Month of May Mothers: Milk.


No, this isn’t a call about what or how to feed babies, or that remarkable mammalian characteristic. But it is about what mothers feed their children when the children start to talk. It’s about choices.

I heard a disturbing, and I guess somewhat unsurprising, NPR story yesterday called “Soda in America: Children and Families.” What shocked me was when one proud boy said he had had breakfast, and to drink he had pineapple soda. He thought because it said “pineapple” it was made from fruit, and therefore good for him. His thinking was correct, if indeed the drink had been made from 100% fruit juice, but alas, the content was not.

There are two big issues here:

1. Know how to read a food label, and APPLY YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO YOUR CHOICES

2. Don’t go for “easy,” but try to go for ” better.”

It’s not just about choosing to drink soda all day. It’s also about the fact that in urban areas, it’s a “food desert,” meaning there are no large grocery stores that carry a variety of healthy, relatively inexpensive foods. In many urban areas, convenience stores dot the corners, offering up an array of salty, sugary snacks: a lot of empty calories that cause heart disease, obesity, and other health issues.

I do not claim to eat all that healthy. I have been through stages where I’ve experimented with vegetarianism, whole foods, etc., but life and stress does enter into my eating choices. But instead of reaching for a Diet Coke, next time I’ll drink water; instead of carrot cake, I’ll have carrots. (I’m not that dumb, I just like cake.)

For example, today I brought an Arizona “Lite” Green Tea Lemonade. It has only 50 calories a serving, no fats, and 5% carbs (sugars). But I’m drinking the whole thing. It has 5 servings. Do the math: that’s 250 calories! I could have, and should have drunk that much in water today, for NO CALORIES, and my tummy, skin, and life would have felt better for it.

You read for your life, literally.

Food Label