Saturday, May 23, 2015

Process This!

By: Dr. Linda Carson

It’s good to process your thoughts about an event or circumstance. Processing information helps grownups and children make better sense of day-to-day events and that helps to contribute to self-regulation and executive function of your brain and body. While we are beautifully designed to process information, we are not designed to benefit from processing food.

What does processed food even mean? Basically, processed foods have been altered from a natural form to one that will have a shelf life longer than some of us will live. To increase shelf life in stores and vending machines, food is treated with additives, preservatives, and chemical colors and tastes.  The packaged, processed food that we are all familiar with is actually chemically engineered non-food.

Sugar, salt, and fat are additional harmful ingredients found in most crackers, cereals, cookies, chips, ready to eat meals, microwave dinners….well, you get the idea. The worst form of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, is found in almost everything these days, especially sugary beverages.

Because of easy access and convenience, we are becoming an unhealthy, processed nation. Not very many of us would put protective goggles on our young children and take them on a field trip to a chemical lab. But if we did, I don’t think any of us would encourage our children to drink or eat what we see in the test tubes and beakers. Yet that is the risk we take if we routinely serve our children processed food lacking the natural nourishment, vitamins, and minerals found in real food.
Traditionally, Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of the summer season of family picnics, grilling, and refreshing beverages. This summer, lets pledge to make a few small changes to help our children and families be nourished and not just fed. Let’s deliberately switch from being a processed nation to a healthier, Choosy Nation. Choosy Kids music CD, Choosy Nation, includes a variety of songs to help us get started making healthier choices.

Memorial Day is a holiday of reflection and respect, designed to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Before we go to our picnics, Choosy encourages families everywhere to honor those brave souls who died while defending our freedoms. Hang a flag, go to a parade, visit a cemetery, or attend a local tribute event. But let’s remember to talk to your child about the true meaning of Memorial Day. Learn more about Memorial Day by checking out this slide show.

Let us know what you will do to help build a healthier, Choosy Nation and what you will be doing with your children on Memorial Day.

PS - Check out our sale at www.choosykids.com


About the Author: Linda Carson, Ed. D, is the founder and CEO of Choosy Kids, LLC, and the Ware Distinguished Professor Emerita at West Virginia University. An award winning, nationally recognized expert, Dr. Carson has devoted her career to promoting healthy preferences for young children and the adults who make decisions on their behalf. Click here to learn more about Linda.

14 comments :

  1. I love the fact that you mentioned talking with the kids about the true meaning of Memorial Day. I don't want my kids growing up thinking it's just a holiday to have a great day of cooking out & swimming.

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    1. I am so glad you agree. Many adults don't even realize the true meaning behind this holiday.

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  2. Thank you for reminding us why we celebrate Memorial Day. It is an important day for us to make good choices.

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    1. Exactly! Even if you don't know anyone in our military or a vet, this holiday could be a day of reflection upon your health and future.

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  3. I'm definitely trying to make better choices when feeding my kids and myself. Thank you for the reminder. Happy Memorial Day!

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    1. Way to go!! We love to hear that! I feel like it is much easier in the spring/summer to introduce new fruits and veggies as they are at their freshest! Good luck!

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  4. This is great information that everyone should be aware of. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. You're super welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. THANK YOU! My husband was raised on these types of foods, and although he believes they are 'easier, quicker, or faster' I strongly have said nope. These are something I've slowly tried to acclimate away from his diet and never introduce into our child's diet. The long term health consequences aren't worth the so-called convenience. There are many other ways to prepare natural, healthier options while also saving on time. LOVED THIS SO MUCH. I do pledge to make smaller, and sometimes more drastic changes especially in reference of not buying it.

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  6. We live in a country saturated with convenience foods; it's sad that we can get so busy sometimes we can't even cook! I've been making small changes here and there, like using some whole wheat flour or doing my cooking with whole foods instead of things like the "cream of" soups. Little steps can make a huge change in our lives!

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  7. Thank you for this great article! It really is something we all need to think about, even if it can be easy to forget at times.

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  8. We choose to exercise more. We we are working on making healthier eating choices.

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  9. I can't tell you how much I agree with this! A. the healthiest I've ever been is when I eliminated all processed foods. B. I will definitely take this pledge! C. I think honoring the true meaning of Memorial Day is so important, too!

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  10. You're so right about how we should celebrate the holiday. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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