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Healthy Food For Kids - Articles Surfing
Our children are getting fat. In 1963, 5 % of American children were considered obese, in 2002 that number had increased to 15 % and now in 2006 a full 25 % of American children between the ages of 5 and 12 are considered obese. Another 35 % are considered overweight and 14 % have Type 2 diabetes, a condition normally found in adults.
What are the reasons of these high rates? First of all, less physical activity, because nowadays kids spend more and more time in front of TV or Playstation. Then they eat more industrial food and less fresh food.
But, actually, what should children eat that can be called healthy food? Let's have a look first on what is a good lunch for kids.
They should get a balance of food groups: a protein source, like meat, cheese, beans, or eggs to keep the blood-sugar level even for a few hours when eaten alone or when combined with complex carbohydrates like vegetables and some pastas. Good choices include freshly cooked and sliced meats (not packaged lunch meats which contain large amounts of sodium and preservatives), tuna, egg salad, tofu and any sort of natural cheese, including cottage cheese, aged hard and soft cheeses.
A second component is fat. Everyone these days believes that any food should be fat free, but what is not healthy is not enough good fat in the diet, especially for kids. Good fats include, again, most anything found in nature, including olive oil, nuts, avocado, and even animal fats. One serving of a snack that provides some non-hydrogenated fat will provide your child with another prophylactic against blood-sugar fluctuations. Mixed raw nuts and dried fruit is a good example of something easy to pack that they will like.
Finally, they also need carbohydrates. This provides the child with ready energy by creating a rise in blood sugar. The goal is to make sure that rise is gradual and not drastic by including complex carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, grains, pasta, and some breads. Some simple carbohydrates in the form of fruits are great palate pleasers.
Beware of food especially packaged for kids because studies validate the hypothesis that food dyes and additives are a factor in attention and behavior disorders and increase the incidence of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperacticity Disorder). In one of these studies, 73 % of children placed on a diet free of dyes, additives and artificial sweeteners showed a reduction in hyperactivity and an increase in attention span.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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