresh berries today to celebrate blueberry month!

up to 380mg ALA Omega-3 from flax, up to 34g whole grains, 5g fiber, 5g protein

It’s National Blueberry Month

Since they are now in season, July is a great month to discuss the health benefits of blueberries. Did you know that blueberries are native to North America and are grown in 35 states? What’s more, they’re an ingredient in more than 4,000 products, from muffins to pet food to cosmetics—and to think it all started in New Jersey.

The popularity of blueberries can be credited directly to Elizabeth Coleman White and Frederick V. Coville, who, succeeded in hybridizing wild blueberry plants to create a new domestic blueberry industry. They began their work at the White family farm, Whitesbog, in Browns Mills, Burlington County an area known for cranberry bogs and the infamous Pine Barrens. 

Although Washington and Georgia lead the country in terms of blueberry production, New Jersey is currently the fifth highest blueberry producing state in the U.S. Despite our state’s small size, New Jersey growers often register yields topping 56.7 million pounds of blueberries each year. Amazingly, over 80% of New Jersey’s blueberries are grown in Atlantic County and most of the blueberry harvest comes from a mere 8,800 acres. 

Many of New Jersey’s  blueberries are packaged at the Atlantic Blueberry Company at Hammonton. 

Living in New Jersey, we are lucky enough to have picking areas nearby—fun for the whole family! They make a great snack all on their own or enhance a meal, make stellar desserts or sauces. Plus, these vibrant berries pack a punch in vitamins and health benefits.  

Here are a few things blueberries can do for you:

#1: Blueberries are the #1 fruit with the highest antioxidant capacity. It beats out any other berry! These powerful antioxidants have been known to improve the immune system and prevent infections in the body (especially urinary tract infections.) 

#2: Blueberries can help with weight loss. Blueberries have fewer than 100 calories in a cup, making it a healthy pick for snacking. There have also been numerous studies, linking blueberries to the loss of stomach fat.

#3: The deeper the color of a blueberry, the richer they are in antioxidants, vitamins and medicinal perks. Go for the darkest berries!

#4: Blueberries can reduce the risk of cancer. Anthocyanins (which give the fruit its hue) have been studied and known to attack cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

#5: Blueberries for the brain! Numerous studies have shown that blueberries can help reduce the risk of memory loss. Brain food at its finest

My favorite snack time treat

Sometimes when I eat something for breakfast, like cereal for instance, I find that around two to three hours later I start feeling peckish and a bit tired, instead of reaching for an ever-ready treat from the office kitchen (you know a donut or candy), I make one of these great GC Control shakes.

Not only do I love them for their taste, but they fill that “hole” and provide a boost in energy, getting me back on track. That’s because they provide me a better balance of protein and carbs that last far longer than a donut or candy bar. The link below explains why this product works so well.

For more about GC Control,
click here.

Beyond Empty Calories: Curbing sugar intake

When it comes to weight management, refined sugar in all its forms — high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, rice syrup, sucrose and many others — is certainly one of the top items to get knocked off an eating list.

Harvard University’s School of Public Health suggests that to achieve a healthy weight, you should limit “lower-quality foods” including sugar-sweetened beverages, refined sugar and highly processed snacks. But your waistline isn’t the only thing affected by excess sugar consumption. Overindulgence on the sweet stuff can affect you in some other surprising ways:

1. Sleep Interuption. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an after-dinner dessert is a great way to get a terrible night of sleep. In fact, the organization notes, the more sugar you eat during the day, the more likely it is you’ll wake up during the night. That’s because sugar lowers the activity of orexin cells, a neuropeptide that regulates how wakeful you are. More bad news: These cells also help control appetite, so if they’re feeling off-kilter, you’re more likely to eat more.

2. Increased Colds and Flu. When it comes to an effective immune response — your system needs to be on high alert during cold and flu season — sugar could be defeating your white-blood-cell army. When you eat a big dose of sugar, like a soda or a candy bar, you temporarily suppress your immune system’s ability to respond to invaders. If that happens occasionally, it may be no big deal, but since the effect lasts for a few hours, you could be consistently sabotaging your immune syste if you eat sugary food regularly.

3. Increased Risk of Heart Disease. Sugar can affect your weight goals, but it affects your heart even more. A major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested a sugar-packed diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease, even if you aren’t overweight. In the 15 year-long study, participants who ingested 25% or more of their daily calories from added sugar were more than twice as likely to die of heart disease than those who consumed less than 10% of added sugar.

4. Potential Depression. Although much is made of the mind-body connection when it comes to health and wellness, less attention has been put on the mood-food link. But sugar can be notorious for causing emotional fluctuations, including anxiety, frustration and even depression, according to Dr. Elson Haas, author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition. He notes that refined sugar has been shown to deplete important nutrients, such as protein, vitamin B, zinc, chromium and manganese—deficiencies can lead to lower levels of emotional and mental functioning. When these nutrients remain in the immune system, individuals notice a marked difference in their moods and emotional states.

5. Skin Problems. Refined sugar and many other high-glycemic foods raise insulin levels in the body and that increases inflammation. When that happens, the inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, the structural building blocks of skin. The digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation, which results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, possibly leading to excess hair growth on the skin, as well as dark patches on the neck and other areas.

With side-effects like these, you might be tempted to swear off sweets forever. You really don’t need to cut out refined sugar products completely to see benefits and lower your health risks, instead, focus on mindful eating and awareness — in other words, make a sugary treat into exactly that, so it’s a sometime occasion and not a regular habit. Start by eating your next sugary snack very slowly, and notice how it smells as well as tastes. You don’t need to become a mealtime snail, but doing this a few times can help you “reset” when it comes to sugar—and helps to reduce sugar cravings. Being more mindful when you eat, especially when it comes to sugar, can keep you off autopilot and change your eating habits.