5 Ways to Help Your Kids Eat Right
Overweight children are more likely to become obese adults, putting them at an increased risk for many medical problems. Getting your kids to eat right can help.
It's an age-old dilemma with growing consequences: How can parents get their kids to eat right?
For the first time in 200 years, the current generation of children in this country could have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Overweight children are more likely to become obese adults, putting them at an increased risk of a number of medical problems including diabetes and heart disease.
Here are five ways to keep your kids healthy and fit.
1. Meet to eat once a day: Today's hyper-busy families often eat fast foods on the run. Schedule healthy family meals together as much as possible.
2. Learn to cook simple, healthy dishes: If the idea of cooking overwhelms you, focus on making a few quick and easy dishes, such as chicken stirfry with brown rice or whole wheat pasta with a simple tomato sauce.
3. Serve whole grains and vegetables: Many of today's processed foods and low-calorie snacks leave kids hungering for more. Nutrient-rich foods will curb their appetite for empty calories.
4. Ditch the sugary drinks: About 27 percent of a child's calories come from snacks and sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks and even fruit juices. Substitute sparkling and/or flavored water for sodas, and serve low-fat milk.
5. Choose healthy, local restaurants: Plan ahead by finding menus with healthy choices for kids. Keep an eye on portions by declining bread basket refills, sharing entrees and bringing home leftovers.
The most important thing a parent can do is be a healthy role model.
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Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor