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Growing Up Healthy

Healthful Eating

As a parent or caregiver, you can help your child develop eating and physical activity habits to stay healthy now and throughout life. Food and physical activity habits begin at home. Fat is an essential nutrient for children that supply energy and calories that they need for growth. A low-fat eating plan is not advised for children under two years of age because of special needs for rapid growth and development during these years. A child-size serving is one-fourth to one-third the size of an adult portion. Teach good habits by example. Children learn more from actions than from words. For specific food and nutrition advice, talk to your child’s pediatrician or a registered dietitian.

What to do?

Parents need to encourage nutrient-rich foods with less fat such as grain products, vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Offer your child many different foot-group foods. Be flexible and help your child eat sensibly. Forcing children to eat food doesn’t work and neither does forbidding foods. Foods that are “forbidden” just may become more desirable for children. It is always best to talk to your child’s pediatrician or a registered dietician before making any drastic changes in a child’s eating plan. Parents should try these simple tips to limit extra fat, saturated fat and cholesterol:

  • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables available and ready to eat.
  • Select lean meats, such as skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and lean beef.
  • Use fat-free cooking methods, such as baking, broiling, grilling, pouching, or steaming when cooking meat, poultry, or fish.
  • Try angel food cake, frozen fruit bars, and low-fat/fat-free frozen desserts such as fudge bars, yogurt or ice cream.
  • Use nonstick vegetable sprays when cooking.
  • Use the Nutrition Facts label on food packages to find foods will less fat per serving.

Physical Activity

Pediatricians recommend limiting TV time to no more than one or two hours each day. Be active. Join your children in doing other activities. Here are some activities that will please almost any young child:

  • Playing tag
  • Jumping rope
  • Throwing balls
  • Ridings a bicycle
  • Playing on swings
  • Walking with family
  • Dancing

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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