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Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthy Nutrition for Kids

The kids in this country are gaining more weight than ever before.  Parents need to get their children eating healthy at a young age so they will grow up knowing what kinds of foods are good for them.  It’s never too early to start.  Rachael Ray formed the Yum-O organization (www.yum-o.org) to help fight childhood obesity.  She has some great recipes for kids of all ages.  If you get young children involved in the kitchen at an early age, they will develop a healthy respect for food.  The Yum-O site has a great recipe search engine where you can limit your searches to different age groups to find recipes that will be appropriate.

Good nutrition starts at home.  Here are some tips to help you:

Be careful what kinds of foods you buy.  You need to limit the amount of junk food your kids eat.  Instead of things like French fries, try fresh fruits and vegetables instead.  Make sure you read the labels because very often, things labeled “low fat” have a lot of sugar in them.

Make sure you serve a variety of healthy foods so your kids won’t get bored with the same thing over and over again.  Pay attention to portion sizes because a lot of times, appropriate portion sizes are smaller than you think.

Stay away from really sweet fruit juices, soda, sports or energy drinks, and sweetened iced tea.  Encourage your children to drink plenty of water or milk.

Encourage your children to get plenty of exercise.  Limit their time in front of the TV or computer.  Encourage your children to get involved in a sport they enjoy.

For more information on healthy nutrition for kids, check out these links:

Tips for Healthy Children and Families (American Academy of Family Physicians)

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity across Your Lifespan: Helping Your Child (Tips for Parents) (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Childhood Nutrition (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Diet and Nutrition (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)

Kids Eat Right (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

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