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Childhood Obesity - V(1)

Por Alvin N. Eden, M.D. -

Proper nutrition for your child is important to establish.  What your children eat at home will influence their habits and choices they make outside of the home, as well as will impact what they do later in life.  Below are five simple guidelines that will help start your child on the road to a lifetime of good health:

1.  Emphasize low-fat and low-cholesterol foods.Get your child accustomed to eating low-fat, low-cholesterol meals and snacks. This will provide a huge advantage in preventing hardening of the arteries and heart disease later on in life.

2. Cut down on salt.Teach your child to eat and enjoy less salty foods now. Teach them not to sprinkle salt on their food, by not using the salt shaker yourself or having one at the dinner table. By doing this they will probably continue to eat a diet that is lower salt diet as an adult.  It is during adulthood when a diet high in salt could contribute to high blood pressure.

3. Limit sugary snacks.  Foods such as candy and soda contain mainly refined sugar. These foods have a lot of calories but they are mostly “empty” calories, which are calories that have little or no nutritional value.

4. Include enough iron.Many studies have shown that iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia are associated with poor learning and the impairment of mental development. Another reason to ensure your child is getting enough iron is because iron deficiency may also make the body more susceptible to absorbing lead from the environment. Too much lead in the blood can cause severe brain damage. Make sure your child eats a diet that is rich sources of quality iron. If your youngster is a poor eater, a daily iron supplement may be needed. Make sure to consult your health care provider.

5. Add more fibrous foods to meals.Not only will fiber help your child’s digestion but there is also some evidence to show that it helps protect against gastrointestinal illnesses (including appendicitis and diverticulitis), and against cancer of the colon and rectum.

Here are some specific examples of how you can comply with the recommendations listed above:

1. Provide your child with more fish and skinless chicken, and less beef, pork, and lamb. Avoid consuming too much of fatty meats like bacon and sausage.

2. Prepare fish and chicken by broiling, baking, steaming, or poaching. These cooking methods do not require adding fat or oil, which are very high in calories. Avoid preparing or purchasing deep-fried foods.

3. In order to cut down on cholesterol, limit the number of eggs your child eats per week to 3 or 4. (Egg yolks are the highest, most concentrated source of cholesterol commonly eaten).

4. After age 2 switch from whole milk to low-fat or skim milk. Reduce high-fat dairy products such as ice cream, whipped cream, and high-fat cheeses.

5. Serve your child salads, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruits every day, both during meals and as snacks.

6. Serve whole wheat bread, brown rice, pumpernickel and dark rye bread, and other whole grain products.

7. Limit highly sugared foods and highly salted foods. Keep the salt shaker off the table.


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