Okay, did you know that frozen veggies are just as healthy, and sometimes even healthier, than fresh veggies? If you didn’t know that, don’t feel badly. It’s tough to keep up with the constantly changing research on which foods are good and which foods are not. So we want to share the 5 Food Myths You Might Believe. And believe us, some of them surprised the team here at iMOM too!
1. If it says whole wheat, it’s good for you.
This one is tricky. When we see the words “whole wheat,” we assume it’s healthy for our kids. But if the word enriched is before whole wheat, or it says whole wheat flour—without the word “whole” in front of it, it means that the ingredient has been stripped of nutrients. So, look for label ingredients like 100% stoneground whole wheat, 100% whole grain, or whole wheat alone. And, just because it looks like wheat bread, doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthier for you.
2. Organic cereal is always better.
This was one I believed. I felt good when I gave my children organic cereal, until I compared it to non-organic! If you compare the nutritional data on the box, you’ll see that non-organic cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Most organic cereals are not fortified. And, since most kids get the bulk of their vitamins from breakfast cereals, this is a biggie. So check your cereal box. If your cereal is not fortified, consider supplementing with vitamins. If your cereal is fortified, you can probably forgo supplements.
3. Fresh is better than frozen.
For busy moms everywhere, this is a great one! No more guilt over serving frozen fruits and veggies instead of fresh! The reason that frozen is just as good, or better than fresh, is that frozen food is harvested later in the growing cycle, when more nutrients are present. Fresh food is harvested earlier to allow for ripening en route to the grocery, so it has fewer health benefits.
4. Whole milk makes kids fat.
This one is super important if you have children under the age of two. If a child under the age of two is drinking milk, it should be whole milk, not reduced fat, and not fat-free. Babies’ brains need the fat in whole milk and whole milk dairy products to help their brains develop properly. So, reduced fat milk is fine after age two, but before that, whole milk only.
5. Pasta is a “bad carb.”
Pasta has gotten a bad rap. But when cooked the way it’s cooked in Italy, the glycemic index of pasta is not as high as you might think. So choose a pasta that’s thicker, and don’t overcook it. Italians prepare their pasta “al dente” which means, to the teeth. It should have some firmness when you bite into it, instead of being soft and mushy.