No one wants their kids to be fat, diabetic or forever on a diet. And somehow, according to the CDC, between 12 - 17% of children are obese. Without obsessing, I definitely try to make good choices and teach the children to do so as well.
Obesity is a serious health concern for children and adolescents. Data from NHANES surveys (1976–1980 and 2003–2006) show that the prevalence of obesity has increased: for children aged 2–5 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 12.4%; for those aged 6–11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 17.0%; and for those aged 12–19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.6%.1, 46
While it would be great to eat all locally grown, farm fresh, homemade, well balanced meals three times a day (or six if you are eating smaller meals), life gets in the way of all that effort. According to CSPI, a renowned (or notorious) public health advocate, there are ten foods that really should be avoided. Take the poll - how many do you regularly offer your children?
CSPI offers a top ten best foods too.
10 of the Best Children's Foods
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially carrot sticks, cantaloupe, oranges, watermelon, strawberries)
- Chicken breast and drumstick without skin or breading
- Cheerios, Wheaties, or other whole-grain, low-sugar cereals
- Skim or 1 percent milk
- Extra-lean ground beef or vegetarian burgers (Gardenburgers or Green Giant Harvest Burgers)
- Low-fat hot dogs (Yves Veggie Cuisine Fat-Free weiners or Lightlife Fat-Free Smart Dogs)
- Non-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Fat-free corn chips or potato chips
- Seasoned air-popped popcorn
- Whole wheat crackers or Small World Animal Crackers
So I feel a little relieved since we basically avoid most of the bad foods and tend to eat the good ones. We do eat hot dogs - but only kosher and those are apparently better. We don't eat soda and very little juice. The children like chocolate and we avoid sticky candy except in rare situations. How do you keep your head straight about what's good and bad and teach your children to make good choices?