Friday, June 22, 2012

Are you concerned about your child's eating habits? It can be challenging to feed toddlers a healthy diet every day, but I have a secret weapon. A homemade smoothie is an easy way to serve your child at least one serving of fruits, vegetables, and calcium every day. Follow these five simple guidelines to help your child eat a nutritious diet: Five Effortless Nutrition Suggestions for More Nutritious Kids: 3+ portions of veggies, 2 portions of fruit, 3 portions of whole grain products, 3 food servings of calcium, 1/2 their entire body weight in grams of lean health proteins One serving size of veggies is just one cup raw or 1/2 cup prepared. Even though it can often be difficult to get small children to eat raw vegetables, it's simple to include at least one portion of veggies in a delicious homemade smoothie. Spinach, mixed greens, and steamed baby carrots are specially effortless to conceal in mouth watering shakes. One of the best smoothie recipe with blended veggies is called Frog Juice, and my favorite recipe made with baby carrots is Bunny Juice. Your kids will happily eat their vegetables if you serve them inside a healthy smoothie! It's substantially simpler and easier to persuade children to eat their fruits instead of vegetables. One helping of fresh fruit is one actual fruit (such as 1 apple or mango), or 3/4 cup of berries. Although fruits aren't necessary to make great drinks, smoothies taste better with a bit of sweet fruit added! Frozen bananas are very popular in smoothies, because they add cold and creamy texture to the drink. The preparation to add bananas into a juice smoothie is basically non-existent: just peel and throw in. Apples are another popular fresh fruits to add to smoothies. Apples are very nutritious and taste great. Whole Grain Products have a greater nutritional value than processed, highly refined, white grains. Because children consume a relatively small amount of food day-to-day, it is imperative to ensure that they receive the maximum nutritional value for the amount of food that they eat. One serving of whole grains is equal to 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1 slice of whole grain bread, 1/2 cup dry oatmeal or 1 cup whole grain breakfast cereal (with less than 6 grams of sugar, and 3 or more grams of fiber per serving). You can easily add a serving of breakfast cereal to your child's drinks, or add dry oats if your vita mixer is effective enough. The whole grain cereal found in the baby section is one other option, though it will be challenging to find a baby cereal with at least 3 grams per serving of fibers. Chances are your son or daughter will get nearly all of their daily calcium supplement by drinking milk, but calcium is also found in yogurt, cottage cheese, traditional cheeses, green veggies, legumes, and tofu, along with calcium-fortified food items including waffles and orange fruit juice. One serving of calcium is equal to 1 cup dairy, yogurt, or calcium-fortified juice, 1/2 to One cup beans or broccoli, or four ounces of tofu. You should seek out low-fat versions of dairy, yogurt, and cheese, which are healthier since they have less artery-clogging fat. Children over the age of 2 should always consume 1% milk, never the full fat variety. Smoothies made with low-fat milk, soymilk, citrus veggie juice, or even low-fat natural yogurt are specially scrumptious solutions to consume your calcium. Lean proteins is another sticky point in children's diets. My own child weighs in at 36 pounds. It's ideal for her to consume one half of that in grams, 18 grams, of lean protein each and every day. Children can get protein from a assortment of sources: cooked chicken, poultry hamburgers, yogurt, lowfat milk, peanut butter, tofu, eggs, almonds, vegan burgers, lasagna, and string cheese are common proteins sources amongst this particular age bracket. You'll really need to look at nutrition facts for one's particular grams of proteins for each amount for each item. Try to consider that barbequed chicken along with turkey burgers are definitely the hefty hitters, averaging twenty-one gr of protein per helping that is the dimensions of ones palm. Natural yogurt, low-fat dairy, peanut butter, as well as tofu are usually fantastic sources of trim necessary protein that taste delightful in kid's shakes!

This article deals with the effects of diet and nutrition on the health, development, and behavior of children. More research has been done recently looking into the effects of poor diet on youth. For years research had focused on adults, but recently a concerted effort has been made on researching the diseases that affect the young. The data coming back is startling. It reveals a greater level of impact than was previously imagined. More and more information is now painting a picture of the consequences of a poor diet. The effects stretch beyond simple lethargy and obesity to greater mental, emotional, and behavioral health problems as well as impacts on proper growth and physiological development (Child Diet 'linked to IQ). In fact, it turns some old assumptions on their head.

But children are young with a fast metabolism, they shouldn't be as affected, right? Wrong, and one couldn't be much further from the truth. Children are actually far more susceptible to the consequences of a poor diet than adults, for the simple reason that they're still growing. The development of bones, muscles, and brain matter all require a higher level of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Instead of giving this to our children, we have been feeding them foods that actually rob the body of the essentials it needs and have put a burden on developing organs to process the refined foods consumed. Most people wouldn't put sugar in a gas tank because their car wouldn't run and most people wouldn't feed candy and other junk to a growing dog. They know it isn't good, yet when it comes to our children and often to ourselves, we cast a blind eye and use excuses like "They deserve it," "They're young it's OK," "You only live once." These excuses need to stop if we are to turn around an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, rising cancer rates among our youth, and a host of behavioral health problems.

What do you mean by a poor diet? A poor diet can be used almost synonymously with the Standard American Diet. It includes a laundry list of refined foods filled with saturated fats, loaded with sugars, and overburdened with salts. Many of these foods are so over-processed that all of the original nutritional value has been stripped away, which brings in another problem. The less nutritious a meal is the harder it is to feel "full" after a meal, and therefore, the easier it is to overeat. Furthermore, many foods rich in fats and sugars stimulate the release of hormones that make us temporarily feel good. This acts as a short term pleasure that reinforces our bad habits. Not to worry, good foods and exercise also release hormones that stimulate a "happy" response and have longer lasting effects on health and happiness.

Why are we hooked on a poor diet? There are a few common reasons for the consumption of processed, highly refined, nutrient poor foods. As previously stated many of these foods bring a temporary euphoria that is a short-term release of the stresses of our daily lives. The main reasons most people cite are often dealing with convenience, cost, and taste. The modern world can be busy and we often feel there is little time to cook, so fast food becomes the quick, easy option. Many highly processed foods can be relatively cheap and when one looks at obesity rates there is a direct relation to income levels. Areas of greater poverty tend to see greater rates of obesity (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Last, taste is a factor that is hard to ignore. We are hard wired to select foods that are highest in energetic value for the smallest energetic costs in attaining that food. In the past that meant the less effort involved for hunting and gathering a significant yield of food was preferable for long-term survival. In the western world we needn't hunt or gather our foods, but the drive to find sweet foods filled with sugars (high in energy) still exists (just look at how many sodas are consumed per year). This drive has led to clever marketing and the selling of many unhealthy foods, often-times with "healthy" labels, such as "natural," "high fiber," "nature made."

What effects does a poor diet have on my child? In short the negative effects are almost too many to count. Numerous health issues ranging from mental, emotional, and physical diseases can all be caused by a poor diet. Research has shown that ADD/ADHD are largely influenced by dietary factors. Aggression and mood swings are linked to diet. Poor bone development, bowed spine, excessive growing pains, and acne can all be linked to a bad diet. As can lower intelligence, lower test scores, lethargy, and poor dental health. Furthermore, new research has shown that the poor diet of a mother can influence a child before they're even born. The unborn fetus fed a steady diet of unhealthy foods is more likely to have diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer later in life (ScienceDaily).

What can I do to improve my child's diet? Start gradually when making changes and improvements to your child's diet. More fruits and vegetables, less refined sugars, fats, and processed foods. If your child is young enough, use fruits instead of cookies as a reward for good behavior. The positive association can have lasting effects. Make the change from soda to natural juice and from juice to water (many juices are still high in sugars). Set goals and create a system of rewards and punishments. Overall keep the changes as positive as possible and reward success through love. It is important to be clear with the rules and guidelines you set and most importantly be consistent.

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