Child Nutrition & Food Fortification

According to the promo for an upcoming Webinar series, “Child nutrition is in the global spotlight with concerns about kids’ health and eating habits.” I’m with them so far.

“Food and beverage manufacturers are being challenged to address this by offering more products for children that promote good nutrition.” Okay, so what’s the problem with that? It’s not so obvious.

Good nutrition is vital to support healthy growth in children. There’s no question about that.

They go on to say that food fortification in processed foods is the answer to our kids’ dilemma. I disagree. This seminar misses the mark.

Jayden doesn’t understand why food has to be fortified.

We still don’t know much about food synergy. It’s only been ten years since we became aware of phytochemicals or phytonutrients. One vitamin or phytonutritent enables the other to be better assimilated. When we mess around with God’s design we always come up short.

We get hung up on specific nutrients. For health we need to eat a variety of whole foods. What our kids need is not another food product, but to be taught how to enjoy whole foods. While food fortification may have its merits, you can’t outdo the benefits of natural whole foods. You can’t take parts of foods, expecting them to be as beneficial as the whole.

One example: “Experts” have decided that whole milk is not as beneficial as low-fat milk for kids. It’s part of the “fat scare” that has taken over the Food Pyramid, nutritionists’ and physicians’ thinking. So milk producers remove the fat from milk. When they do that, vitamins A and D are removed, because they are found in the fat. So what is done to compensate? Synthetic vitamins A and D are added back into the fat-free or low-fat milk. Only there is another little problem. Both vitamins are fat-soluble. They need the fat, which was removed from the milk, to be properly assimilated into the body.

Recent studies have found a diet including whole grains reduce most chronic disease. Of course when whole grains are included in a diet, processed grains and processed foods are usually eliminated. Western diets include less than one serving a day of whole grains and compared with several of white flour. We consume about three pounds of sugar a week…per person.

Eating food as close to natural as possible is the best solution for health and preventing disease. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes are whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. If you want your children to be healthy stay away from processed foods, especially if the label states “fortification.” Children don’t need fortified foods; they need whole foods to be healthy.

Have a picky eater? Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater helps you transform daily food battles to fun multi-sensory learning experiences for both you and your child.

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