Childhood obesity has become the pandemic of the 21st century. As parents we have the responsibility to offer our children a good diet that prevents this plague from spreading. One of the things we can do is start switching to the foods we offer in the children's birthdays, promoters of obesity and poor diet. You do not believe it? Pay attention to our analysis of a typical celebration!
Parties, celebrations or birthdays have a great tradition of offering foods that are not suitable for children's diets. This would not constitute a serious problem if these days were counted on the fingers of one hand, but more and more children have invitations to almost weekly birthdays, affecting more and more their diet and especially the lifestyle they are learning, and unfortunately contributing to the data of childhood obesity in developed countries.
And the fact is that the menus offered by these children's birthdays leave much to be desired and move away from what parents consider a healthy and balanced diet for our children. Do you know what we mean?
Whether carbonated or not, soft drinks are not at all suitable in children's nutrition. They all contain high amounts of simple, fast-absorbing sugars (obesity, diabetes, tooth decay ...) or, failing that, in the case of the so-called 0%, they contain artificial sweeteners that, in the best of cases, promote hyperactivity and some behavioral disorders, but which, according to recent animal studies have revealed, could be related to the development of cancer.
- Salty snacks
Excess salt is related to the onset of high blood pressure and other severe cardiovascular problems in adulthood, but which, obviously, can be caused by poor diet in childhood.
- Food / snack
On the one hand, sandwiches, made with sliced bread, contain much more fat, saturated and hydrogenated, than traditional loaf bread. Additionally, it is made with refined flours, so it contains a greater amount of simple carbohydrates, and very little - or no - amount of fiber.
The filling of the sandwiches can be varied, from spreads of cocoa and hazelnuts, with large amounts of fats and sugars, patés or cheeses, through the typical cold cuts, which, if they are not of good quality, could contain, in addition to saturated fats, high concentrations of nitrates and nitrites, precursors of the dreaded carcinogenic nitrosamines.
In addition to an excess of sugar, sweets are made with gelatins, thickeners, and other types of artificial additives that could have harmful effects on the health of children.
Where has that chocolate-filled sponge cake that was the delight of children in the 80's? More and more cakes include sugar, ganache or buttercream toppings (a mixture of sugar and butter), making them literally a bomb for the body. Not only do we go overboard on simple sugar, which shouldn't exceed 5% of our daily calories, but also on the saturated fat and cholesterol that we add to these tremendous cakes.
Although this may seem extreme, it is not so extreme, since by making small modifications we can choose options that are somewhat less harmful to the health of our children. Here are some examples that you can start applying for the next celebrations with children:
- Natural juices instead of soft drinks
Yes, juices are not ideal because they provide the free sugar from the fruit and no fiber, but next to soft drinks they are tremendously better.
- Bread sticks and popcorn instead of salty snacks
They have much less salt, but are also attractive for the little ones in the house.
- Slices of loaf bread with homemade spreads instead of sandwich
Like tuna paté, York ham and even with tomato and Serrano ham. If we choose quality ingredients, the final product will be too.
- Chocolate fondue with fruits instead of sweets
Children will be dazed by the flow of chocolate and will eat the fruits without thinking. Banana, apple, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, mango ... the options are almost endless!
- Homemade sponge cake without coverage or with chocolate coating -as pure as possible- and decorating it with natural fruits
Another interesting option to avoid excess can be to make small individual portions, such as mini muffins, to which we can add a small amount of coverage, thus limiting the amount that children consume.
It is not about avoiding sugar or fat completely, since we know that on special occasions there are always excesses, but we should try to choose the healthiest options within those available.
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