Proper Nutrition for Children

Proper Nutrition for Children

After years of training youths and adults alike I have found that optimal nutrition for young adults is more important to growth and development than that of adults. Puberty being one of the most important developmental stages for ages 12-18, it is obvious that proper nutrient intake is critical to cognitive and physical development during these years.

The real problem with the nutrition of our youths is the quick fix mentality that is centered in all of their busy schedules. Most youths do not eat breakfast and even worse most do not eat more than a few times a day. These two alone can have serious consequences on health and performance of these children. To me, time is not an excuse for improper fueling of the body to fulfill daily activity needs and brain health.

My recommendation for children is to eat a well-balanced breakfast full of lean protein, some good fats, and some complex carbs from fruit or veggies. Many parents will take this advice as eggs and pancakes or cereal. This is a insulin nightmare in the works.

Lean protein can come from numerous sources: eggs, chicken, beef, fish, pork (yes, bacon can be good for you), and sometimes whey protein. It is crucial to get amino acids into the system early to fuel muscular activity.

Good fats will include avocado (guacamole), nuts not roasted in oil, and olive oil and coconut oil. Now I know some of the oils seem hard to get into our nutrition but cooking with these oils will provide an easy way for digestion in the morning. These fats provide the brain fuel to help our outlook on the day and increase cognition during crucial times of the day.

When choosing vegetables to eat, nothing is off limits. Green veggies will energize the body in a way other veggies and fruits cannot. But, some fruits like berries and pears can be added to provide a sweetness in the morning for some people used to the sugar content of cereal.

One of the best things about Metabolic Meals is the cycling of breakfast foods they provide that can help with monotony and laziness. There is no excuse to not eat your breakfast; all you have to do is heat it up (in some instances), or just eat it right out of the container.

Making things simple for children and young adults is one of the easiest ways to get compliance from them on the road to proper nutrition. The convenience of having already made meals takes away any issues of time and, sometimes heat to cook. When I was younger I was always trying to eat better but sometimes it just didn’t work out with practice schedules and school. Taking an approach to have meals already made and convenient will increase compliance of young adults with these busy schedules and school.

Written By: Bryan Sauder, Head Strength Coach at the St. Louis Center for Functional Medicine

Common Diet Problems

How To Address Today’s Modern Nutritional Problems

Metabolic Meals: How we address Today’s Nutritional Problems

In a recent article, Kris Gunners of Authority Nutrition wrote about “Everything that’s wrong with the Modern Diet“.

We do tend to agree with many of Kris’s points and thought we would list them, while also showing how we address these issues at Metabolic Meals.

  1. Total sugar consumption has sky rocketed in the last 150 years, averaging 500 calories per day from sugar.
  2. Consumption of sodas has tripled since 1978.
  3. Total calories have gone up 400c since 1970.
  4. People have abandoned traditional fats in favor of processed vegetable oils.
  5. People replaced heart butter with trans-fat laden margarine.
  6. Soybean Oil has become a major source of calories.
  7. Modern Wheat is less nutritious than older varieties of wheat
    *(more on this later)
  8. Egg consumption has gone down.
  9. People are eating more processed food than ever before.
  10. The increased vegetable oil consumption has changed the fatty acid composition of our bodies.
  11. The low-fat Dietary guidelines were published around the same time the obesity epidemic started.

At Metabolic Meals, our nutritional protocols give customers a convenient option that addresses some of today’s dietary pitfalls. Here are our answers to Kris Gunnars’ points:

  1. We use VERY little added sugar to our meals. When we do add sugar, it tends to be in the form of coconut sugar and honey. Daily calories from added sugar are less than 60 calories or 15g.
  2. Our customers are steered away from sodas, both diet and regular. We encourage water, teas and no more than a few cups of organic coffee.
  3. Our calories fall below the national average. More importantly, our macronutrient ratio’s are set up to maximize health, fat loss and performance.
  4. We do not use processed vegetable oils. We use a variety of healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and animal fats from grassfed/free-range/wild-caught proteins.
  5. We do not use margarine and instead use butter.
  6. We do not use soy of any kind on our plan.
  7. While it’s true that today’s wheat is much different than wheat 100 years ago, we have found that many people do better by eliminating gluten. Our entire plan is gluten-free.
  8. We serve free-range eggs 2-3x per week.
  9. We do not use processed foods on our plan. Our meals are nutrient dense and contain high amounts of fiber.
  10. Healthy fats, found on our plan, have been shown to help people lose bodyfat, decrease inflammation, improve heart health and improve immune function.
  11. Our plan has a whole is not low-fat. We provide our customers with adequate amounts of healthy fats.

Three Changes You Can Make Now To Improve Your Health

1) Eat Real Food

Unfortunately food quality has taken a nose dive over the last 50 years in favor of processed foods with 1-3 year shelf lives. Preservatives and food additives have been linked in multiple studies to cancer, hormonal irregularities and cardiovascular risks.
When comparing the thermic effect(the amount of energy used to digest our food) Real Food burns a much larger percentage of calories than processed foods.

The other clear advantage of a diet full of natural foods is the higher nutrient content that our bodies need to thrive.

2) Manage Insulin

It’s estimated that by 2020 50% of the population will be pre-diabetic. Your diet is by far the number one factor that affects insulin management. Foods that are high in processed carbohydrates trigger the body to release insulin and in time can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can negatively affect testosterone, estrogen and thyroid hormones. High triglycerides and cardiovascular disease are also strongly linked to insulin resistance.

To properly manage insulin, it’s imperative that your diet contains enough protein, fibrous vegetables and healthy fats while eliminating processed carbohydrates.

3) Balance Your Fat Intake

Getting the proper balance of fat can prevent disease, build muscle and improve your ability to burn fat. Your body actually thrives on the right healthy fats. However, trans-fats and isolated vegetable oils can cause problems.

Top health practitioners recommend that humans consume a diet with an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio not exceeding 4:1. Today the typical western diet can be as high as 50:1! Addressing this imbalance can make drastic health improvements!

A diet that rotates nuts, seeds, olive oil and coconut oil with plenty of proteins that are grass-fed, free-range and wild-caught will give you an optimal ratio of health fats that your body needs.