I had no intentions of blogging today, but sometimes an article is just handed to you. Remember I said one of the problems with studying nutrition in people is that it is illegal to experiment on them? Well, sometimes they just go and do it to themselves. Just like my previous twinkie diet article, here is another case where a human being went and did the unthinkable, to their detriment and our enlightenment. This poor girl ate nothing but chicken nuggets since she was 2. No one would ever do that to someone on purpose, not even this girl’s mother, but she did it to herself. The article raises a number of talking points.
Here is one excerpt you have to read:
Aside from chicken and oil, those “stabilizers and preservatives” are said to include dimethylpolysiloxane, a form of silicone also used in cosmetics. Another additive is tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a form of butane. According to one report, chicken is only about 50 percent of a McNugget; the remainder is a mixture of corn-derived ingredients, sugars and synthetic substances.
Yikes! This is why parents need to be informed. Much, maybe even most, of the the food being marketed to our kids is no good for them. We wonder at the rise of autism, learning disorders and A.D.D. disorders, and we are doing a grand experiment on ourselves and our kids feeding them a variety of chemicals that we have no clue are safe, and don’t even know what they are. We just blithely assume the the government has deemed them safe. This is the same government that has done such a wonderful job in economics and accounting. Even if the rat didn’t die when you fed him this stuff, what’s happened to his grand kids?
Next on the list of horrors is the mother who couldn’t get the kid to eat anything else, “including starving her”. I don’t buy it. No kid ever starved themselves to death. If it even got close, you get medical intervention. As a parent, there has to be tough love or there is no love. If you are that helpless in the face of a child’s refusal, GET HELP. We talk about the possibility of bad feeding habits being child abuse, this is definitely neglect.
This brings me to point three. Many, if not most of our eating problems start in our heads, not our stomachs. Just like sex, most of our choices have less to do with biology and more to do with emotions. Did you decide what to have for breakfast based on it’s nutritional content? Or was it what you were raised on, the color of the box, or the context of the meal? I have to think that there was some kind of mental issue going on here to have a one food obsession for years. Most of us crave variety of some sort.
Point four is even more simple. Don’t start. If you don’t want your kids to have bad eating habits, don’t take them to McDonalds. You’re too tired to cook? Get a precooked whole chicken from the store, bake a potato and some veggies in the microwave, done. That’s too much? A subway sub is a better choice, by far. Even the dreaded McDonalds now has a host of reasonable choices, including salads, yogurt, fruit and oatmeal. There’s another choice, don’t get locked into dinner has to be dinner food. Eggs, toast, fruit, oats, nuts, yogurt, and a host of other ideas fill you up just as easily at dinner as they do at breakfast. Plan ahead. Cook a big pot of soup, stew or chili on your day off. Dress it up with different garnishes and sides for the next couple of meals. A smoothy of banana, protein powder and even spinach is just as nutritious for a child as an adult. (and don’t worry about the green color, remember “Green Eggs and Ham”?) The deli counter at most large supermarkets have some amazing choices- but be careful, you do have to pay attention to what those choices are.
Lastly, eat your veggies, eat your veggies, eat your veggies. You need the other things, but your veggies are the powerhouse of low calories and high nutrition to keep you full and healthy.