While I was participating in Snacktime Saturday I had this post flagged at the top of the blog as a separate "page" but now that I'm taking a step back from the project I'm re-posting it here to archive on the blog.
The health of our children continues to be extremely important to me so I'm making sure the information is still available to other parents through this blog. There are some great resources at the end of this article so make sure to visit some of the other blogs and info to educate yourself further and spread the word.
food choices that we make for ourselves and our families have some of
the most significant impact on our planet, not to mention our health.
My family eats a mostly vegetarian diet and at home I cook 100%
vegetarian because we believe eating this way is a more sustainable and
ethical choice. I also believe it is a healthier choice. We choose
whole fresh foods as often as possible. The way my family eats isn't
necessarily what works for everyone (though if you are considering going
veg give Meatless Monday
a try for starters). What I do want to stress is the importance of
having knowledge about what you are putting into your body. With the
rise and growth of "convenience" foods and false marketing it
is becoming more difficult for us to make informed choices.
While reading Baby-Led Weaning I learned more about the way companies unethically market foods and drinks to children and violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes . Like marketing baby foods for children under 6 months of age, before they are biologically ready for solid foods (in most cases). And since then I started reading more articles and labels of items especially for kids.
So let me show you what I'm talking about. (clicking on images will take you to their sources.) Keep in mind the Canadian Stroke Network suggests children under age three should have no more than 1000mg of sodium per day.
to Gerber's own website, Toddlers need 1,000 calories a day. With this
meal they are getting only 10% of that requirement while filling over 40% of their daily intake of sodium (410mg)!
Again, 100 calories but this one boasts 470mg of sodium! Nearly half your child's sodium intake in that one little cup.
You know what has LESS SODIUM than both of those?
Is eating one of these (or any of the Gerber
selections) going to give your child diabetes? Of course not. But even
spending your money on their products once in a while makes you a
supporter of their business practices. So I ask my readers to be
mindful of not only what they are feeding their children, but where
their money is going as well.
What we teach children
now has an impact on our whole society. If we teach our children about
health and nutrition we are reducing their long term health problems
and medical costs. If we encourage them to help us in the kitchen we
are teaching them a valuable skill that will make them independent and
self-sufficient. If we raise them to think ethically and
environmentally about their food choices they can leave less of
ecological footprint on our planet. All while educating others, just as
we have done for them.
to know more? Here are some resources and activism I recommend. None
of these are paid or affiliate links, I just think they're great.
-The first time I started to be aware of my food choices was after seeing Super Size Me way back in 2004. Although this is an extreme documentary and not a typical diet, it got me thinking about what I was eating.
-Next time I really started to think about food was after seeing Food Inc. This was the big one that got me digging for more info and really changing my food choices.
-Becoming Vegetarian and Healthy Eating for Life for Children are great books. Baby Led Weaning is also very informative when deciding how and when to transition your baby to solid foods.
-I'm certainly not the first to call out Gerber meals and products. Read what PhD in Parenting has to say about them.
-Consider boycotting all Nestle products (including Gerber) to take a stance against their unethical practices.
The Pistachio Project