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A great post on nutrition from The Homeschool Classroom

Last post 04-03-2009 9:01 PM by mrodney. 1 replies.
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  • 04-03-2009 1:20 PM

    • MiaZ
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-17-2009
    • Posts 150

    A great post on nutrition from The Homeschool Classroom

    I have said before that I love this blog.  I love the way it looks.  I love the topics.  I love everything about it.  (I'm also extremely envious, as mine isn't nearly this great!)   They have a lot of different authors with different opinions about things - I think that's why it's so special.

    Today's topic is about nutrition. 

    Mmmm, cupcakes....I mean, carrots! YAY CARROTS!

    At our last co-op meeting I talked some about nutrition, and Angie suggested I might share here, too. Of course, being chronically disorganized, I apparently didn't save the handout I had typed up and passed out when I did my little spiel. Darn. Ah well, I've got the internet at my disposal and I don't have to worry about rambling on so much, so you'll probably get some added information!

    Now, I'm going to preface this by saying, I'm totally not a super health food guru or anything. Everything I talk about here is just what my goals are when buying food. For various reasons I'm not always able to buy exactly what I want, but having a firm ideal of what my nutritional goals are gives me a frame of reference when shopping.

    Here are my basic guidelines-

    Whole grains- The refined grains that most of us are used to have basically been stripped of everything in them that's nutritious and pumped up with artificial nutrition to make up for it. Not only is that artificial nutrition more difficult for our bodies to process and absorb, but processed grains are also pretty much devoid of the fiber that's essential to keep our intestinal tract running. With white breads, it gets even worse- they're full of sugar that can cause an awful lot of problems with yeast, especially for us women. When buying bread I look for whole wheat/grain, which is important to distinguish from plain ol' wheat. If it just says "wheat," it's basically processed flour that hasn't been bleached (or worse, it's been bleached but has been dyed to look brown) and isn't worth your time. Whole wheat means just what it says- it's got the whole wheat grain, bran, germ, and endosperm. This is what gives you all the good stuff!

    Whole wheat pastas are easy to find now adays in most supermarkets. If your family is used to the processed stuff, there can be some difficulty in transitioning to the whole grains, which have much more flavor and texture. Luckily, there are many whole wheat blend pastas, as well as whole grain white breads, which contain much more of the good stuff while having taste and texture closer to the processed stuff. They can be a great stepping-stone for people trying to move to whole grains!

    Artificial stuff- Whatever I'm buying, I try to find the brand that has the least amount of artificial stuff in it. My rule of thumb is to look for the shortest ingredient list that has the highest number of words I can pronounce. In general, if there's some really long words that I can't say, it's probably something fake. Most of us know, for example, to stay away from MSG, but how many of us know that it's usually listed as monosodium glutamate? Using breads as an easy example, I like brands who's ingredient lists look something like "Whole wheat flour, water, salt, honey, yeast." Hey, I know what all those words mean! And I've got all that stuff in my own kitchen!

    Artificial dyes are something to definitely look out for. There's a lot of evidence these days that artificial dyes may be responsible for hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children. The dyes most commonly cited as problematic are Red 3 and 40, Yellow 5 and 6, Blue 1 and 2, Green 3, and Orange B. All they do is make food look

    Keep an eye out for artificial preservatives, too. Artificial preservatives have been linked to a whole host of problems, from neurological issues to weakened immune systems. Avoid nitrates, BHA and BHT, Sulfites, Sodium Benzoate, and TBHQ (and probably some others!) Some of the natural or okay for you preservatives can have weird sounding names, like
    Sodium Bicarbonate/Hydrogen Carbonate- no worries about that one, it's just baking soda!

    Simply put, the closer a food is to its natural state, the better it is for you and your kids. When we're eating healthy, our immune system is strong, we feel good and full of energy, and our brains are working at their best. Like I said, I'm no health food guru, and I'm working on a very tight budget. But having these guidelines in mind help me to make the best decisions I can based on my budget and what's available to me!

    Katie never gets enough sleep and sometimes gets around to blogging at Just Another Catholic Mom.

  • 04-03-2009 9:01 PM In reply to

    Re: A great post on nutrition from The Homeschool Classroom

    That is a cool website. I bookmarked it. . . now only if I could remember that I bookmarked it. . .
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