Essential Grocery Items For Your Healthy Kid Recipe
CHECKING LABELS FOR YOUR HEALTHY KID RECIPE
As a health conscious parent, you have probably noticed how much the food labeling market has grown over the last few years. Manufacturers must now give a complete breakdown of nutrient content in order to give you the chance to compare similar products to suit your child's dietary needs.
You will also increasingly see content levels of ingredients such as sugar and salt clearly stated on packaging of every day foods. This is extremely helpful in helping you to control the levels your child eats. Overuse of sugar and salt are major contributory factors of child obesity and diabetes.
Look out for the following guides on the Nutrition Information when you are choosing what to buy for your healthy kid recipe...
INGREDIENTS- Every ingredient has to be listed in descending order of weight. Preservatives and Additives are shown by their E (European) numbers.
Warning! Avoid foods that contain E numbers and Preservatives, they are bad news for your child's health and can trigger allergies and hyperactivity.
TYPICAL VALUES- This will help you to immediately recognise whether the food offers good or poor nutrient value. For example, does it contain high levels of salt and sugar? If so, avoid it.
ENERGY CONTENT- This shows you how many kcals (kilocalories) there are in 100g or 100ml of the food. It will also state how many complete kcals make up the whole portion. This is very good at helping you to control your kid's food portion sizes!
FAT- This tells you how many grams of fat are in 100g or 100ml of the food. Take some care to familiarise yourself with good and bad fats.
Anything that is hydrogenated and saturated should be avoided. Look at how much of the total fat is saturated, and if it's too high then it just isn't a healthy option for you or the kids.
SODIUM- This tells you how many grams of sodium are in 100g or 100ml of the food. 1 gram of sodium equals 2.5 grams of salt.
CARBOHYDRATE- This gives you the total carbohydrate content of 100g or 100ml of the food including how many grams of the carbohydrate come from sugars.
This is definitely wise to check but it will not differentiate between natural and added sugars!
FIBRE- This shows you how much fibre is in 100g or 100ml of the food. Three to four grams makes the food a good source of fibre.
PROTEIN- This shows you the gram weight of protein in 100g or 100ml of the food.
TRANS FATS- If hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil is listed, trans fat will be present. Treat this as saturated fat, found in products like margarine and biscuits.These pose the same health risks as saturated fats do.
TIP- If you are aware of any food intolerances or allergies that you child has, be extra cautious when checking ingredients.
The majority of manufacturers now state everything from nut to lactose and wheat gluten content, some of the ever growing intolerances affecting kids today.
HEALTHY GROCERY SHOPPING LIST
It's a common myth that it is more expensive to make healthy food choices, but in fact basic and healthy foods give you far more value for your money than a bunch of processed ready meals and unhealthy sugary snacks and drinks. And again if you make a grocery list, you can't go wrong!When writing your list, focus on wholesome and nutritious ingredients. Think healthy, high energy food for your healthy kid recipe.Plenty of fruits and vegetables. Remember to buy 'in season' to keep costs down.Wholegrain breads and cereals. Try and replace white bread and pasta with a wholemeal option. There are now also plenty of wheat and gluten free options if you or your family have an intolerance.A variety of lower fat protein foods, such as lean meat, chicken and turkey (without the skin), fish, tofu, eggs and low-fat dairy products.Try and replace empty-calorie fizzy drinks with fresh juice, water or milk. Adding a few slices of fresh lemon to water will soon make it more exiting for the kids and is a fantastic natural source of Vitamin C.Buy a cooking oil that is polyunsaturated and low in saturates like olive oil or rice bran oil. This will not only be healthier for the family, but your food will taste much better.Don't forget to shop for healthy kid snacks and ingredients for lunch boxes. This will save you considerable amounts of money and you can be safe in the knowledge that you are providing a healthy balanced lunch for your kids. No burgers and fries in sight!
TIP- Look out for dried fruit bars and small individual cartons of healthy juice or smoothies.Try to stick to your grocery list. Don't be taken in by special offers on less healthy foods that you know you and the family aren't going to benefit from. Keep on the healthy kid recipe track!Be sure to alternate what types of healthy food you buy each week so the kids get a full variety of nutrition and vitamins. This will also be giving them an excellent example of how to continue healthy eating patterns as adults.
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