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Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Just 1% of Children Eat Enough Vegetables

May 11, 2016

Hate-Vegetables

1 percent? Surely not:

 

Vegies might be brimming with goodness, but less than one per cent of Aussie kids are eating the recommended amount each day.

While children eat, on average, more fruit than adults, they’re having just 1.8 serves of veg a day compared to the recommended 2.5-5.5 serves.

And it doesn’t get much better as we get older, with less than two per cent of men and about four per cent of women meeting the guidelines of five-to-six serves a day.

The findings were based on analysis by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.

The ABS found that overall, most Aussies don’t eat the minimum recommended daily serves from the five major food groups – vegies, fruit, dairy products, lean meats, and grains.

More than one third of our daily intake is now coming from so-called discretionary foods such as sweetened beverages, alcohol, cakes, confectionary and pastries – all of which are high in calories and poor in nutrients.

ABS director of health Louise Gates said that among the five food groups, fruit and grains had the best compliance.

“Less than four per cent of the population consumed enough vegetables and legumes or beans each day,” Ms Gates said as the data was released on Wednesday.

“One-in-10 was meeting the guidelines for dairy products, while one-in-seven consumed the minimum number of serves of lean meats and alternatives per day.”

Health experts say the findings on low vegetable consumption are worrying and probably linked to increased consumption of discretionary foods.

Aloysa Hourigan, senior nutritionist at Nutrition Australia, says the cost of vegetables, particularly in regional and remote areas, is also a factor.

“There could be benefits for having a sugar or fat tax for those discretionary foods to help discourage people from purchasing as many of them and that money could be used to help subsidise other foods,” she told AAP.

Dieticians Association of Australia spokeswoman Kate DiPrima said parents need to be role models for their children by eating more vegetables.

“If the parents don’t eat the recommended amount and aren’t serving them up to their kids, they don’t have any chance,” she said.

Ms DiPrima noted that only 4.5 per cent of kids ate the recommended amount of lean meat and other alternatives including poultry, eggs and tofu, putting them at risk of missing out on protein, iron and zinc.

“The two most commonly rejected foods are vegetables and meat. They’re harder to chew and have stronger flavours,” she said.

She advises parents persist with offering vegetables in all forms – mashed, grated, cooked, roasted, raw – at different times of the day.

“Don’t leave it until dinner at night when they’re tired and can’t chew, they’ll fall off the wagon.”

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Tips for Helping our Children to Adopt Healthy Habits

December 2, 2015

building-healthy-kids

Courtesy of heart.org:

 

  1. Be a good role model – You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if kids see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they’ll take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is impor­tant to your family.
  2. Keep things positive – Kid’s don’t like to hear what they can’t do, tell them what they can do instead. Keep it fun and positive. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.
  3. Get the whole family moving – Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
  4. Be realistic – Setting realistic goals and limits are key to adopting any new behavior. Small steps and gradual changes can make a big difference in your health over time, so start small and build up.
  5. Limit TV, video game and computer time – These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
  6. Encourage physical activities that they’ll really enjoy – Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it. check out these activities for kids.
  7. Pick truly rewarding rewards – Don’t reward children with tv, video games, candy or snacks for a job well done. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.
  8. Make dinnertime a family time – When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much. Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.
  9. Make a game of reading food labels – The whole family will learn what’s good for their health and be more conscious of what they eat. It’s a habit that helps change behavior for a lifetime. Learn more about reading nutrition labels.
  10. Stay involved – Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school. Make sure your children’s healthcare providers are monitoring cardiovascular indicators like BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol. Contact public officials on matters of the heart. Make your voice heard.

 

 

Click on the link to read Experts Calls School Lunchbox Inspections “Perverse”

Click on the link to read Healthy Easter Treat Options for Kids

Click on the link to read How School Lunches Compare Around the World

Click on the link to read Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Experts Calls School Lunchbox Inspections “Perverse”

May 30, 2015

 

 

school-luunch-inspection

I couldn’t agree more!

 

A University of Queensland health expert has labelled the practice of inspecting children’s lunchboxes at school as both “perverse” and unlikely to improve children’s health.

Associate Professor Michael Gard of the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences said hysteria about childhood obesity was fuelling a range of school-based practices that infringed the rights of parents to choose how they raise and care for children.

“Panic around obesity appears to trump all other concerns in the current climate,” Dr Gard said.

“Despite quite well-known data that Australian rates of childhood obesity have changed very little over the last 15 to 20 years, this is an issue that still tends to be discussed in breathlessly apocalyptic terms.

“Yes, too many children are overweight, but the hysteria we have created is out of proportion to the problem.

“As a result, we now have a kind of Wild West situation in which some schools, often with the best of intentions, have decided to take matters into their own hands.

“In this environment, the lunchbox inspection appears to have become a quite ‘normal’ and acceptable practice.”

 

 

Click on the link to read Healthy Easter Treat Options for Kids

Click on the link to read How School Lunches Compare Around the World

Click on the link to read Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Click on the link to read 6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

Healthy Easter Treat Options for Kids

April 3, 2015

healthy easter

 

Courtesy of Yahoo’s food editor, :

When it comes to chocolate, go dark. It contains nutritional benefits such as antioxidants and iron, whereas milk chocolate does not. “My kids will eat dark chocolate,” says Shapiro. “They don’t really know the difference, because the flavor was introduced at a young age.”

Mix chocolate with other things. “You consume less chocolate when you eat in conjunction with something else,” says Shapiro. “At any supermarket, you can find chocolate-covered strawberries,” or you can make chocolate-dipped bananas or dried apricots. Trader Joe’s sells chocolate-dipped almonds, which Shapiro says are a good option if nuts aren’t an issue for your children. She also likes making chocolate bark by melting 70% dark Valrhona chocolate discs, spreading it on parchment paper, and topping it with Goji berries, puffed quinoa, and sea salt. “It’s like a healthy Nestle Crunch.” Here’s a recipe to try from Food52.

There’s nothing wrong with carrot sticks. “Just because it’s an Easter basket doesn’t mean you should stay away from something truly healthy,” says Shapiro. “Plus carrots relate to what the Easter bunny eats.” So put some carrot and celery sticks in there!

Think about healthy egg-shaped items.Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein, and you can naturally color them using beet juice or boiled cabbage,” Shapiro said. “Clementines, too, are kind of the shape of the egg — round and springy-colored — and don’t go bad quickly.” You can also try filling plastic eggs with mixed nuts or dried fruit. “Everybody loves to open up a little toy and see what’s inside.”

Incorporate some games. “An Easter basket doesn’t always have to be about food,” Shapiro said. Bubbles, Play-Doh, pastel-colored crayons, coloring books, and stickers “take up some space and makes it not just make it about eating.” You could even add a jump rope, a Slinky, or a bouncy ball, “things that get the kids actively moving so they wear off that sugar high!”

Click on the link to read How School Lunches Compare Around the World

Click on the link to read Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Click on the link to read 6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

Click on the link to read Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

How School Lunches Compare Around the World

February 10, 2015

Courtesy of businessinsider.com:

US: fried popcorn chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, fruit cup, chocolate-chip cookie

lunches usa

France: steak, carrots, green beans, cheese, fresh fruit

 

france-lunch

Ukraine: mashed potatoes with sausage, borscht, cabbage, syrniki (dessert pancake)

 

ukraine lunch

Spain: sautéed shrimp, brown rice, veggies, gazpacho, fresh peppers, bread, orange

 

spain lunch

Italy: fish on arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, caprese salad, baguette, grapes

 

italy-lunch

 

Finland: pea soup, beets, carrot salad, bread, pannakkau (dessert pancake), fresh berries

 

filand-lunch

 

Brazil: pork with mixed veggies, black beans and rice, salad, bread, baked plantains

 

brazil-lunch

 

South Korea: fish soup, tofu over rice, kimchi, fresh veggies

 

south-korea-lunch

Greece: baked chicken over orzo, stuffed grape leaves, tomato-and-cucumber salad, fresh oranges, yogurt with pomegranate seeds

 

greece-lunch

Adults Try Public School Meals (Video)

December 24, 2014

 

Is it just me or does badly cooked, horrible tasting school cafeteria food give the impression that the school doesn’t care all that much about its students?

 

Click on the link to read Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Click on the link to read 6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

Click on the link to read Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

June 2, 2014

 

 

 

fruit

A well compiled list on a very real challenge courtesy of The Times:

 

1. Serve children the fruits they like, even if it is at the expense of variety. There is no reason why kids who love bananas shouldn’t have one every day. Eventually, parents can add variety by combining a favorite fruit with new ones.

2. Fruit can be eaten at any time of day as a snack, and not just as a dessert. Consider serving fruit to kids with breakfast, as an after-school snack, or even in a salad with dinner.

3. Set a good example. It is well established that children tend to imitate their parents’ behavior, particularly at mealtimes. So parents should set the example by eating plenty of fruit themselves.

4. Prepare fruit in front of children or involve them in the process. Whether it’s scooping out melon balls for fruit salad, washing berries, or coring apples, giving children a task in preparing fruit will make them more likely to enjoy eating the result.

5. Provide easy access to fruit. Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table and allow kids to help themselves. For children who enjoy eating fruit, sometimes the best way to boost their intake is simply to remind them to eat it when they’re hungry.

 

Click on the link to read 6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

Click on the link to read Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

February 2, 2014

 

cheese

Lunchbox laws cause friction between schools and parents and achieve a great deal less than intended. I am all for healthy eating, but the answer is not to suspend a 6 year old for what is in his lunchbox.

Ultimately, as much as educators want to feel they can change the world in all instances, the job of parenting should rest solely with … parents. It is not the business for schools to suspend children for cheddar cheese bags.

There are far better methods for dealing with unhealthy lunches than dictatorial rules. These include:

1. Having a quiet word to parent offenders.

2. Complimenting children with healthy lunches.

3. Having a fruit and vegetable party in the classroom to celebrate a class achievement. This has proven particularly successful in my classroom.

4. Sending a list of healthy food options for lunchboxes to parents. Parents hate to be preached at but often welcome tips and advice.

 

I am sure my wonderful readers can recommend other positive ways to get parents to include more healthy items in their kids’ lunchboxes. As a teacher and parent I would love to read them.

 

Click on the link to read Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

January 9, 2014

 

tony

Courtesy of Charity Curley Mathews:

 

1. Everyone (over the age of 2) eats the same meal. No special requests, no substitutes for anyone who has all of her teeth. I do try to be fair (and stack the deck in favor of success) by adding a couple of choices and also paying attention to each person’s favorite ingredients so there’s always something for everyone in each meal.

2. Add spinach to everything. Eggs, brownies, I’ll make anything “Florentine.” It’s not sneaky, because I tell the kids it’s going in. I’m just looking for new angles for getting more of the good stuff into those tiny bodies. Ditto for wheat germ, flaxseed and chia seeds. Also, we eat whole wheat everything: pasta, bread, pitas. The kids don’t know any different and it’s so much better for them.

3. Make it fun. Inspired by French Kids Eat Everything, we have tons of pretty little plates and bowls, special spoons and sometimes splurge on fancy paper napkins. There are parfaits and tea parties regularly. My goal is to make mealtimes enjoyable so the kids associate eating real food with pleasure. It’s working.

4. Start with small portions. I give the kids only a bite or two of each thing and whoever wants more, gets more. This helps kids figure out when they’re actually full rather than me coaxing them into “just one more bite” or worse, eating until their plates are empty from here on out.

5. Serve new foods with flair. We often use the fancy little bowls for new foods: I give the kids one bite in a special dish. Then I use an idea from the brilliant new book, It’s Not About the Broccoli. The kids become critics and give a thumbs up, thumbs in the middle or thumbs down. And if they give a thumbs down verdict, I’ll say, “That’s OK. You can try it again another time and maybe you’ll like it better then.” Planting the seed…

6. We cook all the time. Since I only work part-time, this works for us but any family could create a cooking culture by doing weekly dinners, big weekend breakfasts and so on. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every day; the kids see me doing it and right there they’re learning a lesson that real food is a priority for our family. Plus, it’s fun to let them help and that’s another lesson. My goal is for each person to have a dozen dishes they can make before they leave this house. We’ve got a while, which we’ll probably need…

7. The table is a stress-free zone. Toddlers dumping their plates notwithstanding, the dinner table isn’t stressful because we’re not battling the kids over who eats what. The food is there and manners are encouraged but no one is yelling, or prodding. We’re either sitting, eating or talking. Sometimes singing. If this isn’t possible, whoever is having a hard time will be excused along with mom or dad and welcome to return when he or she is feeling more cooperative.

8. Homemade is better than processed. Especially when it comes to snack foods, it’s easy to either give the kids real food — sliced cucumbers, dried cranberries, chunks of cheese — or make our own versions of crackers, fruit leather, DIY “Nutrigrain” bars and so on. Every time you can make something in your own kitchen, it’ll be fresher, purer and almost always healthier.

9. Two snacks, maximum. Because little bodies burn through their calories in the day, I like to give a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack to avoid meltdowns. But constant eating is a big problem these days and I don’t want the kids to learn that habit. In fact, for the afternoon snack I like to stick to fruit and it can be as simple as apple slices or as sweet as bananas and strawberries on a skewer.

10. The kids drink water and milk, period. Once juice and soda are off the table (literally and figuratively), it’s not even something to fight about. Our kids have two choices for drinks, they like both of them and best of all — they’re both healthy options.

Food is such a huge part of our lives that I can’t help thinking about it, learning about it, and yep, writing about it. It’s bigger than just our family, though. Food has huge implications for health, happiness, even our country’s financial well being. With obesity declared an “epidemic,” diabetes affecting more Americans than ever and the first ever generation of Americans to have shorter lifespans than their parents, Michael Pollan said “cooking might be the most important factor in fixing our public health crisis. It’s the single most important thing you can do for your health.” I would add it’s one of the most important things that we can teach our kids.

 

 

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

 

Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

November 10, 2013

 

hole

Courtesy of leading nutrition experts:

Plan healthy, tasty breakfasts. Offer children a lean protein at breakfast such as eggs, string cheese, Canadian bacon, turkey bacon or hummus, Sothern says. Serve them fresh fruit such as berries. Or whole-grain cereal with nuts is another option. Top off the meal with a glass of fat-free or 1% low-fat milk or a carton of low-fat yogurt, she says.

Discourage mindless munching. Don’t let kids eat in front of the TV or computer and gradually restrict all eating and drinking, except for water, to the kitchen counter, table or dining room, Sothern says.

Get them involved. Take kids to the grocery store. Skip the soda, cookie and candy aisles and have children select one fruit and vegetable to try each week. At home, include children in lunch and dinner preparation, Sothern says.

Reinstate family traditions. Insist on family dinners, set the table with real cloth napkins, light candles and play soft music in the background to encourage discussion. Compliment the children on their healthy food selections, cooking and manners, she says.

Get some shut-eye. Allow kids no more than one hour of media time before bedtime. Try to make sure they get the required 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Research shows that lack of sleep equals unwanted weight gain, behavioral problems and difficulty concentrating the next day, Sothern says.

Offer a nutritious starter course. Pennsylvania State University research shows that adults who eat a broth-based bowl of vegetable soup; a large, low-calorie, lettuce-based salad; or an apple before a meal consume about 110 to 190 fewer calories at the meal, including the calories in that first course. The same idea could work with kids, says Barbara Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. They’ll not only fill up on fewer calories, but they’ll be eating a healthy first course.

Trick their tummies. Add their favorite fiber-rich vegetables — such as spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, carrots, peppers and onions — to lasagna, casseroles, pasta dishes and pizza. The veggies lower the calories and increase the nutrients in each bite, Rolls says. Also increase the proportion of vegetables in stir-fry dishes, broth-based soups and stews and extra vegetables to sandwiches. Substitute vegetable or fruit purees for half or even two-thirds of the added fat in quick breads and muffins, she says.

Use smaller plates. A study of first-graders showed that most kids served themselves more at lunch (about 90 calories more) when they used adult-sized dinner plates compared with using child-sized plates, which is about the size of an adult salad plate. “We know that adults over-serve themselves with larger plates, and this study says the same holds true for children. Using smaller plates at home may promote healthy child portion sizes,” says Jennifer Orlet Fisher, an associate professor of public health at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Teach kids to dance. Tell them you’re playing Dancing with the Stars and let them waltz, do the cha-cha-cha or swing dance, Sothern says. This active time will burn four to five times more calories than sitting and improve their overall health.

Swap sedentary time for active time. Kids only burn 30 to 50 calories when they are sitting for an hour, but they burn 400 to 500 calories in an hour if they are playing tag, dancing or doing field sports, she says. The government’s physical activity guidelines say children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous aerobic physical activity each day. Sothern recommends they do at least two hours of physical activity a day.

Play outside with your children. Moms and dads should teach their kids to throw, pitch, catch, pass, jump and ride a bike because their kids may not be learning these important skills at school.

Encourage physical-activity breaks. “There is a lot of evidence that kids should not sit still for more than 60 minutes at a time,” says Penny Gordon-Larsen, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. When kids are doing their homework or on the computer, they need to get up regularly and move around or consider standing while they are working, she says. Every little bit of activity counts. Have them do at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity after school, such as shooting hoops, biking, playing soccer, jumping rope, dancing, walking or playing a fitness-related video game, Gordon-Larsen says.

Steer clear of sugary drinks. This includes regular sodas, sweet teas, high-calorie specialty coffees, energy drinks and juices, Gordon-Larsen says. “It’s such an easy way to cut out excess sugar and calories,” she says. Instead offer water and low-fat milk, even low-fat chocolate milk.

 

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

Click on the link to read 5 Ways to Get Kids Active

Click on the link to read Food Giants Marketing Unhealthy Kids Foods as Healthy


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