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Better Than Freezies

healthy popsicles

I hate freezies.

Hate is a strong word, I know. But when it comes to the health of our little people, I get all wound up and start stomping my feet and throwing around strong words.  As parents, we can do better than freezies!

I have always limited my child’s exposure to processed sugar and known toxins, as most of my parent-friends do. Little growing bodies are only hindered and weighed down by chemical-laden processed foods and teaching them what and how to eat real food is a big passion of mine. There is a need to give a little as parents though, and I certainly understand that there has to be some wiggle room when it comes to treats. So, as much as I try to keep the treats to homemade, you may occasionally catch my son sipping a juice box, licking a coconut milk ice cream, munching a licorice or sucking on a gin-gin (organic ginger candy), and it’s just our way of keeping the peace and allowing him a little freedom.

Within reason.

When it comes to certain, chemically dyed, carcinogenic, plastic wrapped nasties, I absolutely just have to draw the line.

The freezie is a big one.

I’ve got to thinking that the real problem may be that people just don’t seem to really know what’s in the freezie. They may or may not have read the label, perhaps not registering, one way or another, the unrecognizable ingredients.

So here’s my contribution to better awareness.

What’s SO bad about freezies?

  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): The list here is quite long:
  • It is known to increase risks of obesity and development of Type 2 diabetes by spiking blood sugar levels, putting strain on the liver, and slowing metabolism.
  • It negatively affects the cardiovascular system, increasing risks of developing hypertension and elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • Over 50% of HFCS is loaded with mercury, which can contribute to brain and nervous system damage, especially in children.
  • Compelling evidence suggests a strong correlation between consumption of HFCS and the rising rates of dementia.
  1. Artificial Food Dyes:
  • They are made from petroleum.
  • They are carcinogenic: Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, contain the chemical benzene, a known carcinogen
  • Increased risk of ADHD: numerous studies have now positively linked regular consumption of artificial food dyes with development of hyperactivity disorders
  • Negatively affect hormone balance: many food dyes can increase estrogen levels, contributing to growth disruptions, increased risk of disease, decreasing immune function, and interfering with normal sexual function and development
  1. Sodium Benzoate: a controversial additive used as a food preservative or antiseptic
  • Has the ability to deprive cells of oxygen, decreasing immune function and increase risk of cancer
  • Causes liver damage
  • Can increase risk of developing Parkinson’s, neuro-degenerative diseases, and premature aging

 Make Better Choices:

  • Educate Your Children: Teaching our kids about what’s in their food is a big part of our responsibility as parents and humans on this earth. The more your kids know, the better prepared they are to make good choices.
  • Make It Yourself: Homemade popsicles are super easy and quick to make. Get a popsicle mold, blend some fresh or frozen fruit and almond milk in your blender and pour. Need some inspiration?
  • Better Store Bought Treats: Look for fruit based popsicles (preferably organic), read the label, and make sure it contains ingredients that are recognizable. A few of my favourites: DeeBee’s Tea Pops, Julius, Rico’n Lalo, and Coconut Bliss.

We are what we eat. Same goes for our kids.

Resources:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers/

Chopra, Deepak: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/high-fructose-corn-syrup_b_888763.html

Monbiot, George: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/sep/10/alzheimers-junk-food-catastrophic-effect

Dr. Group, Edward: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/4-dangers-of-food-dyes/

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