Saturday, September 28, 2013


I was just reading that Michelle Obama addressed food industry leaders at a White House conference last week and asked them to stop undermining the authority of parents with their marketing of sugar-laden, highly-processed foods to children and to please use some of their advertising genius to steer kids towards healthy whole foods (

I've heard Michelle Obama speak live and she's persuasive. (I'd do anything she said!) But even if certain leaders were swayed by her pleas, if you currently have children, you may need to do more than wait for Kelloggs to start urging  your kids to eat cauliflower.

So here's an idea: Next time your kids beg for some awful breakfast cereal or other breakfast fun food,  give in. Let them pick what they want.  Just don't serve it to them for breakfast. Breakfast is the WORST time of day for them to be eating grains and sugar (including juice). Those foods spike blood sugar and begin a cycle of cravings that will dog them all day making it hard for them to concentrate on school or play. Plus it keeps them begging for more grains and sugar all day long. The advertising industry has a name for this begging, it's called pester power. It's what they count on to make you buy stuff for your kids that you don't want them to have.

The way to keep kids satisfied longest and to keep their brains focused in school is a breakfast of protein and vegetables. But if your "tradition" is that everyone grab a bowl of cereal or a pop tart and a glass of juice before heading out the door, you might have to be outrageous to make a change. Try this: announce you're going to have Upside Down Day and serve them stew for breakfast (make it in a crockpot over night). Tell them they'll be having breakfast for dinner.

Letting everyone have a bowl of cereal or its ilk for dinner has two advantages -- it gets tired parents out of having to get a dinner on the table AND  there's no dessert. Nobody eats dessert at breakfast, right? So you've actually cut the amount of sugar from the daily total.

The important thing to remember is that kids like to have a say in what they eat and they are being heavily targeted by a multi-billion dollar industry which got that way by clever advertising. So you could start lecturing them about capitalism and corporate power, OR you can plan strategically on how you're going to give in, and then work like crazy to make the other meals you serve pack in the nutrients. Getting those nutrients in early in the day will have the biggest payoff in terms of energy, health, and behavior.

Let those food companies go nuts trying to undermine your best intentions. Beat them by being outrageous! They certainly are! Your kids will go to school bragging about how wild and crazy you are.
Here's a great video from the Food Hospital about how processed/sugary foods change kids' behaviors:

Find some great, protein and veggie intense crockpot recipes here:

Other posts related to kids and eating:

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