Good nutrition is essential in maintaining good overall health. Information including daily dietary needs, monitoring of growth (weight & height), and strategies can be found in this section, supplementing our in office printed material.
We are witnessing a significant rise in childhood obesity reaching global epidemic proportions. Obesity and its many associated health problems including:
Menstrual Problems (PCOS)
Gallbladder (stones) & Fatty Liver Disease
This will have an ever-lasting impact on healthcare costs and ultimately on the quality of life including expectancy potentially making today’s children the first generation having a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Factors such as poor eating habits, lack of exercise and sleep play key roles. Statistics have also shown that there is a three- fold increased risk that a child will become obese if one parent is obese and ten-fold if both are obese.
The problem starts early in life. Eating on the run with greater consumption of fast foods, skipping breakfasts, increased snacking on calorie rich foods, and misleading nutritional marketing information are just a few factors negatively affecting our eating habits in daily life. Recently studies focusing on inadequate sleep patterns and the affect on two internal hormones our body produce (leptin and ghrelin) have been reported to play roles in obesity.
Children establish eating habits and preferences very early in life. Many feel that a critical period of time in developing these preferences can be as early as 1-3 years of age. Increasing awareness of health food choices early is a good first step.
The CDC has released new dietary guidelines to help parents. Many will remember the Food Pyramid, which has been replaced by Choose my plate.
Maintaining good eating habits and weights should be a family oriented lifestyle project with a focus on healthy food choices, adequate exercise including limiting computer, Internet and TV time to less than 2 hours per day and, adequate sleep.
Two other pyramids to mention:
Body Mass Index provides a reliable indicator of body “fatness” for most people with weight screening categories that may lead to health problems.
Calculating and planning daily nutritional needs based on daily routines and your child’s current growth parameters.
Search 70,00 foods and 500 restaurant chains for caloric content of what order. Helps you make better-informed choices.
HEALTHY RECIPE WEBSITES
These sites offer many options and healthy menus for kids. Search the kid’s sections for food preparation ideas that may entice your children to try healthy foods.
Simple way to remember good nutrition/lifestyle habits: SERVE
S => omit sweetened beverages (replace soda with water)
E => exercise and limit TV/Internet time (less than 2 hrs/day)
R => regularly scheduled meals (breakfast important)
V => increase veggie, fruit, and fiber intake
E => eat less (portion control)