Carrot Juice vs Chips: Bike for Life explores the options

Surprise: Kids like carrot juice.

Carrot juice or chips?
Raw peanut butter anyone?
What do you think kids will eat?
Turns out they’ll eat all three, but not necessarily in that order.

I didn’t think they’d like carrot juice, but they did.
They watched intently as the Willy Street Coop juice bar man turned carrots into juice with the flip of a switch. The rich, orange juice flowed out and the kids eagerly drank it up. They also loved watching peanuts turn into peanut butter in the grinder.  They liked that it looked kinda gross coming out of the machine, which always helps with kids.

After they tried the juice and peanut butter, I took out chips and chocolate to talk about portion size and choices in food. They squealed with delight. Sugar, salt and fat make for tough competition. No squeals for carrot juice and unsweetened/unsalted peanut butter, but then again, they had never tried them before.  On the other hand, junk food, is readily available and a primary cause of obesity in kids.

Can you just 12 chips?

Of course, the real challenge with junk food is how much kids eat.

Did you know that there are about 12 chips and 250 calories in one serving?  Have you ever tried eating just 12 chips in a sitting?  That’s the challenge. I offered single serving bags of chips to make the point.

The next time you sit down to eat chips, challenge yourself and your kids to eat just one serving. And, before you eat, read the ingredient label. Turns out that the nacho cheese flavored chips are loaded with preservatives, whereas simple potato chips contain just potatoes, oil and salt. Even in the chip world, there are choices.

As for the chocolate, the package said a serving was half the bar. This seemed like a lot so we talked about that. Can you eat just a few squares of chocolate and put the rest away for another day?  I know I can’t, which is why I don’t eat chips or eat sugar. I shared this with the kids so they know that there’s a choice. They don’t get it, but then again, they don’t have to, just yet.

Kids are smart and while most of their food choices are made by others, I believe that this information will make a difference to them.

Perhaps not now, but in the future.

What do you think?   

Bike for Life is an obesity prevention program created and run by Diane Schwartz out of the Goodman Community Center. It’s funded by the Endres Foundation and the Rosenlund Family Foundation. The group is enjoying the great fall weather by biking around Madison. Next week, we’ll head up to the Capitol. 

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