Cancer Experts Issue Processed Meats Warning
Let’s face it, some children are tough to feed. Most parents know that their children are notoriously picky eaters. Some of us parents, not wanting to fight a losing battle will just give them what they want, just so they will eat something. Well, according to some cancer experts, if processed meats falls into that category, you may need to think twice.
Scientists in the UK have determined that ham and bacon as well as other processed meats should not be given to children. They have asked parents to stop putting sandwiches made from these meats in their children’s lunches. Research has indicated that these meats increase the risk of bowel cancer later in life.
It seems their main concern is that feeding children these meats will lead to unhealthy eating habits. The scientists suggest healthier options like fish, chicken or low fat cheese. The World Cancer Research Fund charity has admitted that the study did not specifically examine the effects of these meats on children. The Charity claims, however, that the evidence could be seen based on studying adults. For this reason they think it is best to encourage children to try other food options instead of processed meats.
The children’s education manager for the charity was quoted online as saying, “If children have processed meat in their lunch every day then over the course of a school year they will be eating quite a lot of it. It is better if children learn to view processed meat as an occasional treat if it is eaten at all.”
The warning by the UK scientists applies to meats that are smoked or have anything added to them. They also recommend keeping the intake of red meat to 500 grams (approximately 1 pound) per week. The study’s findings were arrived at after looking at the results of thousands of previous studies.
What’s a parent to do?
I guess like most things, moderation is key. Feeding some children can indeed be challenging. It is understandable when some parents cave in and feed them whatever they want. Most parents may be on the lookout for childhood obesity, but clearly there are other dangers waiting for children down the road depending on their diets.
It is best to talk to your child’s pediatrician, see if they are aware of the study and get their feedback. Food safety will always be at the forefront of any parent’s mind. Despite the types of food any child shows a preference for, it goes without saying that as parents we must do our best to find ways to get some fruits and vegetables into their diets.
So far I have found a cool trick that have been working for a few months with my now 5-year old son. To get him to eat cucumber, we pretend that each circular slice is a full moon. Each bite changes the shape through the various stages of the moon, three-quarter, half, crescent until it is all gone. Now, if only I could find a way to make a game out of eating carrots.