Hotdogs & Lunchmeats: What They Mean For Your Kids’ Health

by Eden Chiuslekuda

(ECCT Natural Health Contributor. For more of her natural health & beauty tips, follow her page, ‘A Corner of Eden’ ).

As a mom myself, I realize how tempting it is to resort to the “same old, same old” when packing your kids’ lunch boxes.  However, here are a few facts to keep in mind when sending your kids and teens off to school with what you are trusting is a healthy lunch.

  • All cured meats – that includes hot dogs, Vienna and most other sausages,  lunch meats, cured fish and bacon – contain nitrites.
  • Nitrites form known carcinogens either in the cooking process or in the stomach that have been definitively linked to multiple forms of cancer.
  • Maternal consumption of nitrites during pregnancy has been linked to a much greater incidence of childhood cancer.
  • A study conducted in Los Angeles County between 1980 and 1987 found that children eating more than 12 hot dogs per month have nine times the normal risk of developing childhood leukemia. Additionally, there was a correlation of strong risk for childhood leukemia with children whose fathers’ intake of hot dogs was 12 or more per month.*
  • In 2007, other bodies such as the World Research Cancer Fund found that consumption of processed meat can increase the risk of colorectal cancers by at least 21% (USA Today).

Try preparing veggie sandwiches for your kids instead and include attractively cut, colorful, raw or steamed veggies with interesting homemade dips.  Mustard, mayonnaise, oil and vinegar (especially in a bread roll) all make good sandwich dressings.  Fresh fruit and a handful of nuts or even mutakura are all decent, affordable and healthy snacks.  If you are attached on giving them meat in their lunch, just be sure that it is nitrite free and organic (if in the diaspora) or better yet make it fresh, yourself, from scratch at home.

So the lesson here is avoid hot dogs and lunch meats for yourself (especially if you are trying or planning to conceive, as your diet and lifestyle does impact the quality of eggs, sperm and the genetic material that you share with your future children.)  Especially avoid giving them to your kids.  Children learn to have a taste for what you share with them.  Keep trying and experimenting and eventually they will come around.

* For results of study conducted



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