We all know childhood obesity is an epidemic that inspires celebrity chefs and first ladies alike to get our kids into shape. We also all know what it's like to have a picky eater that holds out for "the good stuff" when we offer broccoli instead.
It's hard to fight the mealtime battles, but if your child is eating high fat, high sugar foods regularly, they're going to get fat. Not only fat, but unhealthy and at a greater risk for diabetes and heart disease.
If you're serious about giving your child a healthy start, institute a zero tolerance rule on the following foods:
- Processed meats
- French fries
- Processed, non-whole grain breads
I know all of these things are delicious, but if you're battling the childhood bulge, they've gotta go. So, what's left that your kid will eat? Basically, whatever you put in front of them, if they're hungry enough.
To give your kid a head start and keep them from being a contestant on The Biggest Loser 2024, Chicago Healers are literally spelling it out for you. For every meal and snack in between, they offer specific suggestions for your kids.
Here's what you want to feed your kids. Print it out, take it to the grocery store, and add these to your repertoire today.
Breakfast: Kashi cereal, or they make some chewy nut bars. One of those offers a little protein; add a glass of milk or an egg -- hard boiled can be made ahead -- to the appropriate serving size of cereal (see the side of the box and measure it).
Lunch: Roll up lunch meat around a pickle or cheese stick, baked chips, and an apple.
Dinner: Protein, vegetable, and 1/2 cup of potatoes, rice, or pasta
Snacks: 1/4 cup nuts, cheese stick, and fruit. Or Greek yogurt and fruit, baby carrots, and hummus (1/3 cup).
As someone who is going on a voluntary low-fat, vegetarian diet, I know these changes aren't easy, but what is easy is tossing out the bad and stocking up on the good. That way, when you reach for something unhealthy, it's simply not there. I can also report that after a few weeks of eating healthier, I honestly don't crave a cheeseburger and fries like I used to before making the switch.
Your kids are even less set in their ways than you are, so you can adjust their diet today and expect the whining to wind down by the weekend.
What do you feed your kids to keep them healthy?
Image via bradleygee/Flickr