Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Candy Causing Problems?

© copyright Rudy's Organic Bakery, taken from advertising material

It's that time of year. Candy is everywhere, including in your kids' rooms. This is when my kids used to always have one of two common problems; they either got the runs from too much sugar, or they got plugged up from too much sugar. Funny that these two very opposite problems can be caused by the same bad nutrition, but it does. We're all wired differently, and so our bodies can react either way.

So what's a mom to do? I have some info to help, and a couple of websites if you'd like to read more. Let's start with fiber. No matter which problem you're dealing with, fiber is important to correcting it. According to Bella Online, the top high fiber foods (with more than 7 grams of fiber per serving) are:
  • avocado
  • black beans
  • bran cereal (the Winner, weigh in in at nearly 20 grams in a cup)
  • broccoli
  • green peas
  • kale
  • kidney beans
  • lentils
  • Lima beans
  • navy beans
  • oats
  • pinto beans
  • split peas
  • raspberries
  • brown rice
  • soybeans

You may be asking "What if my kids won't eat anything on this list?" Here's Bella's B List, each item containing more than 3 grams of fiber per serving:

  • almonds
  • apples, with skin on
  • banana
  • blueberries
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • figs
  • flax seeds
  • garbanzo beans
  • grapefruit
  • green beans
  • olives
  • oranges
  • papaya
  • pasta, whole wheat
  • peach
  • pear
  • pistachio nuts
  • potato, baked, with the skin
  • prunes
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • sweet potato
  • Swiss chard
  • turnip greens
  • winter squash
  • yams

Did you just ask the same question I did? I thought yams and sweet potatoes were the same thing. I'll have to remember to ask the produce department folks about that.

If Halloween candy has your kid a bit bound up, he needs two things: lots of water and lots of fiber. Of course, cutting back on the candy ration won't hurt either. Try my ideas at Taming the Candy Monster and The Mother of All Halloween Sites.

Now let's move on to that other problem, the runs, or more specifically, diarrhea. It's no fun. I consulted the Wise Geek for some helpful hints, such as:

  • Eat bananas to replace potassium lost during diarrhea and help firm things up.
  • Applesauce and apples are a good source of pectin, a natural bulking agent.
  • Yogurt contains natural live cultures that help restore intestinal balance.
  • Plain toast and rice are good mellow foods for calming down an enraged intestinal system.
  • Green tea and weak black tea (decaffeinated) help replace lost fluids (don't add sugar)

A couple of added tips that are important no-no's:

  • Avoid sports drinks because of their high sugar content.
  • Don't substitute apple juice for apple sauce or apples. Apple juice tends to act as a natural laxative--better for the opposite problem.
  • Steer clear of herbal teas, as they might prolong the problem.
  • Finally, skip additives such as milk, honey, sugar and sugar substitutes.

I've included the links to these two sites, so feel free to check out their other ideas and topics. Good luck getting through this tough week after Halloween. I remember these problems all too well. Hang in there.

One last thing: Don't forget to vote today. Our future depends on your participation, and getting involved is empowering. See you at the polls.

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