Kids, Pizza and Cancer Prevention

Pizza is popular – for kids’ parties, family night out and even late night snacks. But pizza can pack a lot of calories and that can lead to weight gain, which can increase cancer risk. Child Preparing Pizza

A study published yesterday in the journal Pediatrics dissects the role pizza plays in weight and nutrition for children and adolescents. Although the researchers found that overall, daily calories from pizza are lower than a decade ago, children and adolescents who eat pizza also consume more calories, saturated fat and salt each day than non-pizza eaters.

Study authors also found that if the pizza was from a fast food restaurant or was eaten as a snack, it added even more calories than if the pizza was from school cafeterias or from home. Overall, teens averaged about 320 calories more per day when eating pizza from a fast food restaurant than days when they didn’t eat pizza at all.

Being overweight as a kid may lead to being overweight as an adult. Overweight and obese adults have an increased risk for many common cancers, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

How can you help your child learn to enjoy pizza as a meal, treat or even as a healthful contribution to their diet? Check out our blog where I give a few tips on how to order and make a healthier pizza.

Celebrate the 4th with Red, White and Blue Popsicles

fruit-popsicleOur Health-e-Recipe for Berry Cherry Yogurt Popsicles is an easy-to-make summer treat for this 4th of July, especially with kids. And it’s healthier and lower in calories than many store-bought popsicles.

Berries and cherries are packed with cancer-preventing compounds including anthocyanins and ellagic acid, plus vitamin C. They may seem more expensive than other fruits, but they cost less now that they are in season and not much more than chips and other packaged foods.

Greek vanilla yogurt contains less sugar and more protein than frozen dairy desserts. And you can use fresh cherries or blackberries, too, but buying frozen unsweetened versions skips having to pit fresh cherries. If kids are helping you, note that berry juice can stain clothing so wear aprons or old shirts before starting.

Paper cups and popsicle sticks are cheap and easy to find. You can just tear off the cups when the popsicles have frozen, or just freeze without the popsicle sticks and use spoons to eat out of the cup. Enjoy these delicious pops as desserts or snacks.

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3 Cancer-Fighting Tips for your Family Vacation

If you’re planning one last summer get-away before it’s back-to-school and back-to-work, make it a time to boost your family’s health to stay on the road to a cancer preventive lifestyle.

Starting early in life to help your children develop healthy habits can pay off now and in the future because it can help them learn how to make healthy eating and staying active a routine part of their daily choices.http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-family-playing-beach-image19683878

Here’s three ideas for your vacation, which you can make fun and delicious with a little organizing and family input.

  1. Personalize snack stash: allow your children to pack their own snack sack for the road. With a few ground rules, take them shopping so they can select their own fresh fruit and vegetable, favorite cheese or yogurt, whole grain crackers and sweet treat. These are snacks they can eat when they want – 5 miles down the road, or they can space them out over a few days. This can go a long way to limit impulse purchases at the convenience store or airport.
  2. Family Fitness: Plan ahead for some physical activity every day. You could have family members each choose one activity that can be done by everyone – for example, take along jump ropes, Frisbees, stretch bands, sturdy walking shoes or yoga mats. Here’s a video of some basic stretch band exercises, for example.
  3. Explore local foods: Check out area farmer’s markets, family friendly farms or other food outlets that promote locally grown produce. Besides finding some tasty specialties, you may get to hear farmers, growers and producers’ talk about their food, how it was grown and how they like to prepare it.

Check out Healthy Kids Today – Prevent Cancer Tomorrow tookits for great ideas, activities and recipes to get your kids excited about healthy habits.