Posts for tag: Nutrition
Why Proper Nutrition is Important
As a parent, it goes without saying that you want what is best for your child. Making sure that your little ones grow up healthy, happy, and prepared for the future is often one of the most difficult, yet regarding, tasks in all of parenthood. This all-important mission to provide a great life for your child encompasses a number of different factors, including one which is the subject of this article: nutrition.
According to recent reports from the CDC, one in five school children within the United States qualify as obese. This epidemic of unhealthy living inevitably creates a number of ill effects in the children who suffer from the condition. Read on to learn how proper nutrition can keep your child at a healthy weight and avoid the consequences of obesity.
Why Obesity Must Be Avoided
Before we examine the intricacies of proper nutrition, it is important that we look at why being overweight/obese is to be avoided:
Onset of chronic diseases: Although they are more often diagnosed in adults, conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes have been increasingly seen in younger children, largely because of poor eating habits.
Childhood habits traverse into adulthood: Humans tend to be creatures of habit, and accordingly, we largely carry childhood tendencies into our adult lives. For this reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the National Institute for Health Research has found that “55% of obese children go on to be obese in adolescence, around 80% of obese adolescents will still be obese in adulthood and around 70% will be obese over age 30.”
Obesity shortens life: The National Institute of Health has found that obesity has the possibility of shortening life spans by up to fourteen years, and with the established link between childhood and adulthood obesity, it’s essential to promote healthy
Other Benefits of Proper Nutrition
The most obvious benefit of providing proper nutrition for your child is that they are then much more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and thus avoid all of the dangers associated with obesity. In addition to escaping the clutches of type 2 diabetes and a shortened life expectancy, your little one will also feel the immediate advantage of higher physical energy levels and increased brain activity. These boosts to your child’s wellbeing can be attributed to an increased bloodflow throughout the body, allowing them to not only stay healthier, but feel happier as well!
If you need help with getting your child on the path of proper nutrition, contact your local pediatrician today—we’re here to help!
Your child is growing by leaps and bounds, so it should go without saying that the foods they consume can provide ample energy and fuel their mind and body, or they can cause deficiencies, mood swings, sluggishness, and health problems. Your child’s nutrition is of the utmost importance and establishing healthy eating habits early on can greatly benefit your child for both the short-term and for the future.
With childhood obesity still being a very serious and real problem in our country, it’s never too early to start your child eating a healthy, balanced diet. It’s amazing how what you eat can either help or harm your health. Here are some tips to support good nutrition in your little one.
Don’t Forget Breakfast
While busy parents might forget to eat first thing in the morning (or turn to coffee to get that burst of energy) growing children should not skip out on breakfast. Making sure they have a hearty protein-rich breakfast will help them stay fuller longer. Greek yogurt or eggs can be a great source of protein. Couple that with whole grains and some veggies and you have the ultimate, energized breakfast.
Let Your Child Be an Active Participant
If you just tell your child what to eat all the time it’s can be far more challenging to have them eat what they should and children don’t really understand for themselves why certain foods are good for them. Getting your child actively involved in their own nutrition is a great and invaluable lesson that they will carry with them throughout life. Let them choose their favorite fruits and vegetables. Plant a garden together and show them how to tend to herbs and vegetables. Make cooking together a priority and enjoy time with the family while teaching your child how to cook.
Revamp Your Diet
We know that it can be difficult to completely transition your child into a healthier lifestyle, particularly if eating habits haven’t been the best so far; however, a pediatrician can help guide you through the process to help you make simple decisions that could greatly improve your child’s diet. Simply swapping out certain unhealthy options for healthier ones might be all you need. For example, replace soda with flavored water, ice cream with yogurt, and potato chips with mixed nuts.
Sugar in Moderation
Okay, we know it’s impossible to prevent your child from ever consuming sugar (after all, what’s a birthday party without the birthday cake?); however, you should limit how much sugar your child consumes each day. Keep sodas, sports drinks, desserts and the like out of the house to prevent temptation. Sure, these treats aren’t that bad for you when consumed sparingly, but we all know the negative effect sugar has on our physical and mental health.
If you have questions about your child’s nutritional habits or their health, it’s important that you have a pediatrician that you trust to provide you with the comprehensive and understanding care you and your little one need. Turn to a pediatrician today to have all your questions and concerns addressed regarding your child’s nutrition and lifestyle.
According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, nearly 15 percent of teens drink energy drinks on a weekly basis. Could the widespread use of energy drinks among teens be a problem? Many researchers fear that it is. Here's why.
1. Teens Who Drink Energy Drinks are More Likely to Smoke and Drink Alcohol
According to a study by the University of Michigan, the research is clear: Teens who drink energy drinks are more likely to smoke and drink as well. Research found teens who drank energy shots and drinks were 2-3 times likely to use alcohol, cigarettes and illicit drug use. Saying no to energy drinks may just be the first step to saying no to other, more dangerous drugs as well.
2. Energy Drinks Lead to Tooth Decay
Energy drinks contain a great deal of sugar. When consumed frequently, they can lead to tooth decay and other oral health issues, especially when kids and teens don't brush immediately after.
3. Energy Drinks Can Contribute to Certain Health Conditions
Consuming energy drinks can also help lead to certain health conditions, including diabetes and obesity. While one drink may not cause a problem, drinking energy drinks can become habitual, which can turn into a problem quickly.
4. Energy Drinks Replace Healthier Options
Children and teens that choose to drink energy drinks are also choosing not to drink other, healthier options - such as water, milk or 100 percent pure fruit juice in their place. When children and teens choose energy drinks frequently enough, they end up missing out on all the health benefits that the other beverages provide.
For most - if not all - children and teens, energy drinks are completely unnecessary and cause far more harm than good. If your children and teens currently drink energy drinks, wean them off as soon as you can. If they have yet to try them, encourage them to keep it that way as long as possible.
Chances are you've heard of the gluten-free diet, seen products at the grocery store with "gluten free" labels or gone to a restaurant where some dishes have a little "GF" printed next to them. The practice of eating foods without this protein has grown in popularity in the last several years, even among people who are not allergic to it.
Celiac disease is the biggest reason you might go gluten-free. It is an autoimmune and digestive disorder that causes someone's small intestine to suffer damage as a result of ingesting gluten. About 1% of the population has celiac disease, and if you're concerned you or your child has the disease, you should visit a gastroenterologist for diagnosis. Only 1% of people have celiac disease, but 11% of U.S. households follow gluten-free diets,according to an annual survey on the topic from NPD Group. On top of that 25% of those surveyed said they believe gluten-free diets are healthy for everyone. As families across the country work to improve their health and the health of those in their family, more people are trying to go gluten-free, but simply stopping your gluten isn't necessarily a sure move toward better health.
How Can I Make Overall Improvements To My Child’s Diet?
You have to consider your diet as a whole, not just the parts that may contain gluten, if you're serious about changing the food you consume. If not done properly, eliminating gluten may mean you may not be getting all the nutrients you need. This is especially important to focus on when changing a child's diet, as he or she needs to fuel a growing, developing body.
If you've ever looked into buying gluten-free food, you know the protein is in a lot of things. By the nature of its prevalence, gluten is in a lot of unhealthy food, so you're likely narrowing your pool of potential meals to those you shouldn't have a lot of, anyway. Cakes and cookies, for instance, tend to have gluten. On the flip side, you're eliminating healthy whole grains that contain necessary nutrients. As such, avoiding gluten can be detrimental to your health, if you're not making the effort to consume the fiber, vitamins and minerals found in glutenous whole grains.
Whether or not a gluten free diet will help improve your health depends on a few things. First, you should visit your doctor so you can have a professional evaluate you for celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy (they're all different issues that may be resolved with a gluten-free diet). Beyond that, it's crucial you know what to eat so you can maintain a balanced diet. If you're smart about it and educate your family on healthful eating, going gluten-free can be a great way to improve your child's health.
It's no secret that childhood obesity is on the rise. While not every child is affected, too many of them are and it's causing families plenty of heartache, discouragement, missed memories and medical bills. Thankfully the ins and outs of preventing childhood obesity don't have to be a secret either. While the measures each individual family will have to take will vary, here are four great steps to get any family started.
1. Establish Healthy Eating Habits from an Early Age
When it comes to establishing good eating habits, earlier is better. You can't feed a child nothing but chicken nuggets, hot dogs and soda for the first four years of their life and expect them to suddenly like vegetables! While dealing with a picky toddler can be time-consuming and exhausting, it is worth every bit of effort to teach your children to like healthy fruits and vegetables from an early age.
2. Avoid Negative Food Associations
Of course, maintaining a healthy weight isn't as easy as simply learning to like the right things. Many times the battle has more to do with the reasons why we are eating. Do you offer food as a bribe or reward? Do you model stress eating or talk about your latest diets in front of your children? If so, you may be setting your children up for a lifetime of worries about food. Instead, work hard to establish food's rightful place in your life as a way of nourishing your body and providing the fuel you need on a daily basis.
3. Exercise Together as a Family
In addition to eating right, you also have to exercise too. Thankfully, exercise can be a ton of fun! Sign your children up for gymnastics, cheerleading or sports. Take them to the park every chance you get. Install a swing set in your backyard and send them out to play. Turn off the TV and put away the video games. Don't just stop there, however. Make exercise a family activity and you're all much more likely to succeed.
4. Emphasize Health Over Size
While bikini season may be a great motivator for grown women to lose weight, appearances shouldn't be what motivate your children to eat right and exercise. Instead of discussing your child's weight and appearances, talk instead about how important it is to be healthy. When the emphasis is health instead of size, your children can move forward confidently in the direction of their goals.
Childhood obesity may be caused by a number of factors, but the best way to beat it is usually quite simple. Teach your children healthy habits from an early age and make sure you get involved too. This will skyrocket your children's chances for success!