Kids + Snacks at School = Obesity

Yum.....diabetes

Are you freakin’ kidding me?  That was the first thought I had when I saw this.

So as many of you know I do some subbing from time to time at the school to help out on times that are hard to fill.  My schedule is completely backwards from the world so I get the privilege of working two jobs sometimes.  I do love getting in the schools though because it gives me great blog material and gives me insight into what I need to be teaching parents so they can educate their kids.

Today, I was in the fifth grade pod.  I know most of you are moms so this is going to hit home for you right away.

Let me set the scene for you.  It’s 5th grade Math.  I am hanging out in the back of the room waiting for the kids to arrive.   The kids finish sleepily slugging through the door and someone yells out

IT’S SNACK TIME.

Oh boy, did that get some excited.  Two kids proceeded to get in an argument about who was going to get the milk.  The bigger kid won, as is usually the case in middle school.

Since I had never taught this grade snack time took me by surprise.

My first thoughts were…

  1. Do these kids really need a snack at 9 o’clock, didn’t they just have breakfast around 7 or 8.
  2. And, are these extra calories going to do ANYTHING for these kids?  Many are overweight the way it is.

Then, the true horror shows starts developing.  I watch the kids as they start to pull out their snacks.

Hold on to your britches here.

Out come Cheez-its, Wheat Thins, Cheetos, Cookie Crisp, and potato skins (yes, I actually went around and wrote everything that I saw down) and to top it all off this was going to be washed down with CHOCOLATE MILK.  22 grams of sugar in that chocolate milk by the way.  Yes, I stole a carton – an empty carton- from a little girl.

Let’s quick breakdown what these kids had.  Take away the fancy marketing and lovely shiny packages and this is what you get…

1.    Processed Nutrient Depleted Flours (its okay they added back in the vitamins and minerals afterwords….sarcasm)
2.    Hydrogenated Oils (trans fat anyone?)
3.    Artificial Colors and Flavors
4.    Loads of Sugar
5.    Preservatives

Seriously, not a single kid in a class of 25 had a vegetable, fruit, or anything ALIVE for that matter.  Zero healthy fats or any significant source of protein except the milk.

What are we teaching these kids by sending them to school with unhealthy snacks?  How are they expected to learn and behave when they are on sugar highs for half the day.  Behavioral disorders are on the rise.  Could poor nutrition be to blame?

Also, by allowing kids to snack while they work is encouraging them to over consume.  This process encourages mindless eating.  You know, the sit on the couch to watch tv with a bag of potato chips and all of sudden its gone syndrome.   Please stop looking around no one stole your chips and no there is not a hole in the bottom of the bag.

Mindless eating is a habit that causes individuals to consume way more calories than they need because their conscious mind is  consumed, no pun intended, with something else.  And, most of the time these mindless foods are nutrient depleted calories to boot.  If we teach kids to snack while they work then every time they start working they will start snacking.

Kids model their behavior after their parents and it all starts in the home.  If you drink pop your kids are going to think its okay to drink pop.  If you don’t wear your seatbelt your kids are going to think its okay to not wear a seatbelt.

If you send your kids to school with snacks like Cheetos and Cookie Crisp your kids are going to think this is just what people eat.

Your children are not going to get educated on what to eat and how to eat in school.  If they do, it’s definitely not sticking, just go look at Walmart.  Help the kids develop habits at a young age so they don’t have to struggle with obesity and the myriad of diseases that are associated with it later in life.

Teach them about REAL food, teach them to cook, take them to a farm to show where food comes from, and most importantly teach them how to fuel their body for a long disease free life.

 If you don’t, WHO WILL? 

Bonus Point:  YOU might even learn a few things along the way.

If you want some ideas for a snack just “like” this article and comment on it in the section below.  Lets get some healthy discussion going.

Talk to you soon

-Trevor

Your Ultimate Fish Guide

Happy Fishy

Fish is an interesting topic for me.

To start, fish are a great source of protein, good fats (omega-3s) and have a healthy ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s. These healthy fats help to reduce cholesterol, reduce inflammation in your body, and keep your heart healthy.

Fish have also been a staple in many of the longest living societies on earth. We as humans (not as bears, well I guess bears too) have been eating fish since the beginning of time.

Fish has for a long time been considered a Superfood but since man has started to run things toxins like mercury and PCB’s are becoming more and more prevalent in our waterways mainly because of the continued use of coal power plants.

Now, we have a catch 22. Fish is a great source of many nutrients but do the nutrients outweigh the risk of heavy metal contamination?

These toxins can be very dangerous because they can accumulate in our body until they reach unsafe levels. Mercury, the most common toxin in our waterways, is a neurotoxin which means it affects our brain and nervous system.

Just for the record, nearly all fish and shellfish contain some mercury, but for most people with the exception of woman and small children the amount is not large enough to be of concern.

We can however minimize  exposure by choosing fish with lower mercury levels and limiting intake to only a few times a week.

Check out this handy dandy mercury calculator to see if you are taking in too much.

Also a quick and easy guide is to only eat fish lower on the food chain. These fishies are going to have lower levels of mercury. Fish that live for a long time and are big dog, err fish, predators typically have much higher contamination levels.

i have put together a quick and easy guide on selecting the best seafood with the lowest levels of mercury just for you.

*The following info comes straight from the FDA and EPA

Fish and Shellfish Mercury Levels

 

LOWEST MERCURY LEVELS (Enjoy 2-3 servings/week)


• Anchovies
• Butterfish
• Catfish
• Clam
• Crab (domestic)
• Crawfish/Crayfish
• Croaker (Atlantic)
• Flounder*
• Haddock (Atlantic)
• Hake
• Herring
• Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub)
• Mullet
• Oyster
• Perch (Ocean)
• Plaice
• Pollock
• Salmon (Canned) Stay away from farmed salmon (may contain PCB’s)
• Salmon (Fresh) Stay away from farmed salmon (may contain PCB’s)
• Sardine
• Scallop*
• Shad (American)
• Shrimp
• Sole (Pacific)
• Squid (Calamari)
• Tilapia
• Trout (Freshwater)
• Whitefish
• Whiting

 

Highest Mercury Levels (Avoid Eating)

• Mackerel King
• Marlin*
• Orange Roughy
• Shark*
• Swordfish*
• Tilefish*
• Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)*

 

High Mercury (Eat 3 servings or less per month)

• Bluefish
• Grouper*
• Mackerel
• Sea Bass
• Tuna (Canned Albacore)
• Tuna (Yellowfin)

 

Moderate Mercury (6 servings or less per month)

• Bass (Striped, Black)
• Carp
• Cod (Alaskan)
• Croaker (White Pacific)
• Halibut (Atlantic)
• Halibut (Pacific)
• Jacksmelt (Silverside)
• Lobster
• Mahi Mahi
• Monkfish*
• Perch (Freshwater)
• Sablefish
• Skate*
• Snapper*
• Tuna (Canned Chunk Light)
• Tuna (Skipjack)*
• Weakfish (Sea Trout)

* Fish in trouble because of low numbers and environmentally destructive fishing methods.

** Try and stay away from farmed fish. They are typically fed an unnatural diet which produces an inferior health damaging product. Stick to wild and do your research before you buy. A great online resource is

Source: National Resources Defense Council

Stick to the lowest mercury list and you will be just fine. The fish on this list are a great addition to any diet. Woman who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant and children should decrease portion size or limit their intake.  This is advice from the FDA not me.

My advice: Pregnant women should stick to a high quality krill oil and then you don’t have to worry about contamination. Krill are the lowest on the food chain and also tested to make sure they are contaminant free. Plus, krill are so abundant in the ocean we don’t need to worry about overharvesting. Take Krill Oil and consider yourself a genuine, hemp wearing tree hugger, only if you want to of course.

Also….

  • If you are still skeptical and don’t want to take your chances with fish MAKE SURE you are consuming a high quality Krill Oil.
  • If you don’t like fish or do not eat fish on a regular basis MAKE SURE you are taking a high quality Krill Oil.

Learn more about Krill Oil HERE.

Editor’s Note (aka Trevor): Krill is a supplement I recommend to every single person I come in contact with. If you are at ALL serious about your health and longevity start taking Krill Oil. YES, IT IS THAT IMPORTANT.

 

Sweet Tools:

Mercury Calculator — find out if you are consuming too much mercury

Buy Wild & Fresh Healthy Seafood Online