By Dr. Rosemarie Rutecki
How do you know if what you are packing for your kids is healthy and nourishes their bodies? Let’s take a look at the hidden ingredients.
1. Glyphosate: It’s a herbicide spray on corn (tortillas, chips), soy (edamame), oatmeal, wheat (pizza, pasta, bread), and other crops. It destroys your gut microbiome, an endocrine disruptor (affects your thyroid, sex hormones, etc.). It is linked to cancer, neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, autism, and many more. Please be sure to look for Organic and no GMO options.
2. Added Sugars: To reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and increased blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends children consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day. The National Cancer Institute found that kids between 4-8 years old eat, on average, 21 teaspoons of sugar and 14-18 years old consume 34.3 teaspoons of sugar! Hint read the labels; sugar is added to juices, yogurt, cereal, granola bars, etc.
3. Artificial Sweeteners: have been linked to allergies, obesity, depression, and an increased risk of cancer. Look for ingredients like sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin. Where do they hide? Beverages, candy, gum, sugar-free items, etc.
4. Phthalates: an endocrine disruptor linked to cancer and cardiovascular conditions. Where can you find it? Mostly in plastic, water bottles, and during the manufacturing process of foods. How to solve it? Get your child a stainless steel water bottle and prepare most of the food at home. Use a stainless steel lunch box or Thermos.
5. Heavy metals/Toxins: have been linked to autoimmune issues, cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Where can you find it? In water and packaged, highly processed foods. The best thing you can do is to get a water distiller/filter and send your kids to school with a stainless steel water bottle.
6. Trans fats: have been linked to obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Where can you find it? In fried foods (think about potato chips and pretzels). Check the trans fats’ ingredients list for “partially hydrogenated oils” in processed foods. Also, seed and vegetable oils are horrible for your health; choose better options like ghee, avocado, and coconut oil.
7. Food additives: have been linked to cancer, asthma, and nervous and digestive disorders. Look for artificial colors, nitrates, nitrites, BPA, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, etc.
We have seen an epidemic increase in childhood obesity, autoimmune disorders (like celiac disease and type 1 diabetes), autism, asthma, allergies, cancer, and many more.
For example, in 1970, 1:10,000 children developed autism, and in 2020 1:36 children. We are expecting by 2035 to see 1:3 of children will develop autism!
As parents, the best thing we can do is to protect our children by giving them the best food we can afford, avoiding toxins/chemicals, and having them move around (less screen time). We can start by cooking at home and preparing lunches with healthy protein, fruit, and vegetables.
You can follow Dr. Rosemarie Rutecki on Instagram@drrosemarie_rutecki to continue learning.
For more information, visit her website www.functional-pharmacy.com.