Antelope Valley Press - AV Living (Antelope Valley)

Smart food choices for children


Nutritious foods are a valuable commodity in the fight against childhood obesity. Obesity is a serious medical condition that affects people of all ages — children and adolescent­s included. Children who gain extra pounds may develop health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholestero­l later in life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says obesity affects about 14.4 million children and adolescent­s in the United States.

Combatting obesity may come down to helping children make smarter food choices through the years. These strategies can inspire kids to choose healthy foods.

• Offer items that are colorful. People tend to eat with their eyes and noses, and a colorful meal that looks good may encourage kids to dive in.

• Parents can set a positive example by choosing healthy foods as well.

• Involve kids in cooking meals, as they might be more inclined to eat healthy dishes they helped to prepare.

• Make “junk food” at home so you can control the ingredient­s and portion sizes.

• Tie foods to desired results. Let children know that eating lean proteins may improve sports performanc­e or that certain fruits and vegetables can make their hair and skin look good.

• Praise children when they choose healthy foods.

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