Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Early
Over 50 years ago Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act. The idea was to provide low cost, or in some cases fully subsidized meals to children who weren’t getting the proper nutrition during their days due to a variety of factors. Certainly, this initiative had noble intentions and comes at a great cost to the government – but it remains necessary. The problem is, are the lunches that qualify truly providing nutrition, or simply quick, empty sustenance?
Over the past 30 years child obesity had tripled. Though lunch programs are not entirely responsible, far from it, they don’t work to curtail the weight gain. Many of these lunches provided by public schools, the least expensive meals many parents can comfortably provide for their kids day in and day out, are comprised of starches, fats, and sugars. Combinations of pizza, burgers, fries, and tacos litter lunch menu’s nationwide.
An emphasis on healthy eating and portion control is practically invisible from many lunchrooms. In addition to the lineup of fattening, sodium filled foods served on trays there are candies, chips, sodas, and a litany of other snacks routinely on sale at schools that in some cases tempt children to stray even farther away from nutrition.
What this in effect does is promote a lifestyle that children become ingrained in; one they far too often choose to stay in. Studies show that children receive 40% of their daily calories at school, so the time spent eating within the confines of the cafeteria is pretty massive. A lifestyle filled with easy to obtain, fatty, sugary foods. Couple these dietary habits with a lack of exercise and childhood and adolescent obesity can become real problems.
Getting your kids to eat healthy foods from the breakfast you provide them in the morning to their dinner at night is the best way to bracket their eating habits within healthy parameters. Weight gain in children can sometimes set the table for increased weight gain and an unhealthy BMI later in life. Start with good habits early. Be in good health.
For more information on health and nutrition, call our office at (516) 616-5500 or, if you prefer, use our easy online contact form to start a conversation now.