Helping your child eat healthy foods is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s health. This is true for many reasons. Healthy eating can help your child stay at a healthy weight. And it can help your child grow and have lots of energy for school and play. It can also help your child avoid serious health problems later on. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Healthy eating involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nonfat and low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. It also means eliminating sweet drinks such as soda, fruit juices, and sport drinks. And it means limiting fat, sugar, highly processed foods, and fast foods.
The goal is to try to eat a variety of healthy foods. But that doesn’t mean that your child can’t have desserts or treats now and then.
A simple formula to help keep kids healthy and active:
- 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily
- 3 structured meals daily – eat breakfast, less fast food and more meals prepared at home
- 2 hours or less of TV or video games daily
- 1 hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily
- Almost none, eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks
*Adapated from the 5-2-1-0 message promoted by the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (www.nichq.org)
If you have questions about your child’s nutrition, reach out to your Parkview Physicians Group pediatrician today.
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