SOY AND CHILDREN

01/31/2014
WELLNESS
By Steve Grubb

According to Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the rate of childhood peanut allergies more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.   One of the most common food allergies, peanut allergy is among the most dangerous as peanuts tend to cause particularly severe reactions (anaphylaxis).  Unlike egg and cow’s milk allergies, which most children outgrow, peanut allergies tend to be life-long.  

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For more than a century, peanut butter has been a staple in America’s kitchens and pantries and is now consumed in 90 percent of US households.  In fact, the average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before entering high school.  Unfortunately, peanut allergies are on the rise and the need for nut-free peanut butter substitutes, such as SoyNut Butter, that mimic the peanut butter taste has never been greater.

It is important for children to learn proper nutrition. Introducing soy early in life may help children develop healthy eating patterns that last a lifetime. Food preferences developed in infant and toddler years tend to continue throughout childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood.  In addition to being a tasty alternative in children's meals, soy may also help prevent the development of certain adult diseases such as breast and prostate cancers.

Early learning centers can help by offering healthy food and snacks.  Soyfoods support sound growth and development for young children by providing numerous health benefits. Adding soy products such as soy milk, and SoyNut Butters is a positive step for children's health including the strengthening of bones while decreasing the risk of developing heart disease and the risk of certain cancers.

Soyfoods can help with appetite and weight control as they are excellent sources of low-fat, high-quality protein that have shown to increase satiety which is thought to be a key component of weight control. The prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents in the U.S. has doubled in the past two decades. Soyfoods help decrease the total fat, saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and calories in meals when substituted for other sources of high-quality protein.

Soyfoods, such as soy milk and SoyNut Butters, are readily accepted and enjoyed by children and adolescents. Researchers at the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale found that 3-6 year old children fed soy enhanced lunches ate roughly the same amount of food as children fed non-soy lunches. The children consumed the same number of calories, but more high quality protein and iron, and less fat and saturated fat.

Food allergy is a large and growing public health problem as evidenced by statistics from Allergy Research & Education (FARE).  According to FARE who works on behalf of the more than 15 million Americans with food allergies, one in 13 children in the U.S. – roughly two in every classroom – are affected with food allergies, peanuts being one of the most common of all allergies.

Even though soy is listed as one of the 8 most prevalent food allergies, it only occurs in about 0.2% of the population. (Source: National Soybean Research Laboratory

Soy provides great protein and calcium alternatives for those with lactose intolerance or other food allergies (milk, wheat, etc.).  Soy is an excellent source of a complete and very digestible protein which is unique amount plant sources!

For more information about healthy eating contact Steve Grubb, President of The SoyNut Butter Company at [email protected] and learn about the I.M. Healthy brand of products

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