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Nutrition for School-Aged Children

I have done a few public talks on Nutrition to “grown-ups”, but this week I had the special privilege of speaking to a class of 8-year-olds about making healthy food choices.

I was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm and great questions – even asking me about the role of insulin in sugar absorption (what?!). Very cool.

I thought I would share the tips that I gave them as a good refresher for all of us:

  • Eating healthy food, does not mean not eating anything yummy or fun.

  • Read labels: I used two different kinds of yogurts to show how one had a million ingredients (including bad modified ones!), and the other one only had milk and culture.

  • Whole foods are always best: eat food that looks as close to its original form as possible.

  • Fizzy water and fizzy drinks steal calcium (& other minerals) from your bones and can make your bones weak over time.

  • Cow milk is made for large cows – so, it has large proteins that we cannot break down well. I suggested trying goat milk or plant-based milks (oat, cashew, almond, soy, rice) as an alternative.

  • What is best fruit to have? Berries!

  • How much of your plate should be veggies? Half.

  • Food coloring leads to hyperactivity (I think the teacher appreciated me saying this one)

  • Last but not least: SUGAR!!! Sugar causes inflammation in your body (which I explained in more detail) and can lead to an inability to focus and concentrate, and to possibly getting into more trouble in class!

  • I also told them that sugar is not the only thing to have this effect on their bodies; so does white rice, white potatoes, and wheat flour. Eating white bread is like eating a huge spoonful of white sugar!

After I was done my little talk, we headed into the school bakery and baked 4 dozen muffins made with no wheat flour, no refined sugar, no dairy, and all 100% whole and healthy ingredients. I wanted to prove to them that healthy could also be yummy. 😋


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