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All in a child's day: the fat factor

Chart a plan to help your children choose healthier foods.
Chart a plan to help your children choose healthier foods.
Photo by Mary MacIntyre

All in a child's day...the fat factor.

Wake up in the morning, get ready for school and Breakfast? Many New Mexico children don't get breakfast at home. The Appleseed report, from a New Mexico non-profit , gives reasons why and the effects on children who don't eat breakfast. Since New Mexico is the fifth highest state for food insecurity in the USA, one can easily conceive why many children don't get a good breakfast.

Breakfast at home can become difficult for all NM families. If you live in a rural community, you may have to ride a school bus for over an hour. When both parents work there may be little time to eat right.

What do the children eat? Granola bars, breakfast bars, or fast food? Cereal? Egg mc muffin style sandwiches? If they are lucky yogurt or a smoothie? Make your own list and consider the additives, salt, and sugar contents. Are the calories dense nutrients or do they have empty calories. How much unhealthy fats? Even "healthy" bars may be loaded will less than ideal fats.

Our world and diet does not need to be perfect. However when you go the drive thru and get an egg sandwich with hash browns and a carbonated drink, consider the fat/sugar ratios. A veggie or bean burrito at Lotaburger is a step forward. They even offer salads at breakfast. Bottom line: more fat growing food. See the previous article for lunch choices. Remember many schools sell candy.

In some towns, students walk out the school's doors and vendors are selling snacks. The convenience store or fast food joint is around the corner. Upon arrival home more snacks while waiting for dinner. If children are lucky dinner will be a home cooked meal. After dinner more snacks while you watch TV. Pick the scenario that applies to your family. How much fat, sugar, and salt has been consumed in one average day in your household?

How is a child suppose to maintain a healthy weight? Unhealthy fats and sugars trigger increased hormone activity which stimulates eating more as well as storing fat.

Now chart a plan to modify this story.


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