Monday, February 29, 2016

February Required Reading night right around the new year, we were gathered around the dinner table ready to eat. I was so pleased with the meal I had prepared for my family, it was balanced and beautiful. Then it began...the grumbling and complaining. And that's when I lost it.

How could they complain?? These children have traveled to a place where they have seen people starving in the streets. They have a little sister who cannot eat, but rather receives all of her nutrition via g-tube. My children have perspective! They should open the fridge and pantry - which are filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and meats, and be filled with gratitude. But they weren't. So it was time to get tough.

I announced right then and there that there would be no fast food for all of 2016. Also, I would once again pack lunches for them (they had begun packing their own lunches) to ensure they had healthy meals. The children were horrified. The prospect of a year without fast food seemed cruel and unusual in their eyes. But when I say it, I do it. And so it has begun.

As I sat down to determine a required reading book for February the topic of nutrition came to mind. I thought it would be good for the children to read facts about food to help reinforce the things I had been teaching them. After reading some reviews, I decided on...

Nutrition Facts for Kids

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Alexandra is the first to turn in her essay...what a gem! Oh, how I laughed! 
It simply has to be shared. So without further adieu, here it is:

Alexandra Sorenson
Nutrition Essay

So, nutrition. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. BORING! You know, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more, if it weren’t for the author’s totally biased opinions. Like, honestly, in my mind, I was like, “Darn (insert author’s name), Back at it again with your stupid, totally biased, ridiculous opinions!” Ok, my venting is done. Well, it is done for now. Okay, back on topic. So, let’s just face it. There is an overwhelming amount of fat people in this world. Well, this country. TO be honest, I don’t think there is a whole lot of obesity in other countries like there is here… Anyways, there are fat people here, because no one really pays attention to Nutrition. People just eat artificial, fake, unhealthy food. And that isn’t good. So yeah, every once and a while, you can have something unhealthy. If I recall correctly, the author stated that 90% of the time, you should eat healthy, and nutritiously, and that 10% of the time, you can have sweets and other unhealthy foods.

                I would have to say, one of my favorite parts of the book was when it talked about CHOCOLATE!!! Did you know that chocolate in its original, pure form is actually really healthy, and good for you?!?!?! Yeah, you did know that, and I did too. But it was really fun reading about chocolate. But most people actually don’t know that. Most people know chocolate as the candy bars with all the added sugars, milk, and other products. Most people know “Milk chocolate” not your pure cocoa bean chocolate. You can probably tell that I like chocolate.  Moving on. The book also talked about snacks. Instead of eating potato chips with dip for a snack, why not have an apple? If you want sugar, apples have lots of sugars in them! So do strawberries! SO, the next time someone says they want sugar, or something sweet, give them an apple! So, ALERT! ALERT! MAJOR ANGER ISSUES AHEAD! MAJOR RANTING AHEAD! BEWARE!

                Here is what really ticked me off about this book. THE AUTHOR! I absolutely hate the author of this book! Ok, maybe I am being just a little over dramatic… but seriously, come on! If you are going to write a children’s book to inform them about nutrition, don’t have all these biased opinions! Please! Is it really that difficult? NO! You may be wondering, “Well, what is wrong with the author? What makes them so biased? Why are you freaking out?” This is why folks. In this ridiculous book, the author claims that it is unhealthy to use hand sanitizer, cleaning products, etc. I mean, seriously, is it really?  Apparently to the author, when you use hand sanitizer, it kills off 99.9% of the bacteria. Some with household cleaning products. But, according to the author, it is the most terrible thing in the world to use these items, and to kill 99.9% of the germs and bacteria! Why might you ask? Because while it does kill off all the bad bacteria, it also kills off all of the good bacteria, that fights off the bad bacteria. THAT IS TOTAL BOB SAGIT RIGHT THERE! Yes, it is totally, definitely, the most terrible thing ever, in the whole entire world to use hand sanitizer, and cleaning products.

So, the author also wrote about how you should only eat food that is all organic. That is a bunch of phewy right there. Apparently, food that isn’t organic is done to death by farmers, who drown their fruits and vegetables with toxic stuff that will kill us. But no! We should not eat food like that! We should only ear food (and I quote) “within a 100 mile radius.” Yes my fellow reader, you read that right. That’s right. You should only eat food that has been grown within a 100 mile radius! Beware, if you eat food from other countries, you will die, and be cursed. You might as well say goodbye to your family now, because you won’t live much longer.

Another part that I thought was really fun about this book was the food colors. The author showed us how different colors of food mean different things. For example, white foods, such as onions and cauliflower help with your immune support, green foods, like avocado and broccoli help with detoxification, yellow foods like lemons make you beautiful, orange foods like carrots and oranges help with cancer prevention, red foods like tomatoes and red onions help with heart health, and purple foods like grapes help with longevity. Cool huh?

This book also taught us about food pyramids. Food pyramids are nutritional diagrams in the shape of a pyramid. They are designed to show us how to bake better food choices. The pyramid breaks food categories into a spectrum so you can have lots of variety in your diet. IT is recommended that we eat more food from the wider sections, like grains, fruits and vegetables, and less food from the smaller sections, like fats and sweets.

This book also had a diagram of a nutrition facts label. We were taught how to read the label, and learned what some of the numbers and words mean. For example, the “Percentages Daily Value” show us a number of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron. These numbers help determine if the food in the package has a high or low amount of a specific nutrient. The author said that two things that you should NEVER eat is foods that have high fructose corn syrup, or Trans-fat. But I think that it is ok if we just have a little bit.

                So, the final thing that I am going to talk about is Digestion. Digestion is the process of breaking food down into millions of tiny pieces. Digestion begins in your mouth when you chew your food, and ends in the toilet, following a route about 30 feet, all inside your body. After you chew and swallow your food, it travels to the stomach by way of a tube called the esophagus. Food does not fall down the esophagus because of gravity; wave-like muscle-contractions carry the food down to the stomach. We have what is called the small intestine, and the large intestine. The small intestine is a coiled-up organ that looks like a tube. It helps us break down our food. The large intestine makes poop.

                In this book, I learned that eating healthy really isn’t that bad… I don’t know if you have noticed (Whoever is reading this right now) but I actually have been trying to be healthier. I have been choosing apples (Surprise, surprise! J) as my snacks instead of unhealthy foods. Actually, frankly we don’t even have any unhealthy food in our house to tempt me anyway! (Except for the ice cream in the freezer that I may have had a bowl of) But that isn’t the point. I have actually been trying pretty hard to be a healthy person lately. And yeah, sometimes I am tempted outside of the house. For example… my fellow reader, (heaven help me) SO, funny story actually, really funny… A couple weeks ago during the second weekend of Holes, my mom packed me a really delicious dinner. Really delicious. Then, in between shows, my friends and I were talking. I was just telling her about how I am not allowed to have any fast food all year, and how outrageous it was. Then she was like, “Do you want me to get you anything from McDonald’s? I am getting some for dinner. And then I was like, SURE!!! And she came back with a cheeseburger, fries, and a drink for me. SO at the moment, I was like, “SCORE!” But after I finished eating, I honestly felt like crap. I felt really bad about it, and I physically felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t even finish my food that is how bad I felt about it. And I still feel bad about it. Only now, do I realize that I didn’t need fast food, and I still don’t need fast food. I would have been perfectly fine with the meal that my mom had made me. So, let’s all agree, me, and my fellow readers that we should just forget about the past let bygones be bygones, and move on! Ok? OK! So, let me finish by saying that I am really going to try and make an effort at this new nutrition thing. I think that one I get used to it, I will have a happier and healthier lifestyle. J

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