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Sugar crash, alison canavan, sugary cereals, fizzy drinks, be complete, health and wellness, sugar, white poison, nutrition, kids health,Sugar was exposed on Monday night on RTE for the true demon we all know it is but we don’t want to admit to it because it’s so tasty. Well sorry my friends as we saw on ‘Sugar Crash’ tasty or not it’s killing us. Many doctors and experts have predicted that this generation could be the first to die before their parents if we don’t get a grip on this and soon!

I used to live on sugar, the lower I felt, the more I ate. I never joined the dots between the two until a few years ago when I became determined to get to the root cause of my problems without the pills. One of the first things I did was dramatically reduce my sugar intake and along with that the fog started to lift and there was no denying that sugar was one of the strong links to my mental health issues, low moods and energy levels.

Knowing this and having returned to college to study nutrition I was determined to do my best and encourage a healthy diet with my son. This was a breeze until he went to school and started going to birthday parties. Don’t get me wrong he’s allowed have treats but not every day. There are three golden rules in my house: no sugary cereals, no fizzy drinks and no fast food joints like McDonalds. Needless to say this doesn’t make me very popular with some parents. I would go far as to say that fizzy drinks and sugary cereals should be banned. They have absolutely no nutritional value and are harming our kids.

An excess of sugar over time has been shown to cause liver damage, heart attacks, stroke, dementia, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and depression. Is this really the future we want for our children? Worst of all this is totally preventable.

Teething biscuits, follow on milk and juice all day long are just some of the culprits that have contributed to this problem. We are one of the highest consumers of sugar in the world and a lot of it is hidden which is why we need to educate ourselves.

I know we are busy and most mornings we just want to get the kids fed and off to school but the bad habits we ingrain in them during their formative years will be setting them up for a lifetime of bad eating habits and health issues. Surely we want our kids to live a life of vitality and health? As a parent you are making that decision for your children right now!

As a nation we are on target to become the fattest nation in Europe by 2030. Low fat foods have a big part to play in this because the fat they take out is replaced with sugar for taste and as we now know its sugar not fat that’s the real problem.

I have some very simple tips:

  • Eat Wholefoods, which are foods that are as close to nature as possible so tomatoes not tomato sauce. Bascially foods that have been unchanged from their original form.
  • Stay on the outskirts of the supermarket which is in most supermarkets I have been too where the fresh produce is.
  • Stay away from processed/packages foods as much as possible
  • If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label you should not be eating it
  • Children up to two years of age should have NO sugar or added salt in their diets!
  • If you are time poor which leads you to eat convience food. Cook in bulk and freeze for the week
  • Eliminate fizzy drinks, juices and sugary cereals from your families diets

And be careful just because you’re kids are not overweight does not mean they are not being affected. These diseases are slow burners and are damaging our internal organs, which is something simply not visible to the naked eye. As parents we all need to take responsibility not only for our own kids but for all kids. We need to respect other parent’s wishes and make an effort to keep all kids healthy.

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I was thrilled when Eskimo-3 kids won the Gold Award for the best Omega-3 product on the market for children at The National Parenting Products awards last month.

Omega-3 fatty acids are the most critical building blocks of the brain; they are considered essential and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Without these important fats, it can become difficult for children to concentrate, learn new information, and balance their moods properly. Since most children do not eat oily fish on a regular basis, omega-3s are in short supply during the most critical stages of brain development. Eskimo-3 Kids has been specifically formulated for their needs, providing ideal support for their health and helping to achieve full potential at school.

After researching Omegas because of my own journey with depression and anxiety, one of my all time favourite books is “They are what you feed them” by Alex Richardson. They Are What You Feed Them (3) (1)This book discusses how dietary changes can improve behavior, learning and mood. She talks about making the best choices for your children with particular attention paid to Omegas. You can buy her book here FAB RESEARCH and for further research on this topic check out FUTURE OF FOOD

Both James and I take Eskimo Omegas daily because of their quality and effectiveness. I have been giving it to James since he was a baby but if you are struggling to get your kids to take it here’s and article I wrote about sneaking it into their food: 11 simple ways to disguise omegas in your kids food

I was delighted when this testimonial for Eskimo came through and this is not the first time I have heard this:

“Sabrina Leeper – My 12yr old son has Asperger’s, ADHD, add and dyspraxia. I started him on Eskimo-3 at the end of June and by the second week I really noticed a difference in his behaviour and concentration. This is the first year since he started school that he went back without a fuss and is settling really well. Handwriting has improved greatly and he will go to the homework club this year too. He’s also more relaxed with other children so for the first time ever he has friends over after school. Highly recommend these for children. Thank you :)”

HERE’S 5 REASONS TO CHOOSE ESKIMO-3 KIDS:

  1. Nutritional support for child’s development – Children need Omega 3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Eskimo-3 Kids features the same pure omega-3 fish oil as Eskimo-3, together with seed oils rich in omega-6 and Omega-9, often lacking in children under 12 years. Eskimo-3 Kids also contains 100% RDA Vitamin D, which is essential for normal growth and healthy bone development in children and also helps support immunity
  2. Trusted by Parents and Professionals – After rigorous testing and research, parents chose Eskimo-3 Kids as their preferred omega-3 supplement for children.
  3. Scientifically Proven – Children who took Eskimo-3 Kids daily for 4 months reported 58% improvement memory, 70% improvement in math’s and 60-70% reduction in common ailments such as eczema, dry skin, upper airway infections and recurrent colds.
  4. Unrivalled freshness – Eskimo-3 products are unrivalled for purity, freshness and stability in many 3rd party independent purity and stability studies.
  5. Delicious – Eskimo-3 Kids is available in two flavours – Tutti Frutti and Orange flavour. Most children enjoy taking the oil off the spoon – James loves the orange flavour and often asks for more. Don’t worry if your child is sensitive to tastes, you can easily hide the orange flavour in many foods – again check out this blog post linked above.

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Eskimo-3 Kids is available in two delicious flavours – Tutti-Frutti or Orange. More information – www.eskimo3.ie or drop into your local health store. Eskimo-3 Kids to suitable 1-12 years, while Eskimo-3 or Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 is suitable from 12+

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Children need Omega-3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Sounds too good to be true – yet scientific research continues to show impressive results.

BUT HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR KIDS ARE GETTING ENOUGH??

Well as a parent, we’re told to feed our children oily fish twice a week, but this is easier said than done. It certainly doesn’t happen in this house anyway and very often you will find that kids like to eat plain foods with most baulking at the sight and smell of fish. So how do we sneak these essential Omega 3 fatty oils into their bodies? A supplement is the simple answer.

Both James and myself take Eskimo-3. James takes his Eskimo Kids right off the spoon but I have been giving it to him since he was one so he really doesn’t know any different. Many of my friends however struggle to get their kids to take it off the spoon so here are some clever ways of hiding it in food:

Eskimo-3 Kids is available in two flavours – Zingy Orange and Tutti Fruity. While Tutti Frutti is a favourite of many due to a bubble gum flavour, orange is ideal if you need to disguise it into food or drink. Due to a very mild orange flavour, Eskimo-3 Kids orange can be disguised in many ways:

HERE’S MY 11 WAYS TO OMEGA HEAVEN

1. Blend it – Make smoothies, why don’t you put Eskimo-3 Kids into the Smoothie too!

2. Mix it into a yoghurt

3. Mix into fruit juices e.g. apple, orange, pear

4. Put it into porridge with fruit

5. Drizzle fish oil on steamed, sautéed, or roasted veggies

6. Mix it into a sorbet, or even ice cream

7. Drizzle it on bread, before spreading peanut butter

8. Drizzle it on bread, before spreading mashed banana

9. Drizzle into mash potato or vegetables.

10. Mix it with apple sauce

11. Add Eskimo-3 Kids into Protein Balls mixture

Eskimo-3 kids is one of the purest fish oils available today and has been on the Market for more than 20 years. Extracted from the flesh of the fish and not the liver, it goes beyond the strictest laws to ensure you get a fresh and stable oil, free from contaminants and heavy metals like mercury; therefore “as clean as nature intended.”

As a mum and nutritional coach I know that James needs more than just a multivitamin to support his health. A child’s brain and nervous system have different fatty acid requirements whilst growing and the great thing about Eskimo-3 Kids is that it has been specifically formulated to combine natural fish oil with natural plant oils, providing a balance of omega-3, -6 and -9 that reflects these needs. Omega fatty acids are ideal support for our kids health, brain function and all-round ability, helping them to achieve their full potential at school too!

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Available in Health Food Stores and selected Pharmacies nationwide.

My son James is ice pop obsessed, even in winter. Every shop we go into he stands by the freezer with a long face then he looks up and flutters his long eyelashes pleading with me for “just one mum”. Like a broken record I explain to my four year old about ice pops having too much sugar but of course he doesn’t care because he’s four and I sound like a demented lunatic in the shop trying to reason with a child who simply does not care about the health benefits or lack of in the ice pop he so dearly wants.

 

I know the rules or indeed the advice about not using food as a reward system or using sweets for treats as it may lead to emotional eating problems in later years but I live in the real world and we have to deal with so much on a daily basis that sometimes ice pops and the odd sour squirm have indeed been used to preserve my sanity at times.

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It’s for this reason that I’m really excited about Claudi & Fin! But who and what are Claudi & Fin I hear you say. Well they are none other than the ice pops to end my ice pop nightmare. Let me explain: There are a few things I am extremely passionate about in life. One is supporting other mums in business and another is trying to get our kids to eat healthier and this week London based mums or “Mumpreneurs” Lucy Woodhouse and Meriel Kehoe are answering at least one of my prayers by launching one of the UK’s healthiest lolly brands called Claudi & Fin into Ireland.

 

Like most parents nowadays Lucy and Meriel became frustrated at the lack of healthy snacks available for kids so Lucy said they decided to see if they could come up with something themselves so they hit the shops, stocked up on tonnes of healthy ingredients, whipped out the blender, and the rest is history.

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The frozen lollies are named after their daughters and chief taste testers, Claudia and Fin – both 3 ½. They are made from Greek style yoghurt and jam-packed with fruit. The lollies are made with absolutely no artificial ingredients and come bursting with added Vitamin D. With obesity rising at an alarming rate its good to know these lollies are also low in sugar and calories

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All the ingredients were chosen very carefully for example the creamy Greek style yoghurt has two benefits; the first is that it tastes amazing and the second is that it has almost twice the protein of ‘normal’ yoghurt and lower levels of naturally occurring sugars. It’s also a good source of calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamins B6 and 12.

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They use full fat milk because not only does it taste better but when you strip out the fat, you also strip out the vitamins; A, D, E and K. Add to that a growing body of recent evidence that shows us a clear link between reduced-fat products and weight gain in children. There’s also lots of real fruit puree in the lollies as they provide essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

 

If you ever been to one of my shows or heard me being interviewed it’s unlikely you’ve escaped my vitamin D obsession. James asks for his every day now and believe it or not an astonishing 70% of children aged between 1-4 in Ireland are deficient in this vital nutrient, leading to serious issues like rickets and bone deformities. It’s really difficult to get the quantities of Vitamin D we need from a normal, healthy diet (just 10% comes from food) and as we reduce our exposure to sunlight for other health reasons, things don’t seem likely to change.  The government now recommends we give kids aged between 6 months and five years Vitamin D supplements. So if you are choosing a treat at least these treats have 30% of your child’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin D added to them.

 

I imagine my little man will become dazed and confused when we are in Supervalu next week and he asks for an ice pop and I get more excited than him and maybe I’ll even have one myself!

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The lollies are available in Supervalu and Centra and come in two delicious flavours – Mango and Strawberry, both priced at €3.50