This article was brought to you by Truestar Health: The World's Most Comprehensive Nutrition, Fitness & Healthy Lifestyle ResourceWhen it comes to our children – no limit is too high. From hockey and piano lessons to tutors and summer camp – a parent’s number one priority is children. Yet, even so, an unusual trend is occurring in North America. While children are now given more opportunities than ever before, their nutritional intake is at its lowest point. A typical child’s diet includes refined cookies, crackers, luncheon meats, french fries, pop/soda and other fast foods. In fact, it is estimated that the average child consumes 29 teaspoons of sugar per day! In the era of “having it all”, curiously, pediatric healthcare is on a downward spiral with childhood asthma, allergies, depression cancers and obesity rates all on the rise. In the first year of a child’s life, extra care is taken in feeding infants properly by ensuring they get the precise amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins for optimal development. Many parents are even taking the health plunge and feeding their infants only organic foods. While I say, “Bravo!” to these parents, the question also begs – why does this attention and care to feeding your little one drop off as they age? Consider the following food facts that highlight the feeding trends occurring in our youth:• When fried vegetables are excluded, 30% of children consume less than one serving of vegetables per day. • The average can of pop contains between 9 to11 teaspoons of sugar. • A significant number of teenage boys are now drinking five or more cans of soda every day. • In 1972, we spent three billion a year on fast food - today we spend more than 110 billion! • McDonald's feeds more than 46 million people a day - more than the entire population of Spain. In order to improve the quality of your child’s nutrition, I recommend taking “baby steps” towards health. By doing so, you and your entire family will gradually shift towards delicious and healthy eating without even realizing it. Do not think of healthy eating for your children as a fight to get them to eat tasteless foods. In fact, by following the ten recommended meals and snacks below, you will be well on your way to re-shaping your family’s eating habits. In addition, visit the Truestar Kids section for hundreds of additional “kid-friendly” and easy meals and snacks. The top 10 meals and snacks for your children include: 1. Omega-3 French toast – made with whole-grain bread and omega-3 eggs. 2. Peanut butter and jam sandwich – made with whole-grain bread, natural nut butters such as almond, cashew, soy or peanut butter and naturally sweetened jam.3. Spaghetti and meatballs – made with kamut or spelt pasta and chicken or veggie meatballs.4. Charlie tuna melt – made with light tuna (not white tuna, it has more mercury), whole-grain bread and low-fat or soy cheese slices.5. Chocolate banana smoothie delight – made with bananas, soymilk, 1 teaspoon. of chocolate syrup, crushed ice, 1 scoop of protein powder and 1 teaspoon. of flaxseed oil. Blend on high for 60 seconds.6. Avocado and cheese wrap – made with multi-grain wrap, avocado slices and grated, low-fat cheese melted.7. Healthy Sloppy Joes – made with a whole-grain bun, vegetarian ground beef and sprinkled with low-fat grated cheese overtop. 8. Organic yogurt and fruit – made with organic plain yogurt and fruit of your choice. Sprinkle walnuts or almonds on top for a delicious and healthy crunch.9. Homemade popsicles – made with 100% natural fruit juice such as orange, apple or grape.10. Cut-up fruit drizzled with dark chocolate Take-Home Point:It is important to remember - healthy eating is a child’ right, not a privilege. Start incorporating healthy eating into your household today and begin to pave a path towards a lifetime of heath and wellness for your entire family. Did you like what you read? Click here to read more articles brought to you by Truestar Health: "The World's Most Comprehensive Nutrition, Fitness & Healthy Lifestyle Resource"
Dr. Joey Shulman