As the person who plans the meals and buys the groceries, you try your best to buy an assortment of healthy foods for your family. If you have a picky eater or an elder with a small appetite, you may worry that your loved one isn’t getting the proper nutrition they need from food. If you supplement their meals with store bought “health drinks” and shakes, you are not alone. Unfortunately, health professionals consider most of these drinks to be liquid candy.
Why You Choose Them
The commercials and packaging make these drinks look like good health in a bottle. Depending on which drink or shake you choose, they promise everything from raised energy levels to aiding in weight loss. The ads make it look like those who drink these drinks will run faster, jump higher, and live healthier lives.
Some brands are targeted for elders, some for active adults, and some for juniors. They have versions specifically for diabetics and some just for those trying to slim down. There’s an assortment of flavors to choose from; vanilla, French vanilla, chocolate, Dutch chocolate, rich chocolate, coffee flavors, strawberry… Chances are that your favourite grocery store has large section dedicated just to these “health” drinks.
The Scary Truth
They sound great, but the sad truth is they aren’t always a good food choice. Many of these drinks are HIGH in sugar, HIGH in calories, highly processed, contain artificial ingredients, corn syrup, and a long list of other ingredients you probably don’t want your loved ones ingesting. These drinks are not food, but lab made food like substitutes. As talked about on the New York Times website, you could be pumping your senior citizen or child full of sugars, chemicals, and even cancer causing ingredients.
Is Your Family’s “Healthy Drink” on The Naughty List?
As we talked about a few weeks ago in our article “5 Free Apps to Help You KEEP Those Resolutions,” there is an app and a website called Fooducate that grades food on a scale of A+ to F. Download the app, scan the barcode, and instantly find out the healthy (or not so healthy) truth about what you eat. You’ll instantly know if the shake you buy for your elder is rated an A, or if it’s an F. Don’t be surprised when you start scanning all the food you buy to see if it’s the healthiest choice you can make.
A Healthier Option
Maybe you buy those shakes because your elder prefers a drink to a meal. If this is the case, there are tons of healthier drinks, smoothies, and shakes that you can whip up at home. You can make them with your elder’s favourite fruits and veggies, and it’s usually cheaper to make them yourself than to purchase the store bought versions. If you’re making them for the kiddos, let them get involved! They can help you wash produce and add ingredients to your blender.
If you’re making it, you know exactly what goes into it. You won’t be adding artificial colours, flavours, or corn syrup. You can make it organic, low-fat, and any flavor you choose. You’ll be making a health drink from real food, which equates to real health for your family. Ready to get started? Try Martha Stewart’s Green Ginger-Peach Smoothie.
Have you found a healthy drink or shake for your elder or kiddo? Is there a homemade smoothie recipe that your family loves? If so, please leave a comment! We love comments, especially those that can help others! Also, don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope to see you there too!