2 NUTRITION FOR KIDS
PCRMNUTRITION FOR KIDS
change their food intake because of concerns about health, body size, orpersonal beliefs, they focus too nar-rowly on just a small number of foods.Exploring the broad range of health-ful foods now available makes a menuchange fun, nutritious, and sustain-able.• Choose low-fat, healthful optionswhenever possible. Choosing lower-fat recipes and foods and eating a va-riety of colors are good ways to ensurethat your child’s diet is a healthy one.For example, oven-roasted potatoesshould be chosen over french fries,pasta with marinara sauce is a betteroption than spaghetti with meatballs,and fruit sorbet is just as refreshingbut much more healthful than icecream. e net eﬀect is usually a re-duction that isn’t easily detected in thenumber of calories and fat consumedin any given portion of food. Plus, theintroduction of new foods adjusts thetaste buds and develops an apprecia-tion for good, wholesome food.• It’s best to avoid foods and bever-ages that have lots of calories but fewor no nutrients, such as candy, soda,punch, cookies, and fried snack foods.Fatty condiments like creamy saladdressings, mayonnaise, butter, andmargarine are best le oﬀ the plate.Instead of centering meals around fat-ty meats and cheese, meals should bebuilt from the New Four Food Groups:healthy grains, legumes, fruit, and vegetables.For example, a veggie burger has 0.5grams of fat, saving 20 grams of fat and180 calories (compared to hamburgerat 21 grams of fat and 444 calories). Ahomemade bean burrito with lettuce,tomato, and salsa has 2 grams of fat,saving 16 grams of fat and 135 calories(compared to a fast-food chili-cheeseburrito with 18 grams of fat and 390calories). It’s easy to make the switchand well worth the time.e bottom line is that it is alwaysthe right time to adopt a healthful diet.It is important to help all children, re-gardless of body size, choose a healthy eating style and incorporate fun physi-cal activity into their lives for now andin the future.
FOOD CHOICES FOR ACHIEVING ANDMAINTAINING A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Choosing a plant-based eating styleis a simple way to achieve or maintaina healthy weight because such dietary patterns require no calorie countingand contain the nutrients a ﬁt body needs. Vegetarians have been shown tobe leaner than their meat-eating peersin a number of scientiﬁc studies,
and vegetarian diets have also been shownto be eﬀective in weight loss.
Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician,medical researcher, and teacher, ad- vised in his book
Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care
that weight-loss programsfor children should be based uponchanging the types of foods childreneat rather than the amount of food they eat. He encouraged shiing the entirefamily away from oily fried foods,meats, and dairy products and towardlow-fat, plant-based foods: grains,pasta, vegetables, legumes, and fruit.When this is done, he stated, “weightloss typically occurs without anyonegoing hungry.”
is is the key tolifelong weight maintenance. e sci-entiﬁc evidence is clear: e closer afamily gets to a pure vegetarian diet,the healthier and leaner they’ll be.
Here are some ideas for making theswitch:
• Identify three or four vegetarianrecipes your family already enjoys.Examples include bean burritos, pastawith marinara sauce, vegetable stir-fries, and vegetable soup. Next, thinkof three or four more frequently eatenmeals that can be easily adapted to be vegetarian. For example, chili can bemade with beans, and other favorites,such as sloppy joes and tacos, can bemade with texturized vegetable pro-tein.• Experiment and broaden food op-tions. Try new foods, recipes, andplaces to eat to keep it interesting andenjoyable. Sometimes, when people
Choosing lower-fat recipesand foods and eating avariety of colors are goodways to ensure that yourchild’s diet is a healthy one.