Making smart nutrition choices are key to maintaining a healthy weight and living a healthy lifestyle. Overweight children are at risk for various health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and sleep apnea. They may also experience social discrimination due to their weight. These health-related conditions can occur during childhood and as an adult. Use the following nutrition information to assist you in making healthy decisions for you and your family.
- Eat your breakfast! – Did you know that kids who eat breakfast do better in school? Many kids skip breakfast because they want to sleep in or they are not hungry. However, when you sleep, you lose energy. Breakfast is very important because it gives you the energy you need to start your day.
- Colorful fruits and veggies – Fruits and vegetables are a great source of natural energy! Eating fruits and vegetables of various colors will give your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, which can help protect you from illness and disease.
- Watch your portion sizes – Portion sizes have increased dramatically over the years! This has greatly contributed to the obesity problem for both children and adults. Be sure to read the serving size on food labels.
Here are some suggestions for quick and easy nutritious snacks that children can enjoy:
- Water-packed tuna mixed with fat-free mayonnaise on top of whole-grain crackers
- Celery sticks and apple slices with natural peanut butter
- Raw broccoli and cauliflower florets with low-fat dip / salad dressing
- Nonfat yogurt with fruit mixed in
- A slice of low-fat or fat-free cheese on whole-grain crackers
Remember to watch the portion sizes!
- Tuna salad sandwich (water-packed tuna mixed with fat-free mayonnaise on whole-grain bread)
- Carrot sticks
- Apple slices
- Low-fat milk
- Chicken nuggets (baked, not fried)
- Mashed potatoes
- Cucumber slices
- Low-fat milk
- Spaghetti with meatballs (lean ground turkey) and cheese (low-fat)
- Broccoli florets
- Juice box