Children, Activity, Diet

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Here is part three of our series, "Children, Activity, and Diet." We feel that most parents make misguided choices for kids' meals. This opinion is based on several years of observations of what kids eat for lunch, parties, going out to eat, etc. Most parents are busy because they are parents! It is hard to juggle a job, household, kids' activities, and more. Most parties feature chips, donut holes, brownies, cookies, soda, cake, fried chicken fingers and they rarely serve a fruit or vegetable. Most restaurants offer children's menus feature foods that are very high in fat and sodium. Take a look at our chart to see common choices and what they contain and you will be appalled!

Look at the typical choices for popular kid menu items below:

Food Calories Fat (g) Trans Fat (g) Sat. Fat (g) Sodium (mg)
Cheeseburger 300 12 .5 6 750
Pizza 331 14 0 5 514
Grilled Cheese 334 20 .5 2 828
Chicken Nuggets, Fries, Coke 520 23 0 3.5 570
Macaroni & Cheese, prep 410 4 0 2 912
Brownie 344 16 1.5 4 245
Lunchable Cracker Stack 390 22 1 9 890
Dora the Explorer Soup 70 2 0 .5 580
SpaghettiOs Pasta with Franks 230 10 0 5 930
Cheeseburger meal with fries 640 24 1 7 920

Published in Communicating Food for Health Newsletter

Tips for better kids meals:
• Share a healthy menu item with the kids. Ideas include low-fat salad and pasta with marinara sauce, grilled fish or chicken, baked potato and salad, soup and salad OR order a regular size item and take the leftovers home.
• Visit salad bar restaurants and places that offer low-fat options for salad, stirfry and pasta.
• Skip the fried food. Better choices for fast food are a plain burger, skim milk and fruit or salad (dressing on side).
• Involve kids in researching the nutrients for their favorite fast food restaurant menus. Have them visit the new FDA site for Nutrition Facts Label reading for kids so they can be aware of how to read a label and what is in the food they are eating - visit for three easy lessons on serving sizes, calories and nutrients.
• Cook with your kids!! lists the 5 top reasons to cook with kids as:
1) It encourages kids to eat healthy;
2) It is bonding time for you and the kids;
3) It nurtures creativity;
4) It is fun;
5) Cooking can teach math and science principles!!

Here are more products to help teach kids better nutrition

And here are special links for schools


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Published on Categories fruits and veggies, by meal, lunch and dinner, cooking demos, grains, cooking, ingredients, food shopping, menu planningTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,