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The Nutrient Walk of Shame

June 2, 2010

I generally feed my family healthy food.  I buy organic when I can (which not only means when it’s available, but also when the budget allows – that stuff is expensive!) I rarely have junk food in the house, and I always go for whole grain bread and pasta.  But I know I could do a lot better (at this point Mommy Guilt rears its ugly head) and so 5 Nutrients Your Child May be Missing was both a blessing and a curse to read.  

At the top of the list is calcium.  I don’t worry about this one at all in my house, because both kids manage to snarf down at least a dozen servings per week of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (I get my health licks in though – neither one seems to have picked up on the fact that the boxes I buy have “Made with 50% Whole Grain” emblazoned on the front – it’s not exactly the apex of healthful eating I know, but it’s a start.)  This of course is based on the somewhat dubious proposition that the cheese in macaroni and cheese counts as good dairy.  Please note:  a dozen servings does not equal a dozen boxes.  Even I am not that depraved.

“Soft drinks, such as soda and fruit beverages, have infiltrated kids’ diets, causing milk to take a back seat.”  I would add coffee to that list of shame.  Anyone else blown away by the number of middle and high-schoolers who frequent Starbucks?  Apparently no one told them coffee would stunt their growth.  I’m really not one to talk though, as I wear my Starbucks habit proudly on my espresso-stained sleeve.  When my daughter was just learning to talk, she caused quite a stir at the local grocery store checkout line when she loudly chirped, “Yes, please, I’ll have a grande non-fat no-whip one-pump mocha, extra hot!” to the astonished clerk.

Next is the ever-popular fiber.  “‘I’m a dietitian and getting my own kids to eat enough fiber is challenging,’ says Shield.”  Well thank you for your honesty!  Most adults have a hard time eating enough fiber, and as any parent knows, it’s even worse with kids.  Figure out how to incorporate fiber into a Tootsie-Pop and then we’ll talk.

Who knew magnesium was so important?  At number three on the list, it clearly needs to be given more respect in the Savvy household.  And just how do I get more of this vital nutrient into my little darlings?  Simply by offering them “dark green vegetables; a variety of nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds; whole grains; and white, black, and navy beans…”  Oh yeah.  That’s going to go over well.  Let’s see…magnesium is a metal, right?  I have a feeling multiple plays of AC/DC’s Back in Black will have to suffice.

Vitamin E turns out to be an easy one, thank goodness.  You don’t have to look any further than that fortified breakfast cereal in the cupboard.  Alright, now I have my confidence back.

Potassium rounds out the list, and again this is an easy one to tackle.  Low-fat yogurt and orange juice are both palatable to my kids and can usually be found in our fridge.

Now if I could just win the lottery and hire a personal family chef who could cleverly disguise all of the rest of those healthy nutrient-packed ingredients and incorporate them into macaroni and cheese and Top Ramen we’d be in business.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth permalink
    June 3, 2010 7:19 am

    Love this overview! …And your writing is sublime, as always!

  2. savvymomsafekids permalink*
    July 7, 2010 5:26 pm

    Thank you Beth! (Sublime…who knew?)

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