Food in the News: Too Much Sugar & Salt in Toddlers’ Food

Right now, one in four U.S. children in the United States, ages 2-4, are overweight or obese. 

About seven out of 10 have been eating too much salt and sugar… one reason why they are chronic disease statistics just waiting to happen. 

A recent study pointed to packaged foods targeted for these young ones as a key source of this mushrooming health problem. When you learn what’s in packaged foods for toddlers, both those thought to be “healthy” and unhealthy, you’ll know why. 

Busy moms, listen in for easy, smart alternatives found in the Family Food Kitchen. Podcast here:

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Boost up your Immune system with Food!

A strong immune system is needed all year long. 

For whatever reason (actuallymany reasons), there are several old and new "bugs" flying around, carrying cold and flu germs. Even worse? The strains are strengthening.

Hosts of the Family Food Kitchen, Ellen and Carolina, have a natural defense plan for you: eat foods that are known to fight the bugs. 

Stay away from those (eg, sugar) that feed them. It really is that simple. 

Fortunately the Family Food Kitchen is filled with immune-building recipes that taste good, and many are Kid Kritics approved. Tune in and get some healthy food recipes to keep you and your family healthy.

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Food in the News: Plastic Like Foods

Related Article

Chances are, you may have plastic food at home… and not the kind intended for toy kitchens. There’s also a good chance you may have eatenprocessed foods that contain plastic or plastic-like properties. How can you be sure what you are eating is safe and healthy for you?

Processed Foods Target Your Senses

Processed foods are packed with lab-made ingredients. An easy way to spot these unhealthy ingredients is by reading the label. If it sounds unnatural, most likely, it is. For example, take fat-free food. There is so much of it at the supermarket now, and it all promises to taste exactly the same as the full-fat versions. If foods are lacking essential ingredients, such as natural fat, they still need to retain the same taste and texture so consumers will buy it. 

Food companies know this, and work hard to synthesize products that will appeal to your senses. In fact, “mouth feel” is one of the primary targets for food manufacturers. It serves as a serious driving force behind what you choose to eat, and can be tough to fight. 

A lot of the natural ingredients are replaced with synthetic versions, and can carry different chemical properties. One video in particular made waves across social media that showed a single slice of cheese being lit on fire. It ended up catching fire, but in the strangest way. Instead of melting or charring like a real piece of cheese would, the slice burned as if it had been wrapped in plastic. The individually-packed slices of cheese may be cheaper than natural cheese, but are made up of only 50 percent real ingredients, with the rest being chemicals. 

Another property that determines food sales, aside from mouth feel, is how it looks. When whole grain products started gaining more popularity, many people were turned off because they thought it looked weird or didn’t like the color. Bleaching made products look white again while retaining the whole grain nutrition; but, this was an unfortunate shortcut. It’s not just bread either; any whole grain product can be bleached, including bagels, pizzas, and tortillas. One of the main chemicals in bleaching, azodicarbonamide, is also found in yoga mats. One large food chain was caught including this ingredient, and the ensuing media blowout caused a prompt change that banned the chemical from being used in their food. 

Luckily, you don’t need to light different foods on fire to see just how natural they are. You can simply look at the ingredient list and ask yourself, “What would I need to make this?” Using the cheese example, you would want the label to include basic ingredients like milk, salt, and cream instead of chemicals that are hard to pronounce. 

Stick to whole ingredients while limiting the amount of processed and synthetic foods eaten, and your body will appreciate having natural ingredients to draw nutrients from.

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Sugar Free Treats!

So many times during the year there are occasions to serve treats. 
From birthdays to holidays and especially on Valentine's Day, sugar is a staple of celebration. Yet, we all know sugar has short- and long-term downsides. 
Sugar highs and lows, unwanted dental visits, added pounds, and all those diseases related to sugar are reasons to dump it from your pantry. So, how do you sweeten treats like cookies and cakes so they taste great?

In the Family Food Kitchen is the expert on creating the most delectable sugar-free recipes, even without resorting to artificial sweeteners. 
Brenda Bennett, author of Sugar-free Mom: Naturally Sweet and Sugar-Free Recipes for the Whole Family ( shares ideas for naturally sweetened treats that you can easily prepare and serve your family.

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Food Fight: The parents and teacher side of the story.

Second to parents, teachers are the major influence on your children. 

To complete non-profit Food Fight's healthy eating information cycle, wellness programs have been developed so these teachers can lead by example. 

The objective is to impact the children of today for a healthier tomorrow. Thus, teachers, moms, dads, and other child caretakers are taught food truths, how to identify real from fake, and how to buy and serve healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner. 

In school or at home, Food Fight is getting its information to those who influence the kids the most. 

In the Family Food Kitchen is the co-founder, Deborah Lewison-Grant, who has her Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching. Get a heads up on these grassroots wellness programs.

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Food Fight!

This type of food fight isn't your typical one.

Kids aren't throwing food around a classroom. Instead, they are learning the truth about the food industry, from messages being sent to kids in advertising and on labels, to what is in the food they are and/or should be eating.  

From A to Z, kids are being taught to be agents of food change through education and are experiencing hands-on reality in the classroom. 

They take these food truths home and fight for what is right using their new-found knowledge of nutrition facts, media message traps and real food benefits. 

Come into the Family Food Kitchen to meet the co-founder of this non-profit organization, Food Fight, Deborah Lewison-Grant, PhD and teacher. She knows how to drive this grassroots message home.

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Marcia’s Story: How Recognizing GMOs Saved Her Life

If you wonder why non-Genetically Modified food matters, listen to Marcia’s life-saving story told by guest, Melissa Diane Smith, holistic nutritionist and internationally known journalist. Ellen, host ofFamily Food Kitchen says "When I first heard Marcia’s story, the hairs on my arm stood straight up."

From severe allergy issues and heart disease to a disintegrating immune system, Marcia’s health was increasingly debilitating despite years of medical treatments. 

Even Melissa, who was trying to aid Marcia in her health battle, was seriously challenged to help Marcia until one day she discovered that her suffering was related to GMO foods. Join Melissa, Carolina and Ellen in the Family Food Kitchen to hear this eye-opening story.

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Truth About GMO Food: What you Need to Know

Why should you care whether food has been genetically modified? Seem silly? It's not: it's a matter for your life. 
Guest Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs, is in the Family Food Kitchen to give you the unadulterated truth about this controversial topic. Melissa outlines the difference between Genetically and non-Genetically Modified food.
Have you ever heard of Frankenfood? Chances are, you are eating it.
Melissa reveals the list of hidden GMO ingredients.
Find out the straight facts about health risks GMO foods create for people, different species such as bees, the balance of nature, and our planet as a whole.

Spend time in the Family Food Kitchen with Melissa so you will be armed with what you need to make healthy food choices.

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How to Eat Non-GMO

Do you need a guideline on how to eat non-GMO foods, especially when grocery shopping? 

It's actually as hard as it sounds and has become a very complex issue since food companies, the government and consumer advocacy groups differ on labeling solutions. Don't worry because Melissa Diane Smith, cutting-edge internationally known food author, joins the Family Food Kitchen to share 4 easy ways to avoid GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods.

Melissa also shares the 11 "At-Risk Foods" list for you. The bad news: corn tops this list. The good news: She has wonderful and yummy ingredients plus delicious recipes.

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How to Eat Healthy on Any Budget

Americans, living in the wealthiest country in the world, spend only 7% of their budget on food; that’s less than Europeans and less then other countries from all around the world. 
Did you know, for instance, Egyptians spend 44%? That's almost half their budget. Not only do we not place enough value on feeding ourselves to spend more money, we think that feeding our family healthy food is actually expensive. So what do we do? We hit the drive-thru for dollar meals, grab the TV dinners.

Truth is, unhealthy living is really expensive and healthy living is inexpensive
Hosts of the Family Food Kitchen explain how to frugally spend your hard earned money on nutrient packed flavor-filled proteins, vegetables, fruits and grains…inexpensively. Whether you live in a cold or warm climate, you can feed your family fresh food without breaking your bank. The internet has made this easier. Enter theFamily Food Kitchen to learn how to eat healthy on any budget.

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DISCLOSURE: Once a product passes ingredient standards evaluation followed by a blind Kid Kritics taste test, a company can opt-in to the Kid Kritics Approved marketing program. Though monetary compensation for marketing is involved, this does not affect the nutrition evaluation or taste test results.