Monday, February 8, 2010

Please, Hold the (Added) Sugars and Check the School Vending Machines!

Paradise greetings,

The kids and I got the "cool season" gardens planted last week, then Friday night came a gully-washer of a rainstorm. I will be watching with curiousity to see what starts germinating where...We have cauliflower that we will soon harvest at the 2 northern gardens and I will teach the kids how to use cauliflower to make "mashed potatoes".

While we were working together, sorting seeds and planning our garden, we talked about inviting the First Lady and the girls to have a break from the snow. They can help us spread the word in Florida about how easy and fun it is to eat healthy. Heck, they might want to join us when Growing Healthy Kids meets with one of the chefs at the Disney Resort tomorrow.

Parents AND kids need to learn how to read labels on foods and drinks. Ben brought me a soda bottle last week: Mountain Dew "limited time only throwback made with REAL sugar". A serving size is 8 ounces. There are 2.5 servings in the bottle. There are 29 grams of carbs PER SERVING, which means the entire bottle has 73 grams of carbs. There's NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE here, but lots and lots of calories (280) and they are ALL FROM SUGAR.

Try this at home. Get the bag of white sugar out of your food pantry. Get a teaspoon out of the silverware drawer. Start measuring out some sugar.
Stop when you have 18 spoons of sugar on a plate. That's what kids are drinking when they drink a Mountain Dew Throwback Made with Real Sugar. EIGHTEEN TEASPOONS OF SUGAR in one soda.

Soda or water. Water or soda. Soda or water. We have the power to rebalance the energy children are drinking every day by educating parents about the added sugars in soda and fruit juice. Hmmmm, let's see what the vending machine at my son's school has in it....
Gotta go. Seeds to plant...

Growing Healthy Kids - improving the health - and lives - of children, one garden and one child at a time.

To your perfect health.

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids