Get Your Kids to Eat More Plant-Based Foods in Honor of Earth Day!

With every meal, children develop their lifelong eating habits. The food choices they make while young can impact how their genes work later in life. Healthy kids make healthy adults, but only 39% of children ages 2 to 17 meet USDA recommendations for fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, and only 7% of children ages 2 to 19 meet recommendations for whole grains. Eating the types of foods listed above that contain natural fiber help combat cancer. Try these three simple steps to help your kids eat more plant-based foods, so they can be healthy now and later!

1)    Turn off the TV: Food companies spend billions on marketing campaigns that utilize television, Internet advertising, brand licensing, and games to promote food products may seem fun, but offer little nutritional value. Kids love the colorful packaging they see on sweets, cereals, and sodas, but don’t realize that the package hides an unhealthy product. Take the time to explain to your child that these companies care about getting their money and not whether they are healthy. Help your children outsmart food companies by introducing them to foods that come in natural packaging, like bananas, apples and oranges. Remember that children like eating foods that are visually appealing.  Cut fruits into fun shapes, serve them in creative ways, and have your kids help wash and prepare them Continue reading

Cut Childhood Obesity with 64 Calorie Cuts (On Average)

Drinking half a soda instead of the full can, eating six fewer French Fries, or playing basketball for about ten minutes are a few ways youths – on average – can cut the 64 daily calories a new study suggests is needed to reach the federal governments target goal for reducing childhood obesity by 2020.

The 64-calorie estimate is an average across the US population – with some kids needing to cut more calories and others fewer. It is not intended to stand in as a figure for any child, note the study authors.

The study was published online today in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past three decades. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults. And obese adults are at increased risk of seven types of cancer, along with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health disorders. Continue reading