Are you a “sports drink” parent when it comes to rehydrating your kids on a hot summer day? Do you choose juicy looking drinks in foil packages? The occasional soda? Don’t feel bad. A lot of Mom’s in America do, and you may not realize that these “kids drinks” contain an ingredient that is highly processed and linked to early onset diabetes and obesity. That ingredient is high fructose corn syrup.
There are some new commercials that are trying to make you feel better about it. They say that giving your kids high fructose corn syrup in moderation is ok, but the problem is that this cheap sweetener is in everything. According to a recently released study at Princeton University, all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States. ”Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction at Princeton.
Here are some ideas to help kick the the high fructose corn syrup out of your cupboard, and add in some healthy choices;
1) Coconut Water: Coconut water is ultra hydrating, delicious, and all natural making it the perfect summer drink for your kids and you. Some brands add a small amount of tropical juice which kids love. It’s also the secret weapon of the Brazilian Soccer team , a fact little boys like to know.
2) Homemade Lemonade: Try making your own pitcher of lemonade with organic lemon juice and a natural sweetener like stevia or honey. Whole Foods sells organic lemon or lime juice in bottles- make it easy.
3) Healthy Chocolate Milk: AH! laska brand organic chocolate syrup or powder is delicious for a treat- add to almond milk for a protein rich drink. For a thicker, milkshake like drink, add a frozen banana and blend in your blender. It’s a great after camp refresher. ( and it has a cute polar bear on the front)
4) SMOOZE is a frozen liquid, and a great substitute for ice cream. Smooze are natural frozen snacks made from coconut milk and juice. They’re creamy, kids love them and for 70 calories lots of Mom’s are hooked too. Look in the freezer section of Whole Foods or sometimes on the shelf-pre frozen.
5) Make a SMOOTHIE
Here’s a smoothie recipe using fresh fruits and coconut water that will satisfy the entire family.
1 cup fresh organic strawberries
1 nectarine( or frozen peaches)
6 oz coconut water
1 frozen banana
Blend in blender or Vitamix