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Read the latest news and tips on nutrition, family health, exercise and fitness from Simone Lord.
what's in your fridge
What’s In Your Fridge?

How our purchasing decisions impact the physical and mental health of our family members.

As a professional mum living in Australia, I understand the importance of making wise decisions when it comes to purchasing food for my three boys. It’s hard enough to balance work and family life, let alone ensure that the household is stocked with healthy and nutritious foods.

In this blog post, I will explore what’s in our fridges and how our purchasing decisions can have a direct impact on our families’ physical and mental health.

An Inconvenience (pun intended) Truth 

The reality is that many of us turn to convenience foods as a way to save time during busy periods. It’s easy to grab something pre-made from the freezer section or take advantage of the endless array of processed snack foods available on grocery store shelves. But the truth is that these “convenience foods” aren’t always as convenient as they seem—and they can actually be detrimental to our health.

A Brief Study – Amongst Mums

I recently conducted an informal survey amongst family and friends, asking them what their top 10 brands were in their fridge at home. The results highlighted some concerning trends—a lot of processed convenience food full of preservatives, artificial flavours, added sugars and unhealthy fats were staples in many households. Some of the most commonly cited brands included Kraft, Nestle, Kellogg’s, McCain’s and Uncle Ben’s.

Sugar & Salt

Unfortunately, high levels of sodium are often found in processed foods such as these which can increase blood pressure and put your body at risk for stroke or heart attack. In addition, many processed snack foods are high in calories due to added sugar which can lead to weight gain. Such weight gain increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later on in life if left unchecked.

Additionally, heavily processed food lacks key nutrients such as B vitamins which are essential for healthy brain development in children—so it’s important to take note of the foods we stock up on at home so we can make sure our kids get all the nutrients they need for proper growth and development.

Fresh Produce Over Packaged Goods

So what should we be stocking up on? Well firstly it’s important to focus on fresh produce rather than packaged goods whenever possible. This means stocking up on fruits and vegetables instead of chips or crackers when you hit the grocery store each week! Whole grains such as oats or quinoa are also great sources of fibre which keep you feeling fuller longer while providing essential minerals such as iron needed for healthy cell function throughout the body. Lean proteins like chicken breast or fish are also recommended since they provide essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) needed for muscle growth & repair in both adults & children alike! Finally don’t forget about dairy products like low fat yoghourt which provide calcium & other minerals necessary for strong bones & teeth!

Making Healthy Choices, Easy.

Making healthy choices doesn’t have to be difficult either – there are plenty of easy recipes out there that use simple ingredients yet still taste delicious! Soups are a great example – they’re full of nutrients & can be made quickly with just a few ingredients like carrots, celery & potatoes boiled together with some stock cubes! Or if you’re feeling adventurous try your hand at making homemade pizzas with whole wheat crust topped with veggies like mushrooms & peppers – yum!

At the end of the day it all comes down to being mindful about what we bring into our homes & feed our families.

Making Healthy Choices as Professional Mums in Australia

As busy professional mums living in Australia, it can be hard to stay on top of making the healthiest choices for our family. We’re constantly juggling work and home life, trying to make sure everyone is fed and happy – often this means convenience meals are adopted rather than healthier options. But it doesn’t have to be difficult either – there are plenty of easy recipes out there that use simple ingredients yet still taste delicious! 

Souper Choices!

Soups are a great example – they’re full of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that help our bodies stay healthy and strong. With just a few ingredients like carrots, celery & potatoes boiled together with some stock cubes you can whip up a nutritious meal that won’t break the bank! Or if you’re feeling adventurous try your hand at making homemade pizzas with whole wheat crust topped with veggies like mushrooms & peppers – yum!

Fridge Check 101!

One way we can ensure we’re keeping our family’s diet on track is by taking a look inside our fridges. Below is a list of ten brands commonly found in Australian households that may not always be doing us any favours when it comes to good health:

This might be obvious, but are you being honest about what you find?

1. McDonalds – The classic fast food brand offers an array of unhealthy options such as greasy burgers, salty fries and sugary desserts which provide very little nutritional value other than empty calories.

2. Coke – Soft drinks are one of the worst drinks you can give your children as they contain high levels of sugar which can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental problems such as cavities.

3. KFC – Fried chicken from KFC can be high in saturated fat and unhealthy trans fats which increase risk factors for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.

4. Cadbury Chocolate Bars – These sweet treats are full of sugar which can cause weight gain, tooth decay, and even depression if consumed in excessive amounts.

5. Maggi Noodles & Pasta Sauce – Although convenient for quick meals, these products contain preservatives, artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners which have been linked to increased risk for cancer and other health issues.

6. Heinz Baked Beans – Although beans are packed with proteins, iron and fibre, canned baked beans also contain added salt and sugar which can increase blood pressure levels over time leading to heart disease or stroke if eaten often enough.

7. Doritos Corn Chips – These chips are usually deep fried full of saturated fat which increases cholesterol levels putting us at risk for heart disease or stroke over time if eaten regularly enough .

8. Pizza Hut – This pizza chain often adds additional cheese on their pizzas along with pepperoni or bacon toppings all providing unnecessary fats and calories contributing towards weight gain over time if piled onto regular diets .

9. Jam – Jam is typically made with lots of added sugars making it high in calories while offering very little nutritional value beyond being an energy booster .

10 Red Bull – This popular energy drink contains caffeine as well as taurine (an amino acid) , both stimulants associated with anxiety attacks , headaches , nausea , sleep disturbances , elevated heart rate & blood pressure . Not exactly something we want our children consuming on a regular basis!

It’s important to remember that no single food item should be demonised; however, incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets is key when it comes to promoting overall health & wellbeing ! Making small changes such as replacing processed snacks with nuts & fruit , cutting down on sugary soft drinks opting instead for water will all go towards creating positive long lasting habits within the family !

The Less Obvious & Often Forgotten Fridge Demons

1. Processed Meats: While sliced, prepackaged meats like bacon or deli meat may seem convenient and tasty, they are full of unhealthy preservatives and sodium that add to our daily intake with potentially negative impacts on our health.

2. Pre-made Salad Dressings: Often loaded with sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients such as MSG or high fructose corn syrup, store bought dressings can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy salad.

3. Fruit Juice: Many people assume that all fruit juice is made from 100% fruit but this is not the case! In fact many processed juices contain added sugars which increase their calorie count significantly while offering no nutritional value whatsoever.

4. Frozen Dinners & Entrees: Most frozen meals come pre-packaged with a slew of preservatives and additives that turn them into a nutritionless meal option – opting for fresh foods instead will provide much higher levels of nutrients in your diet! 

5. Microwaveable Popcorn: Top microwave popcorn brands boast high amounts of trans fats used to give it its buttery taste – these have been linked to increasing heart disease risk so it’s best to avoid the temptation altogether! 

6. Sugar-filled Cereals & Breakfast Bars: Unfortunately, most cereals and bars marketed for kids are loaded with added sugars – these empty calories set them up for a rollercoaster of energy levels throughout the day.  

7. Sugary Drinks: Whether it’s fizzy drinks or fruit juices, they all contain high amounts of added sugar and can cause dehydration due to their diuretic effect – so always opt for water first! 

8. Convenience Foods: These are usually heavily processed foods such as canned pasta sauce, pre-made pizzas and ready meals – not only do they contain too much sodium, fat and sugar but also lack essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs.   

9. High Fat Dairy: Full-fat dairy products contain saturated fat which increases your risk of heart disease if consumed in excess. Low-fat alternatives are usually just as tasty and are much better for you!   

10. Processed Meats: Think salami, bacon and sausages – these processed meats can be high in sodium, nitrates and trans fats that can all increase your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer. 

As a professional mum with three boys myself, I understand how difficult it is to make healthy choices for your family when there’s so much marketed at us from every angle. The key message here is to take control of what goes into your fridge – opt for fresh produce where possible!

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