Any time is a good time for our kids to eat healthier. But in honor of Kids Eat Right Month this August, presented by the Chicago-based global Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we thought now was a perfect opportunity to go over some easy-to-follow guidelines on how to keep children two to 11 years old as healthy as possible.
Nearly 17% of American kids and teens are obese, and the Canadian statistics mirror this troubling trend. But with a nutrient-rich, whole-food diet, parents can ensure their children stay trim and fit. It’s all about smart choices, healthful family meals, and an active lifestyle. Registered dietitians have weighed in with tips on grocery shopping and food selection to meal planning, eating well and cooking nutritious, tasty dishes packed with “good carbs” that fill us up and leave us feeling satisfied—and less likely to dip into the cookie jar.
Here’s your mini guide to raising healthy, happy, active kids.
Keep these key points in mind:
*Good eating habits will help our children maintain an optimal weight, develop well both mentally and physically, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and develop lifelong positive eating habits and a healthy enjoyment of food.
*Kids today are at risk for obesity—in particular, teen boys. Reduce sugar, dietary fat, saturated fat and sodium (salt) for all children to combat the trend of overweight youngsters.
*Make sure your kids are getting plenty of whole foods with nutrients such as fiber, calcium, potassium and Vitamin D. Stock the fridge with carrot sticks, yogurt and grapes instead of chips and packaged snacks. Because they’re nutrient-loaded, fiber-filled veggies, Little Potatoes can help!
*Consider these important factors: eating at home (try these easy, healthy recipes) versus dining out; portion control; limiting or eliminating sugary beverages, such as cola.
*Keep your children active with outside play and sports. Kids need one hour or more of daily aerobic exercise. Get outside as a family—and have fun!
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR KIDS EATING HEALTHY? WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT.
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