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Tuesday, 18 August 2015
The Best Diet for Children is No Diet At All.
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 by Ja Sam
The Best Diet for Children is No Diet At All.
Many parents wonder what constitutes a healthy diet for children. It is natural that, when the child is obese or overweight, to become concerned. We want to protect our child from the immediate consequences like social discrimination and low self-esteem.
Even the only slightly overweight child will sometimes not be invited to a party or be left out of a game. For the little ones it can cause sadness and tears and for the teenager, who usually wants nothing more then being accepted by his or her peer group, it can cause more serious problems like bulimia and anorexia.
While the best cure for all these problems is prevention, there are lots of things you can do to help your child. Changing the diet of the whole family is better than to concentrate on a diet for children.
One thing to do is to listen carefully to your child and find out which physical activity appeals to her or him. Try your very best to get them to participate in team sports.
Basketball, swimming, field hockey and football are all fast moving sports, but bike riding, walking and just plain running around with the neighborhood kids is great. Involving the whole family in whatever the child is doing is a great help. Often time is a factor, and we all have to do the best we can.
Limiting TV, computer time, and video games is necessary. Maybe a pet that needs to be walked every day is another idea.
It is not easy to get your child to eat a healthy diet. Children love junk food because everybody else is eating it. Setting a good example by eating healthy yourself is the hardest part of all.
There is great confusion about what constitutes a healthy diet for children. Advertisers constantly bombard them with mostly unhealthy choices.
You as a parent need to be informed about good nutrition and diet for children. Children need plenty of carbohydrates for energy and growth, but not all carbohydrates are the same.
If you are confused about carbohydrates in the diet for children you are not alone.
A brief history of carbohydrates will explain why some carbohydrates are a better choice in the diet for children than others.
Throughout early history, the only carbohydrates available were wild roots, tubers, fruits, and vegetables that people foraged for. These foods where loaded with fiber and nutrients, and they were slowly digested and absorbed, to provide a slow release, sustained form of energy.
When people turned to agriculture they learned to cultivate grains. These foods became mainstays of peoples diet. They were consumed in their natural unprocessed form, coarsely ground and made into porridges and baked into whole grain breads.
Two hundred years ago high speed mills where invented and we where introduced to fine ground flour with most of the fibrous bran and nutritious germ removed. What is left is the quickly digested fine white flours we eat in breads, cake mixes, pretzels and other highly processed food.
In recent years new technologies for processing grain like puffing, extruding and flaking have been used to make breakfast foods, "quick cooking" and "instant" foods. The consumption of sugar in the diet for children is at an all time high and serving sizes of refined carbohydrates have constantly grown.
This deluge of quickly digested carbohydrates represents much of what is wrong with today's children’s diet. These over processed foods lack the fiber and nutrients so necessary in a healthy diet, and are very quickly digested, rapidly raise the blood sugar level, followed by a rise of insulin in the blood stream. About two hours later the child feels hungry again, since what she ate is lacking in nutrients and fiber.
For children it is hard to overcome bad eating habits. They need all the help they can get. Most of what your child eats depends on what you bring home from the grocery store. Try not to buy foods prepackaged, and high in sugar and fat. Keep in mind that high fiber foods in a childs diet make the child feel full longer and aid in digestion.
Here are some more suggestions:
Carefully and slowly cut down on the amount of fat and calories in your family's diet.
Avoid using food as reward or punishment.
Plan for healthy snacks.
Aim to eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
Children should drink lots of water and low fat or fat free milk after the age of two.
Avoid soft drinks, even diet and sport drinks.
Discourage eating snacks while watching TV.
Don't place your child on a restrictive diet.
A really obese child might benefit from diet camp. The good ones teach children about motivation and nutrition.
They can do wonders for an obese child
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