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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy’

Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

November 10, 2013

 

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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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6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids

April 19, 2012

 

It is very difficult task to ensure that your child is eating the right foods and is not overdosing on unhealthy, preservative ridden rubbish. It can make me feel quite despondent when my daughter’s lunchbox comes back with the chopped up vegetables and apple untouched.

I appreciated reading Casey Seidenberg’s tips for helping kids have a heathy relationship with food:

1 Food, especially unhealthful food, shouldn’t be used as a reward. The common incentive used by parents “Eat your vegetables so you can have dessert” clearly communicates to children that vegetables are to be avoided and desserts are to be desired.

2 Food should not be used as a punishment either. Taking away dessert as discipline teaches kids that dessert is the prize.

3 Labeling a food as “bad” can cause children to feel guilty or bad themselves when they eat it. Instead label unhealthful foods “sometimes foods,” as they really are the foods we should eat only sometimes.

4 Unhealthful foods shouldn’t be labeled “treats” either. Wouldn’t it be great if our kids perceived a delicious ripe peach or a slice of summer watermelon as a treat?

5 A child forced to eat may not learn what it feels like to be hungry or full, or how to listen to his body. Sometimes kids are not hungry. That’s okay. Don’t then force them to eat five more bites.

6 Teaching children that a holiday or celebration is about spending time with friends, participating in a fun activity or being active together, instead of simply consuming a lot of food and drink, is an important message. When our kids are teenagers and win a sports championship, or when they are adults and receive a promotion, we hope they will understand that celebrating does not need to be focused on excessive consumption of food and drink.

So as much as I’d love to tell my children that they should never eat at McDonald’s and always refuse soda and fluorescent food products, that’s not a healthy message. And knowing most kids, it might make them more determined to get their paws on those forbidden fruits!

So what is the right message to our kids?

The right message is that certain foods nourish our bodies, make us strong and help us feel good. We should fill our bodies with those foods when we are hungry at a meal. Other foods don’t do those wonderful things for us, so we should eat them on occasion. All food should be enjoyed.

Then, if you are like me, hide your grimaced face and keep your mouth shut when they dive into those Spider-Man snacks because “sometimes foods” are absolutely okay sometimes.

Seidenberg is the co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company.

Healthy Eating May Help ADHD Kids: Don’t Tell the Doctors

January 10, 2012

I find the ADHD trends highly frustrating. I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind so it’s not for me to speculate whether or not ADHD exists. What bothers me, is the rapid increases in children being diagnosed (and more importantly, medicated) with the syndrome. To me Ritalin and other types of ADHD medication must be the last resort. It’s side-effects are often quite pronounced and sometimes quite sad to experience. Kids with larger than life personalities and great bursts of creativity can often be left following their own shadows (I have personally witnessed this!)

When I first entered into the profession I was given medical forms to fill out about a particular student. A previous teacher must have recommended that this student be assessed due to the belief that she may have some ADHD symptoms. In my view she was just a child with poor self-esteem who lacked concentration. In my assessment of her I made it clear that I felt that beyond her concentration being poor there was no other reason to suspect that she may have ADHD.

It didn’t help. Unfortunately, within weeks of being presented with this patient, the doctor prescribed her with Ritalin. No suggestions of a change of diet, no therapy to examine if there is any cause for her low self-esteem and no evidence that she was sent to have her language skills tested. Just the “go to” method, the “one pill fits all” strategy – the blasted pill!

I am proud to say that this child is now off the medication. Her parents decided it was not something they wanted her to be on permanently so they eased her off it. Doctors would be shaking their heads right now and accusing the parents of being irresponsible. But the parents were right. She is now a happy, focussed, non-medicated young teenager.

Doctors can be far too quick to diagnose and prescribe. In my view, they do this out of self-interest. If they were more considerate they would seriously look at diet before prescribing Ritalin.

SIMPLY eating healthier may improve the behaviour of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if therapy and medication fail, says a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Nutritional interventions should therefore be considered an alternative or secondary approach to treating ADHD, not a first-line attack, said the review by doctors at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, published on Monday.

What they mean by that is first pop the pills and then consider your sugar intake. This is ridiculous. What is the big deal about investigating diet and other possible causes before, as a last resort, prescribing the medication?

Click on the link to read Who Needs Quality Teaching or Parenting When You Have Medications?

Click on the link to read Get Your Kids on Ritalin Before Their Grades Suffer

Click on the link to read It is Doctors Not Teachers Who Are Helping Children Get Good Grades


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