I'm really happy to see swift action from people of influence demanding accountability from the food-processing industry for what companies put on their packages. It's ridiculous how much gray area exists in what they are allowed to claim.
What's sad is that the FDA wasn't the first to ask the questions. The food industry is a powerful lobby, and has a lot of money to use to make sure these gray areas don't shrink. Look at all the advances we've made in nutrition research in the past 20 years, but compare that with the lack of evolution of the foods that manufacturers market to our kids. It's way out of balance. It's almost like they don't really care about the well-being of the American people.
The choice is ours
But it's not entirely their fault. As long as Americans keep buying cheap, non-nutritive food, manufacturers will continue to produce cheap, non-nutritive food. It's basic supply and demand. If we don't demand it, they won't supply it.
There are alternatives to sugary kids cereals, some of which I've discussed in past columns. Look for cereals that are low in sugar (less than 10 grams per serving, if possible) with natural fiber from whole grain. Flavor it up with fresh berries or bananas and skip the added table sugar.
A cup of fruit and yogurt with a bit of granola is another great option for a balanced morning meal for kids. Make it parfait style in a tall glass for some flair.
A toasted peanut butter-and-banana sandwich is a winner in most kids' tummies, especially when served with a glass of orange juice.
My kids love fruit smoothies made with frozen, mixed berries, apple juice, ground flax seed and a scoop of protein powder.
See a pattern here? Simple and easy isn't exclusively owned by Kellogg and General Mills. The best immune support comes from a lifestyle of great nutrition and regular exercise - not from a gimmicky marketing campaign.
Chad Smith is co-owner of Home Team Fitness. Visit his Web site at www.hometeamfitness.net.