As back to school shifts into full gear, a recent study examining the relationship between commercially prepared foods and the rise in childhood obesity concerned us. The findings concluded that away-from-home meals contained more calories than meals made at home. It’s not hard to guess why commercially prepared foods contain more calories – they generally have more sugars and fats (not to mention sodium) than meals prepared at home. Portion sizes are often larger than homemade meals. This combination of more calories and more food is not only creating unhealthy nutritional habits for kids as they grow to adulthood, but it’s leading to an epidemic of obesity among children now.
Another alarming trend to consider is that these “convenient” foods are generating an enormous amount plastic and styrofoam waste. All of this food has to be stored and transported, and there are very few places that use biodegradable or recycled containers.
Although we are the first to admit that it takes a little more planning to pack lunches, dinners and snacks from home, given these findings, we are now even more firmly convinced that it is the healthiest, and most economical, way to meet our children’s nutritional needs.
Although the drive-through or prepared food bar may seem awfully tempting, the costs to our bodies, our wallets and our planet, are just too high.