As the new school term begins many parents will be back to their old routine in the mornings – the mad rush to get the kids fed and out to school and themselves on to work, all before 9 o’clock.
We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but in our fast-paced modern world, time-poor parents often take the easy option and give their children high-sugar cereals for breakfast.
They should know better.
Children will follow whatever nutrition plan is provided for them; the foods your children eat provide the raw materials for their development. You wouldn’t put cheap fuel into a high-performance car but you don’t think twice about providing cheap fuel, in the form of high-sugar cereals, for your children.
Our nutrition habits and the way we eat have changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000 years. The food industry does not want you to know the truth about what you are feeding your children.
In your role as a parent, it is important to educate yourself and understand food labels. Most cereals have a high-sugar content. In addition to contributing to obesity, a high-sugar diet can prematurely age you. It can also affect memory, depress the immune system and result in sending high levels of insulin to the blood stream and low levels to the brain.
When it comes to sugar, the less you consume the better. Anything that ends in ‘ose’ is a sugar, as well as things such as corn syrup and honey syrup.
Ingredients listed on food labels are done so according to their quantity. So the first ingredient that is listed is present in the largest quantity and so on.
A high-sugar diet plays havoc with your body’s ability to regulate insulin levels and it is one of the reasons diabetes has become more prevalent in children.
That a high-sugar diet is bad for us is nothing new. In the early 1900s Weston A Price, in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, labeled white flour and white sugar as the white devils.
These foods are often referred to as non-foods or anti-nutrients as they displace more nutrients from the body as it tries to digest them than we do in eating them.
Children’s brains develop according to the foods they eat and hyperactivity and mood are also affected by fluctuating blood sugar levels.
What your child eats in the morning dictates their neuro-transmitter response for the day. A high-sugar diet raises serotonin and gives a quick high, followed by a crash, altering concentration levels and mood.
Your child’s breakfast and nutritional habits should not be influenced by marketing campaigns and sugar-laden quick fixes. Educate them about nutrition and become a better role model.
Don’t forget – they are currently learning eating habits that will stay with them for life.