How To Make Sure Your Child Eats Well: Part Two

How To Make Sure Your Child Eats Well: Part Two

Eating used to be a family affair, a time when everyone came together to talk, share, and enjoy each other’s company. We’re nourished by each other’s presence when we sit around the table. Nowadays, many of us catch meals on the run and don’t spend enough quality time together while enjoying good food.

The previous blog post talked about where to shop and which foods to buy. This post will talk about which foods to avoid and why. 

In general, your body likes food as close to its natural sources as possible. That means wild rice, whole fruits and vegetables, and raw nuts and seeds. Basing your diet on natural foods will help your family feel better, look better, and think better. Following are some foods to avoid on your journey to better nutrition.

  • Packaged and processed foods of all kinds.
  • Inflammatory, genetically modified grains, such as wheat and spelt.  
  • Processed, smoked, and cured meats like bacon, sausages, and hot dogs, since they often contain milk, corn, sugar, and food additives.
  • Commercial peanut butter, because it is loaded with sugar. Use pure or organic peanut butter or almond butter instead. It’s simple to make your own too.
  • Non-organic fruits and vegetables, because of the high pesticide load. The worst culprits are apples, spinach, peaches, pears, strawberries, grapes, potatoes, celery, and green beans. 


How to Read Labels:

To find out what you’re really putting in your body and on your family’s plates, start reading labels. The most plentiful substance is the first ingredient listed on the label, the second most plentiful substance is the second thing listed, etc. You need to know that commercial food companies are very clever in this labeling.

Just as we’ve always known, sugar is harmful when eaten in large quantities. I would challenge you to eliminate it as much as possible. However, sugar wears many cloaks and is often cleverly disguised in various names on the label. 

Here are some of sugar’s other names:

  • Barley malt or malt syrup
  • Beet sugar, cane sugar, date sugar, grape sugar, or brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup, golden syrup, refiner’s syrup, corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
  • Caramel
  • Dextrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, sucrose
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fruit juice or fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose or glucose solids
  • Golden syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup ***this is one you want to avoid at all costs***
  • Maltodextrin
  • Mannitol or sorbitol
  • Molasses (one of the good sugars…loaded with minerals)
  • Raw sugar

Safe sugar substitutes include stevia and xylitol.

Another cleverly disguised ingredient is a flavor enhancer, monosodium glutamate (MSG). This substance is a neurotoxin, meaning it causes damage to the structure of the brain leading to chronic disease. It’s commonly added to Chinese food, and some people have severe reactions such as headaches, a hangover feeling, or swollen ankles. 

Here are the other names that may appear on the label instead of MSG:

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) or textured protein
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) or autolyzed plant protein
  • Yeast extract
  • Glutamate or Glutaminic acid
  • Gelatin
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Vegetable protein extract
  • Senomyx 

Make reading labels a game, and get the kids involved. Kids LOVE reading labels, and they will surprise and delight you with their willingness to stay on good foods when they’ve read the labels themselves.

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Written by: Phyllis Books See other articles by Phyllis Books
About the Author:

Dr. Phyllis Books, DC, is a teacher, doctor, grandmother, and developer of Books Neural Therapy™, a natural, non-drug intervention for children with dyslexia and other learning and behavior issues. Her clients call her a combination of a neurosurgeon, a psychiatrist, and Mother Teresa. Mostly, she loves sharing what she’s learned about kids, how they learn, and how they can feel good about themselves and be successful.

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