How Does Your Family’s Diet Rate for Cancer Prevention?

Healthy kids today, prevents cancer tomorrow! That’s the reason I’m working with AICR to develop the “Healthy Kids Today, Prevent Cancer Tomorrow” campaign. The foods we feed our bodies do more than just fuel us, they shield us from viruses, bacteria, and diseases.young people with children

Are you curious about how your diet and knowledge level rates for cancer prevention? Take this quiz, then take a look at our recommended solutions, tips and advice to boost your body’s cancer shielding power!

1. One in three cancers could be avoidable by taking certain precautions. What are they?
A)  Exercise once a week
B)  Eat fruits every day
C)  Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and get 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, and stay a healthy weight
D)  Eat one balanced meal a day Continue reading

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

Family Meals for Kids’ Healthy Eating Habits

Did you sit down with your kids last night for dinner? If so, and if family meals are relatively normal in your house, that’s likely a good thing when it comes to your kids eating habits, suggests a new study published in Pediatrics.

The study pooled data from 17 previous studies investigating family meals and nutrition, totaling approximately 183,000 children. Average ages ranged from 3 to 17.

After analysis, the authors found that children and adolescents who ate with their family three or more times per week were more likely to be in a normal weight range and eat healthier – including eating fruits, vegetables and breakfast – than kids who shared fewer than 3 family meals together. Staying a healthy weight — and eating a healthy diet – are both important for cancer prevention.

Children and adolescents who ate with their families regularly were 12 percent less likely to be overweight and 24 percent more likely to eat healthy foods compared to the kids who ate with their families fewer than three times weekly. Youths who eat regularly with their family are also less likely to take diet pills, use diuretics, fast and engage in other disordered eating habits.

The study is featured in yesterday’s issue of Cancer Research Update, which also highlighted new research on how red peppers may help curb our appetite. You can look at the whole issue here.

There are plenty of possible reasons why having family meals together can influence healthy eating habits and weight. The authors suggest that family meals allow times when parents can recognize early signs of unhealthy eating habits and then take steps to prevent it. What do you think?