From the website www.webchats.tv When you ask your little ones what they'd like for dinner, it's usually a resounding chorus of chicken nuggets and chips! Most of us would fall off our chair if our kids asked for anything that was good for them. Inst...
Tips to Get Your Kids Healthy
- Parents control the supply lines. You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Though kids will pester their parents for less nutritious foods, adults should be in charge when deciding which foods are regularly stocked in the house. Kids won't go hungry. They'll eat what's available in the cupboard and fridge at home. If their favorite snack isn't all that nutritious, you can still buy it once in a while so they don't feel deprived.
- From the foods you offer, kids get to choose what they will eat or whether to eat at all. Kids need to have some say in the matter. From the selections you offer, let them choose what to eat and how much of it they want. This may seem like a little too much freedom. But if you follow step 1, your kids will be choosing only from the foods you buy and serve.
- Quit the "clean-plate club." Let kids stop eating when they feel they've had enough. Lots of parents grew up under the clean-plate rule, but that approach doesn't help kids listen to their own bodies when they feel full. When kids notice and respond to feelings of fullness, they're less likely to overeat.
- Start them young. Food preferences are developed early in life, so offer variety. Likes and dislikes begin forming even when kids are babies. You may need to serve a new food on several different occasions for a child to accept it. Don't force a child to eat, but offer a few bites. With older kids, ask them to try one bite.
- Rewrite the kids' menu. Who says kids only want to eat hot dogs, pizza, burgers, and macaroni and cheese? When eating out, let your kids try new foods and they might surprise you with their willingness to experiment. You can start by letting them try a little of whatever you ordered or ordering an appetizer for them to try.
- Drink calories count. Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. Water and milk are the best drinks for kids. Juice is fine when it's 100%, but kids don't need much of it — 4 to 6 ounces a day is enough for preschoolers.
- Put sweets in their place. Occasional sweets are fine, but don't turn dessert into the main reason for eating dinner. When dessert is the prize for eating dinner, kids naturally place more value on the cupcake than the broccoli. Try to stay neutral about foods.
- Food is not love. Find better ways to say "I love you." When foods are used to reward kids and show affection, they may start using food to cope with stress or other emotions. Offer hugs, praise, and attention instead of food treats.
- Kids do as you do. Be a role model and eat healthy yourself. When trying to teach good eating habits, try to set the best example possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, and don't skip meals.
- Limit TV and computer time. When you do, you'll avoid mindless snacking and encourage activity. Research has shown that kids who cut down on TV-watching also reduced their percentage of body fat. When TV and computer time are limited, they'll find more active things to do. And limiting "screen time" means you'll have more time to be active together.
Easy tips right? But it all boils down to good parenting skills, your kids will follow you most of what you do and least of what you say, your actions will always speak louder than your words. Maybe the first person you should train before training your kids is your self? I hope these tips are going to work well for your kids and for their good health!
Good and Bad Carbs: Who are They
But how could any one type of food cause such a big problem? Of course, not exercising and eating larger portions of any foods than we need take the lion's share of blame for the obesity epidemic.
But the so-called "bad" carbs — sugar and refined foods — tend to be significant contributors to excess calories. Why? Because they're easy to get our hands on, come in large portions, taste good, and aren't too filling.
People tend to eat more of these refined foods than needed. And, often, foods like colas and candy provide no required nutrients, so we really don't need to eat them at all.
But this doesn't mean that all simple sugars are bad. Simple carbs are also found in many nutritious foods — like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, which provide a range of essential nutrients that support growth and overall health. For example, fresh fruits contain simple carbs, but they have vitamins and fiber, too.
The 2010 dietary guidelines recommend that Americans eat more unrefined (often called "good") carbs by saying that everyone — including kids and teens — should increase whole-grain consumption and limit their intake of added sugar. In fact, at least half of grain intake should come from whole grains.
Whole grains certainly sound like the healthy way to go. But what makes them so different from simple carbohydrates? Whole grains are complex carbohydrates (like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain breads and cereals) that are:
- broken down more slowly in the body. Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain (the bran, germ, and endosperm), whereas refined grains are mainly just the endosperm — and that means more for your body to break down. More to break down means the breakdown is slower, the carbohydrates enter the body slower, and it's easier for your body to regulate them.
- high in fiber. Not just for the senior-citizen crowd, foods that are good sources of fiber are beneficial because they're filling and, therefore, discourage overeating. Diets rich in whole grains protect against diabetes and heart disease. Plus, when combined with adequate fluid, they help move food through the digestive system to prevent constipation and may protect against gut cancers.
- packed with other vitamins and minerals. In addition to fiber, whole grains contain more important vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, and iron.
Unrefined carbs found in whole grains are ideal, refined grain products may be fortified with folic acid (also called folate), iron, and other nutrients, and as a result may contain more of these nutrients when compared with whole-grain foods that have not been fortified.
The actual amount of grains will vary depending on a child's age, gender, and level of physical activity. On average, school-age kids should eat about 4- to 6-ounce equivalents from the grain group each day and at least half of these servings should come from whole grains.
An ounce equivalent is like a serving — so one slice of bread; 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal; or a half cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or hot cereal can be considered a 1-ounce equivalent.
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As parents we should know what are the bad and good stuff that we give to our kids. There are bad stuff that we once thought good and healthy, but in fact they are not.