Balanced Diets Mean Healthy Kids
As a parent, you try to do everything you can to provide good nutrition and healthy eating habits for your growing children. It can be a challenge with conflicting information, working full time, the accessibility of fast and processed foods – not to mention the pervasiveness of personal technology that has a hold on the younger generation. How do you ensure your kids are eating a balanced diet packed with fruits and veggies, getting off the couch and participating in physical activity including play and sports, and getting enough of their calories from whole foods to feed their growing minds and bodies? We want to be a nutritional education resource for your family, so you can worry less and know your kids have all they need to thrive.
Healthy Nutrition from the Beginning
Providing healthy food in the right amounts gives your children a great foundation for their relationship to food and their overall health for the rest of their lives. Proper nutrition helps ensure children will grow and develop optimally – not just their body, but their brains. You want to be sure they avoid foods with added sugars, as well as saturated and trans fats.
Make Food Fun
Encourage your child to have a good relationship with food. Instead of restricting food, provide nutritious foods to their liking. Bring the kids to the grocery store with you to engage them in shopping for healthy foods and new foods they are interested in trying. Ask them to help prepare their food so they feel involved.
The Right Amount of the Right Foods
Kids need the same nutrition as adults, but in different amounts at different ages. We all need a balanced diet that features:
- Protein – lean meat, poultry and seafood; eggs, soy products and unsalted nuts
- Fruits – fresh not canned; fruit juice that is 100% juice with no added sugars in limited servings
- Vegetables – fresh or frozen is best; variety of colors; lower sodium options
- Grains – whole grains; variety; limited refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice
- Dairy – milk (low-fat or fat-free for older kids); yogurt and cheese
Excess Weight Leads to Health Problems
Kids need to be kids. They need to be outside playing in the fresh air and participating in sports and engaging in physical activity.
In 1980, 7% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 were obese. In 2010, that figure increased to 18%. Today’s statistics show that 33% of U.S. kids are considered overweight or obese. Poor eating habits established early in a child’s life follow them throughout life and can lead to several health problems including:
- Obese teens can develop cardiovascular disease, a condition not normally encountered for decades.
- Too much fat leads to inflammation which can show up as asthma in kids.
- Kids with fatty livers face double the chance of having arterial plaque problems.
- Overweight or obese kids are more likely to develop impaired insulin sensitivity, glucose disposal, and prediabetes.
- Being overweight can lead to early puberty onset for girls and breast development in boys.
Family Medical Clinic Kendall is an inner-city health clinic in Miami. Treating kids and families is our life’s work and passion. We support families in guiding them toward healthy nutrition choices for growing children. No appointment is required. Located at 9000 SW 137th Avenue, Suite 111, in Miami, we offer a walk-in clinic, urgent care and a lab & diagnostics. Call us today at (305) 603-7824 to find out how we can help you and your family.