In these Child Nutrition series, I would zoom in on one food or lifestyle habit we see in our kids and share professional knowledge that empowers us to make better informed decisions as moms. Because when moms get it right, the whole family ultimately gets it right. This post was first published in August, 2019
Today, let’s chase down the rabbit called ‘sausages’
Is it really an ajebo thing?
Like most of us, I had plans to feed my kids sausages and chips when I had them. Thanks to well curated marketing, it looked like the ajebo (high class) thing to do. As an adult, I found it delicious and sadly addictive. I start with one and end up eating 7 pan-fried sausages. Thankfully as I have paid more attention to my eating first as an informed human, and next as an informed mom, I am making better choices on behalf of my kids that give life, rather than take life away from them.
How are sausages prepared?
So these meats have a fun history. Our ancestors created this recipe as a way to use up all the pieces of ground meat leftovers to avoid wastage. It was made with good quality meats right up to the casing and it wasn’t really for commercial purposes. Today, the story is different. Some of you like me have even wondered how come some of these sausages are so cheap.
Come on now, meat is not that cheap. That is because most of it are made from trimmings off the good stuff, meaning it is no more just left overs but cut-outs (poorer quality meat). The part that actually should be thrown away. Then they add plenty preservatives (hello salt), flavor enhancers, excess spices and sweeteners, which is why it is sweet and slightly salty. All these to mask the emptiness and danger sausages are, and to present what is really crap as appealing to our taste buds. Which is why all need to quickly mature from eating for TASTE to eating for HEALTH, and train our kids that way. Oh the casing too, which is edible collagen made mostly from cow and pig hide. Basically cheap quality stuff which is even cheaper when you bulk-buy, and we all know that manufacturers are more interested in profit that you getting nutrition bang-for-your-buck (optimum value). In fact, the cheaper the sausages, the WORSE they are.
Implications on Health and Habit
So yes there is the health implication. While sausages are a good protein source, they are also high in calories, salt/sodium, and fat, the worst kind called ‘saturated fat’, therefore are hugely implicated in obesity, hypertension and many cardiovascular diseases (heart problems). Oh and don’t forget that it is also high in cholesterol, the bad kind. Plus research has also implicated it in some cancers.
This is not something to gloss over. As a mom, we need to make sure that the choices we are exposing our kids to are setting them up for good health and not snatching life away from them even before they have started to live it.
Plus the alarming rise of childhood obesity is something to take serious and be intentional about not adding your kids to the stats. One sausage contains about 100 calories and that is not even the main meal. Plus the more we feed our kids junk like this, the more space they take up in their belly that would have best been filled by good food.
And we all know sausages are addictive, and since it is so easy to prepare and delicious, there is a tendency to overdo it. Which is where the habit implications come in; anything that has even the slightest tendency to cause an addiction in your kids should be brutally cut away. That the way I roll as a mom ooo. I don’t even play there.
That’s how I started the No-TV and No-gadget rule at home. Sausages are not something to get used to, abeg.
So the only good sausages bring to the table is protein but even then it is inferior low quality one. And kids desperately need the protein source so cheers for eggs, which are the perfect protein, fresh meat from the market or poultry and of course good old dairy
If you must consume it…
So say you don’t mind your kids eating it every once in a while and you think you can control it, or you wanna ease it out gradually, then first, buy from a major outlet and don’t pick the cheapest one. Next, don’t fry or grill over open fire. Instead boil it, so maybe adding it to their rice or pasta while you cook can work, but stick to a small quantity please, and certainly not daily.
And I will just go THERE and say that all these (store bought) chips and sausages we serve in parties thinking it is the ajebo life is really doing more harm than good. Adding chips just increases the salt and saturated fat content. Ewww I will do a whole post on chips later
Don’t start at all. Your kids can do without it. Your kids should do without it. Let the manufacturers manufacture for your taste buds (and their pocket), you help your kids eat for their health
Let me know what you think in the comments and any other topic you want me to throw some light on for you…