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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Food of the month - Chocolate

 This month we decided to tackle the age-old question, “is chocolate good for you and your little ones?”  After some research we’ve got an answer for you: Yes and No.  The truth is, there are SO many types of chocolate out there and most of it is loaded with sugar, extra fat and is over all not healthy.  BUT when it comes to chocolate in it’s purest form known as cocoa (pronounced Ka-Cow) it’s REALLY good for you. 

Cocoa and dark chocolate both contain heart-healthy flavonoids, which keeps the cardiovascular system strong, has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, acts as a natural anti-depressant, contains the “good” fats and is a healthy source of caffeine.

Whether you’re sprinkling cocoa powder into your smoothies or enjoying a piece of dark chocolate to curb your sweet tooth, you want to make sure that the ingredient list is small and easy to pronounce. Also the lower the amount of sugar the better.

Now if your kiddos are used to extra sweet milk chocolate, giving them a piece of 80% dark chocolate will most likely scare their taste buds.  We recommend slowly upping the percentage of chocolate in their sweets. Also, the darker the chocolate the more the caffeine so it’s probably best that the healthy dark chocolate be placed in their lunch box as an afternoon dessert, not an after dinner treat as it may give them a pre-bedtime burst of energy.

As always, it’s so important to be an ingredient detective when choosing between types of chocolate, but once you’ve found a chocolate bar that is pure and high in cocoa, feel good about enjoying this food of the month!

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