Sunday, October 6, 2013

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Frozen Banana Popsicles

Who doesn't like a frozen pop?  They're cool and refreshing treats enjoyed on a hot day.  The problem is that most ice pops are essentially frozen liquid sugar on sticks--even those made from fruit juice.  To read more about the harms of sugar, fruit juices, and sugary beverages, see my other post:

Whole fruits are healthy snacks for kids.  One way you can make fruit even more appealing on a hot day is to freeze it.  Multiple studies have demonstrated that cooking increases the glycemic index of foods.  Alternatively, does freezing lower the glycemic index of foods?

In one study, bread that was eaten after a period of freezing and defrosting caused significantly lower elevations in blood sugar than fresh bread.  The study investigators proposed that freezing induces starch retrogradation which delays the absorption of the starch of the bread.  Starch molecules are like crystals.  Cooking starch at high temperatures is like reaching a melting point that induces gelatinization and disintegration of the crystals.  To read more about this, see my other post:
Alternatively, cooling starch is like reaching a freezing point that enhances the crystallization of starch molecules, resulting in slower digestion and absorption of the starch. 

In the following video, I show you a really easy recipe for frozen bananas that I learned from Kristen Leidelmeijer, the personal chef that works with my patients.  By using whole frozen fruit instead of frozen fruit juice, you can substitute a good carb for a bad carb.  If you dads make this frozen treat for your kids, they are sure to think you are one cool "pop"!

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Burton P & Lightowler HJ.  The impact of freezing and toasting on the glycaemic response of white bread.  Eur J Clin Nutr 2008;62:594-599.

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