Diet and nutrition for kids is a challenge. Most children are bombarded with persuasive and attractive advertising from a very young age. Most foods advertised tend to be high in sugar or salt and are often sponsored by colorful cartoon characters.
Children need to be given a choice and must be allowed to eat little and often.
There is no need for children to eat low-fat products. Fats are a necessary component of anyone’s diet. The issue with fat is that of moderation due to the higher calorie content of fats. Some of the more important fats required in childhood development are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats.
Sources of omega-3 are tuna, salmon, sesame seeds, nuts, sardines. (Note that nuts are not suitable for very young children due to a choking risk.
Sources of omega-6 are Avocado, sunflower seeds, corn, almonds.
Protein is essential but needs to be moderated in children so as not to overload the kidneys. Good protein sources include; Eggs, milk, cheese, unflavored yogurts, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, fish, and even some grains such as oats and millet.
There is never any need to reduce carbohydrates in children and it should make up the biggest portion of their diets. Many children receive their carbohydrates from sugary juices, candies, processed breakfast foods, and many other snack foods.
Good carbohydrate choices include; Fruits, vegetables, bread, crackers, whole grain cereals, unsweetened muesli.
Children who are overweight should never go on restrictive diets or even have foods restricted. Any approach should include the entire family and result in improving the diet of the parents as well as the children.
The program must address behavioral issues as well as nutritional issues.
|SparkTeens||Free service that offers teens, parents, and teachers the tools and support they need to be healthy or encourage the teens in their lives to get fit. From the creators of SparkPeople.|
|Trim Kids (book)||A 12 week program suitable for children, pre-teens, and teenagers.|
|Slim Kids||A smaller program aimed specifically at children.|