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. 😋