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What does a child in current times typically eat? Gone are the days when eating dessert or sweet snacks were occasional treats. We now find it normal that today’s children eat sugar-laden packaged cereals for breakfast and snack on chocolate bars, ice cream or candy. When observing a typical child’s diet, the rising incidence of childhood obesity comes as no surprise.

Why is sugar such a problem?

  1. The body has no mechanism to tell our brain that it has eaten enough sugar. In prehistoric times, when our ancestors found any source of sugar, the body would tell the brain to eat large quantities in prevision of future times of starvation. This is because sugar was generally very scarce and only found in fruits, nuts and root vegetables. Thus, today’s abundant refined sugar is highly addictive, creating problems with binging, obsessing, and withdrawal. What we typically consider a “reasonable amount” is in fact already too much. Our annual sugar consumption was about 4 pounds per person in 1770 and this has risen to 168 pounds! Such an exaggerated sugar consumption is the most direct contributor to diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cholesterol – in both adults and children.
  2. Children in developed countries eat on average 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. Teenagers eat 42 teaspoons per day. We know that our body does best with no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of sugar per day. When our kids eat sugar, they are not eating other healthier foods. In other words, sugar-containing foods replace other nutrient-dense foods they could be eating in their day. For this reason, sugary foods are called “empty-calories” – they fuel a generation of children that is both over-nourished but unfortunately malnourished. Our children are getting plenty of calories but inadequately small amounts of cellular nutrients such as trace minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.
  3. Refined sugar creates a sudden increase of blood sugar levels followed by a crash. This means that most people – and especially children – will feel euphoric and energized shortly after eating sugary foods but within 90 minutes, they will experience hypoglycemic episodes, which children experience as mood swings and fatigue.

Most parents find little time to prepare home-cooked meals. Restaurants offer “kid menus” that consist mostly of processed fish fingers, ketchup, French fries and ice-cream. Food colouring and preservatives are often found in processed foods geared at children. This fact is quite alarming in the light of recent research that has established a potential link between food additives and a number of childhood conditions, such as autism, attention-deficient disorder and eczema. These foods have become the common staple of child nutrition, while nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables are nowhere to be seen. It is time to re-evaluate what our children are eating and reverse the trend.

Here are a few tips to help you get started

  1. Keep a diet diary in which you record everything your child eats in one week, and daily observations regarding your child’s behavior. This will help you realize what you child is truly eating – is it mostly chocolate and sweet snacks? Is s/he getting enough vegetables? We often underestimate the proportion of processed foods our kids eat everyday diet.
  2. Remove all sodas and flavoured milks from your child’s diet – they are basically “liquid sugar” whose regular consumption leads to erratic blood sugar control, hyperactivity and obesity or diabetes in the long-term.
  3. Be a good role model! Do not eat junk foods in front of your children. Show the right example by snacking on natural unprocessed foods such as nuts and raisins, apples, or vegetable dips.
  4. Transition your household to “brown” unrefined carbohydrates. Avoid white pasta, white bread, white baked goods and anything made with white flour. Although white flour does not taste sweet, it contains several molecules of sugar bound together. During digestion, large amounts of sugars are released from the flour’s starch. Brown carbohydrates like brown rice, millet, buckwheat, brown pasta and unrefined cereals also contain some sugar contained in their starches – but in lesser amounts and bound to other nutritious substances like fiber and B vitamins. This makes it easier for the body to process sugar in general.
  5. Replace commercial baked items with home-made cakes or cookies – it is then much easier to control the amount of sugar inside and one can then encourage fruit-based treats at home. When baking at home, use unrefined flours like wholewheat flour and natural sugars like honey, apple sauce or even stevia. Use at least 50% less sugar than what most conventional recipes would suggest wherever possible. Most of us – adults included – are addicted to sugar. This means that we will go through withdrawal when trying to reduce sugar in our lives. This is a normal part of the process. It will take some work before children accept a diet that contains fewere processed starches and sugary items.
  6. Work with your child to discourage sugar-laden ‘goodie bags’ at birthday parties – replace the “goodies” with stationary, stickers, balloons or other fun non-edible items.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Mirko Francioni - Author of |Radiation mapping article for Epi Life Coach
about the author

Mirko is for people who knows him well a true motivator and inspirer. He has been the driving force in projects such as a wellness center in Thailand, a corporate on-line travel agency and membership club with over 120,000 members worldwide. Mirko has created a strong professional reputation as one of the leaders in the hospitality and fitness & recreation industries.

Improve what you eat to improve your wellness in life

Why is it crucial to eat well?

We were told to have a balanced meal. A day should comprise of breakfast, lunch and dinner (and, sneak in a little extra, like snacking and tea time in between).

Though, with the current lifestyle, sometimes we have to abandon this ideal way of eating; meeting deadlines, travelling around and getting work done ASAP. We either could be skipping meals, eating unhealthy fast food, or worse – over snacking while typing out the report for your supervisor.

So, if you are already partaking unhealthy food into your system, it will affect your overall well-being – you start to feel fatigue more often, you’ve gain more weight over time, and you are constantly moody and easily irritated.

If you are already partaking unhealthy food into your system, it will affect your overall well-being

By improving what you eat, you could see a boost in energy. Eating healthy greens like spinach and broccoli are rich in iron. Iron helps carries oxygen throughout the body, contributing to sufficient energy levels and alleviating fatigue. Healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, yogurt and low-fat cheese can help give energy boost during the daytime.

Aside from that, healthy eating assists with weight maintenance. By following a healthy eating plan, which focuses on fruits and vegetable, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats, as well as low levels of saturated and trans fat along with low cholesterol, sugar and sodium, one can maintain or reduce weight. By staying within your recommended daily calorie intake, you maintain a healthy weight which helps reduce health risk, including diabetes and heart diseases.

Proper eating can also help one’s mental state. Studies have shown that nutrients including iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and calcium can combat depression and boost moods. Illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease benefit from a healthy, reduced-calorie diet – which includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon.

If you aim to improve your eating plans and do not have a clue on where to start (or what to eat), Epi Life Coach is here to assist you.

We have a whole list of food plans, which are healthy and nutritious, which you can choose from to make. Be it meat, poultry, seafood or even vegan and vegetarian, we have a list of recipes for you.

These recipes are made with the collaboration with Food & Beverage companies and expert nutritionists to provide a wide variety of great-tasting recipes for your consumption.

Easy to follow instructions and images, you can be preparing healthy meals every single day to improve your wellbeing!

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Mirko Francioni
Mirko Francioni

Mirko is for people who knows him well a true motivator and inspirer. He has been the driving force in projects such as a wellness center in Thailand, a corporate on-line travel agency and membership club with over 120,000 members worldwide. Mirko has created a strong professional reputation as one of the leaders in the hospitality and fitness & recreation industries.​

Read other posts from Mirko Francioni
spaghetti

Mindful Eating can be a reality

Many people at lunch eat the classic salad rich in vegetables, in oil, tuna, mozzarella, ham. This way they believe they eat light, sometimes they do not even digest it properly. By heart, these salad are rich in calories and fat, to my opinion is much better a pasta dish with a light sauce. Even stuffing our bodies of meal substitutes that anticipate sense of satiety is part of those cheats that are then paid. It’s okay, but remember that a salad and a hard egg have less calories and the same nutritional properties than a bar.

Fat makes you feel insatiable

In the evening, we get some cold cuts, cured meats and pizzas at the happy hour with friends, and back home do not give up on the slice of leftover cake in the fridge. Why? Fat-rich dishes are responsible for the so-called fat paradox, that is, they silence the signal of satiety and so we eat twice as mush as what in reality should. The solution is self-control, that is, we can still eat the pitta bread with pastrami, the important thing is not to do the bis, (do it twice). And if you are invited to a rich and fat meal, the tip is to eat just a little of everything, to satisfy your curiosity without feeling guilty.

After the sweets, does hunger start appearing again?

If you can not give up chocolate and sweets is because chocolate is the typical euphoric food, it triggers endorphins, the mood of the wellness hormones. But shortly afterwards it’s hunger again, because the body is forced to produce more insulin to absorb ingested sugar. This excess insulin lowers glucose in the blood so rapidly that it has increased, with the result that the body requires it at once, triggering the hunger for sweets.

In order not to fall into this vicious circle, you should choose complex carbohydrates, which release the sugar slowly and keep the sense of satiety longer.

Do not skip lunch

There are many people who forget to stop for lunch, or they specifically avoid this meal; the problem is that then you come to dinner with a terrible hunger. It happens because when we are concentrated on other things, whether business or pleasure, stress hormones are produced and this alleviate the sense of hunger, but as soon as the plug is pulled away the stomach demands. So you have to take small snacks during the day and remember that in the evening it is better to limit yourself, as the body does not burn calories. Better get satiated with a good minestrone for dinner, and satisfy the palate for lunch.

The calorie count

If you grant yourself a bit of luxury every day, in one week you can end up putting one extra pound. But a whim occasionally does not hurt. Here are some examples of caloric foods just so you know what to choose.

  • A candy 20Kal
  • A chocolate 45 Kal
  • A teaspoon of honey 60 Kal
  • Two Chocolate Biscuits 92 Kal
  • A spoon of nutella 135 Kal
  • A Cream filled Pastry 221 Kal
  • Brioche and Cappuccino 265 Kal

Do you tend to overeat? Or do you feel you might have eat the wrong foods convinced that they are light and healthy?
Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

franco nero
about the author

Franco defines itself as a person trapped in a sedentary lifestyle, however, he is an avid fitness "addict" and like, many more in his environment spends vast parts of his leisure time on a gym, running, cycling.

eating for your future

How epigenetics and nutrition can affect your kids

As the common saying goes – “We are what we eat.” And with more knowledge and information about health, diets and nutrition, one would be more aware about what they put into their mouth. Whether it is low-fat, gluten-free, organic, pesticide-free, or whole-range, we would want to consume what would be the best for ourselves and our bodies (though, whether it tastes good or if it is easy on the wallet, is a separate matter).

For a family person, one would be choosing the best food for his or her family to consume – giving the best to their loved ones, in order for them to be healthy and nourished. But, what if our children’s well-being does not begin when you start feeding them the right food since they are young… or even if they are properly fed when they are in their infancy stage? What if, it starts with us, way before your kids are conceived?

 Epigenetics is the study of how individual genes can be activated or deactivated by life experiences.
Through this study, scientists have discovered that the biochemical process of the genes occurs not just during gestation and early development but throughout adulthood, switching genes on or off and altering our mental and physical health.

What one eats can directly affect the DNA through epigenetic modifications – altering the genetic expression. These changes are not limited to one’s own self; they can and are passed onto your children. For example, prenatal diets that are low in folic acid, vitamin B-12, and other nutrients containing “methyl groups” have been linked to an increased risk of asthma and brain and spinal cord defects in children.

By joining Epi Life Coach, we would be able gather information on your Epigenetic features – which could help provide better alternatives to improving your health – hence optimizing your well-being.

We have specifically and consciously chosen products which have proven positive results. Many of these products are available exclusively for our members – from body care, skin care, and modern day anti-pollutants to e-books that will allow you to understand how to optimize your wellbeing.

In order to complement and synchronize your wellness, Epi Life Coach has chosen to also promote stress reducing, downloadable music for workout, relaxation, meditation which can help you to achieve your goals.

Explore the Epi Life Coach web app to find out more about your epigenetic mapping information.

sarah O'Connor

Sarah is part of the Team ELC and she helps people discover what makes their life happy, meaningful, and full of ease. She is a writer, meditator and loves painting, an art she happily gets to practice a lot in her spare time.

Home made popsicles and….how to enhance your kids intake of vitamins and make them happy.

I recently started to make home made popsicles as a “fun activity” with my kids and soon realized that not only I had achieved on the fun but also increased the intake of vitamins for them as their popsicles are made in essence from fresh fruit juice.

The all thing started when I was out for shopping and I found a popsicle making kit for home users and thought of bringing some fun to the weekend as my kids where having some of their friends at home.

As per any other new activity, I normally see references online and I was surprised to notice that most of the sites I had visited showed how to make “proper” popsicles but also included in the recipe large amounts of sugar and other ingredients such as corn syrup.
This alone to my opinion was a bit of a bummer as I am teaching my kids to try and avoid sugar whenever possible so we all sat down and discuss the matter, finally we decided to substitute sugar with fresh home made honey and everyone was happy with it.

The home making is a great activity for the kids because they get together and they can have fun, we found out that most of them agreed for our trial to go for orange, lemon and watermelon. All three are quite easy to source and very refreshing once ready. The activity included a trip to the local market, showing the kids how to search for the best fruit shops, and of course bargain in prices without compromising quality.

Once back home there was a great deal of washing and peeling, and another learning curve on how to safely peel the fruits skin using a “sharp enough” knife.

Here is a quick how to make

"As written by the kids"

What you need

  • Fresh fruits (in our case oranges, lemons , watermelon)
  • Popsicle Mold
  • Fruit juice presser
  • Fruit processor
  • Fresh Honey

How you do it

  • Wash fruits
  • Peel
  • Cut in small pieces, (watermelon)
  • Remove seeds, (watermelon)
  • Combine ingredients in a processor (watermelon)
  • Squeeze juice using a presser, (orange and lemon)
  • Add warm water
  • Mix fruit / juice and honey with the processor
  • Fill the popsicle mold
  • Freeze for 6 / 8 hours

In the weeks following this event we have now started to make popsicles regularly, we have tried as many different fruits as we can, to our surprise, orange and lemon remain everyone’s favorite.

There you have it, the results are great, incredible taste and lots of fun.

Do you have a secret ingredient?, or do you prefer your popsicles made with yogurt and other creamy ingredients?

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

about the author

Apart for being a busy IT executive, Tito has a passion for cooking for friends and family and is a first class wines connoisseur.

the need for proper food

The food that we eat provides the body with what it needs. One of its most important jobs is to contribute to the body’s growth and repair. The body is made up of millions of cells. A large proportion of each cell consists of substances called proteins. Proteins are sometimes called the ‘building blocks’ of the body and without them the body cannot grow or repair itself. Some foods are particularly rich in protein, e.g. milk, fish, meat, eggs, cheese.

 Malnutrition is a major cause of serious illness worldwide.

Food for energy
The concept of ‘energy’, is somewhat difficult for many of us to grasp as we usually associate it with work or movement of some kind. In many cases we tend to relate energy to muscular work and we find difficult to explain ourselves that energy can be stored in materials like coal, oil and, in this case, food, and then released.

The release of energy from food through the process of digestion is what follow.
The food that we eat cannot be used by the body unless it has been changed into simple chemical materials; this happens as the food passes down the process of digestion and is turned into materials that can be absorbed by the body.

a good dietWhy does the body need energy?
At this stage, it would be sensible to remind ourselves that the body itself needs energy to keep ourselves alive and well by controlling the most basic functions such as:

  • keep the respiratory system working
  • keep the heart beating and the blood circulating in a proper manner
  • keep itself at the right temperature

Although all foods provide the body with energy, some are richer in starch, some in fats, same in oils than others and so on, all of these can be converted into energy by the body.

In addition to their body-building and energy giving properties, foods contain substances called minerals and vitamins which are essential to the healthy working of the body.

Discriminating from one or another and allowing the intake of safe doses is a good way to avoid non healthy foods and still getting the right amount of energy our body requires on a daily basis.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

about the author

Apart for being a busy IT executive, Tito has a passion for cooking for friends and family and is a first class wines connoisseur.

Having said no to sodas, this week I am trying to fight my thirst with an old classic refreshing drink, one that you can make at home with nothing less than a few ingredients.

Despite the general knowledge and consensus on how “bad” fizzy drinks are for our body and health in general, especially when frequently ingested, we all like to indulge into something “sweet” and “refreshing”, every once in a while for some, more often than ever for others.

It is indisputable, the resistance to carbonated sodas sometimes can be hard to fight. However, this category of drinks are not all the same, while some brands are fighting to stay afloat by trying to lure the more savvy of us by eliminating or substituting sugar with other “artificial” substances, high fructose, corn syrup etc. which are as much if not more damaging than sugar, some other smaller and cheaper brands are including even more artificial ingredients to make the taste more captivating and to claim loud how good they are for a clever “diet”.

Imagine a drink that contains the following:
Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Orange Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate, Natural Flavor, Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Gum Arabic, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Red 40, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Yellow 5, Blue 1. How good that can be? I don’t mean the taste.

Introducing

Lemon, Honey & Mint Fresh Iced Tea

What you need

  • 200 ml water
  • 3 tbsp fresh honey
  • 1 tbsp any branded tea (or 2 teabags)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon

  • For garnishing
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 3 to 4 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 to 5 ice-cubes

How you do it

  • Bring the water to boil in a kettle
  • Pour it in a non aluminum pot or saucepan
  • Add the Tea, Honey and a few mint leaves
  • Let it cool
  • Pour it in a large glass and add the ice to it
  • Top it with fresh mint leaves
  • Add a slice of lemon to it
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 10 mins

Voila, refreshing tea is ready to beat the heat

Do you have a preferred healthy drink, and if so, which one is it?

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

about the author

Apart for being a busy IT executive, Tito has a passion for cooking for friends and family and is a first class wines connoisseur.