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Cereal Killers Lurking in Your Home?

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Let's examine a child's typical breakfast: Processed breakfast cereal (sugar) with milk (more sugar), toast and jam (even more sugar), served with a glass of fruit juice (still more sugar). All carbohydrates break down into sugars in the body.

Let's examine a child's typical breakfast: Processed breakfast cereal (sugar) with milk (more sugar), toast and jam (even more sugar), served with a glass of fruit juice (still more sugar).

All carbohydrates break down into sugars in the body. With this typical children's breakfast we have mistakenly begun our children's day off on a sugar high!

But hold on-aren't fortified breakfast cereals full of essential vitamins and minerals?

Joanna Blythman, food writer, says it best when she describes breakfast cereals as "a good example of how the food industry loves to take a basically healthy food and put it back together again in a more profitable, but nutritionally compromised form."

Breakfast cereals are "fortified" with synthetic vitamins because the natural goodness is milled out during the processing-we are then lead to believe they are good for us.

Artificial "Natural"

ABC news (May 4, 2004) disclosed some errors our food manufacturers make on nutritional labels. Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, says he has a list of brand name products that claim to be "natural a term that is not regulated-when they actually contain artificial ingredients.

False Health Claims

Kelloggs ran a misleading advertising campaign which claimed the company was "Serving the Nation's Health," when Kellogg's Cornflakes contained one of the highest salt levels in the cereal market. Together with Kellogg's Rice Krispies, these two products were deemed to be 10-percent saltier than seawater by the National Food Alliance.

Allergy Alert

Does your child have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods? If your child is allergic to corn, not only do you need to avoid the foods that show corn as an ingredient, but you need to avoid derivatives such as baking powder, malt, sorbitol, fructose-to name only a few.

Breakfast Cereal Pesticides

Along with all that sugar, your child may also be eating toxic pesticide residues that are regularly detected in corn-based cereals, even after processing. Pesticides have been found in 10 to 30 percent of conventional breakfast cereals.

Healthy Alternatives

Be part of the solution. Serve whole foods instead of processed or packaged foods. Apply the principle of balance with each meal. This means including a portion of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats-the three basic building blocks to good nutrition.

For breakfast, serve whole grains, such as rolled oats, quinoa, millet, and amaranth, cooked with water and a pinch of salt. Add plain organic yogourt for a complete protein and whole fruit for natural sweetness. Top with nuts and seeds for your healthy fats. Try making a vegetable omelette or a fruit smoothie made with fruit, water, vanilla whey protein powder, and flaxseed oil.

Using whole foods to create a balanced meal can reward your children with natural energy, sharper thinking, stabilized mood, and normalized weight.

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