Published Monday, February 27th, 2012
by Guest Contributor Chef Susan Teton
“Well, a little is OK, isn’t it?” said the Mom of a 2 year old at a recent appointment with her new nutritionist. The nutritionist, warning her of the dangers of highly processed foods, chemicals and sugar, responded by saying, “the answer to that question would depend on what you and your daughter eat a lot of.”
As you likely already know, health professionals call for three basic culinary guidelines.
If followed they will likely make a significant impact on a family’s mental, physical and emotional health.
1. Take refined sugar out. Put natural sugars in.
2. Take bad fats out. Put good fats in.
3. Put probiotic rich foods in.
Simple Solutions to Implement These Guidelines With Your Kids…
It may seem daunting. Really now, whose child is going to chose a simple apple over a delicious bowl of ice cream? And, where do I find good fats?
The secret to amazing desserts, snacks and mini meals
The answer is to include nature’s simplest food sources, fresh and dried fruits, nuts and seeds. These foods combined are the secret to amazing desserts, snacks and mini meals. Nuts and seeds hold all the “good fats” often referred to as “Essential Fatty Acids”. They are called ‘Essential’ because our cells must have them for proper cell function which includes brain function. But a bag of nuts and seeds it rarely tempting, especially for children. It’s easier to choose a delicious donut that’s filled with harmful fats and chemicals. But there is a way to make these simple foods appealing to all the family.
Tap into the magic of soaking nuts and seeds
The magic happens when you soak the nuts and seeds, and then blend them with fresh fruits (frozen if you like), and dried fruits like dates and raisins to sweeten. Instantly you have a dish similar to ice cream in sweetness and texture, and rich with Essential Fats, fiber and antioxidants. Children love the taste and fill themselves quickly. These natural foods are not addictive like the refined sugars and hydrogenated fats, so children will likely be satisfied and not overeat.
Make food fun, simple and healthy
Another way to combine fruit and nuts, and get the same essence of a rich dessert, is to spread a banana (or apple) with nut butters such as almond. It’s great for lunch boxes or a road trip snack. Topping with ground flax seeds and/or walnuts, which are high in the Omega 3’s too.
If kids are not eating a lot of raw nuts and seeds, (or fatty fish) then taking an EFA supplement like flax oil may help. Although the right food supplement can certainly help a diet devoid of essential nutrients, it should not be used as a replacement for nourishing food.
A fun recipe video on how to make “nut cream berries”
Susan Teton Campbell, a food professional with over twenty years experience co-authored the Healthy School Lunch Action Guide, winning endorsements from USDA, California State Child and Nutrition Department and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Her new six part DVD series called Essential Cuisine focuses on a healthy blend of Raw, Cooked and Cultured Foods. You can see a preview video of this DVD series by clicking here.